Comparing The Daffodils by William Wordsworth and Miracle on St. David's Day by Gillian Clarke

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Comparing The Daffodils by William Wordsworth and Miracle on St. David's Day by Gillian Clarke

In this essay I will attempt to compare two very contrasting poems,

William Wordsworth’s `The Daffodils' which was written in pre 1900s

and Gillian Clarke’s ‘Miracle on St David's Day’, written in the 20th

century. Strangely enough Gillian Clarke’s ‘Miracle on St David's day’

was actually inspired by ‘The Daffodils’. In 1804 William Wordsworth

wrote ‘a masterpiece’, two years after his experience with the

daffodils, while the poem “Miracle on St. David’s Day” was written by

Gillian Clarke around 1980, one hundred and seventy-six years after

The Daffodils was.

Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, and

raised around the mountains of Cumberland around the River Derwent.

It was here that he would have been in ‘pure communication’ with

nature and this was probably the inspiration for most of his poems.

Gillian Clarke was born in Wales in 1937. Her parents spoke only

Welsh but she learned to speak English as well as Welsh and currently

lives in Tallgarreg, Wales, where she breeds sheep with her architect

husband, daughter and two sons.

The poems have many differences and similarities. I plan to write

about some of them in this essay. The poems are set in two different

places. ‘The Daffodils’ was written when Wordsworth was out walking

on his own, in Gowbarrow Park, by the River Ullswater – which was

obviously outside. ‘Miracle on St. David’s Day was written in a

mental institution – an indoor setting. This has an effect on the way

each poem is written. Both are written about the human mind, memory

a...

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... feels ‘gay’. This conveys that the sight of the daffodils was

magnificent, and this is why I adore this poem so much, I almost feel

jealous of Wordsworth for two reasons – one for his being there to

witness the daffodils and also because he has an extremely talented

writing ability always at his fingertips. Clarke’s poem is not as

good as Wordsworth’s, although she does describe the event very well,

and the poem is superbly written, but in my opinion, Wordsworth has

written a better poem, one which is renowned the world over. I say

that I prefer Wordsworth’s poem as he writes about a more uplifting

theme, and this gives Wordsworth the edge. Clarke’s poem is not as

uplifting as Wordsworth’s. I think that he has used the perfect

words to describe his perfect feelings, and that is how I describe his

perfect poem.

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