Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dancing Hearts

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
~ William Wordsworth

This is one of my favorite poems. I love the idea of gazing at the beauty before us, and then calling it up in our mind's eye to appreciate it again later. That's something good writers do well. We observe the world around us with sharper vision, always looking for the details, storing them for future use.

This poem is one of my "happy thoughts". I think of it when I'm feeling stressed or blue and then, like Wordsworth, " heart with pleasure fills, / And dances with the daffodils." Today, I hope we all have dancing hearts.

What makes your heart dance?


I also need to thank a couple of people for awards today. Candice at Suffering from Writers blog recently honored me with the "From Me to You" flower bouquet award, which must be passed on to seven of my new favorite blog reads. It also requires me to share seven more things about myself, which I will do tomorrow. Today, though, I pass the love to:

Laurel @ Laurel's Leaves
Catherine @ Winged Writer
Diana @ Writing Roller Coasters
Marybeth @ Desperately Searching for My Inner Mary Poppins
Juju @ Tales of Whimsy
Bane @ Bane's Blogging Blues
L.T. Host @ Quest: Published

Those are some of my most recent favorite stalking spots. Each site has something unique and special to offer (check out L.T.'s mad libs). I hope you'll pay them each a visit!

I also received the Honest Scrap award from Laurel. Thanks, Laurel! I'll pass the love along on that one tomorrow, along with a couple of others I've neglected this week.

After this monster-long post, don't forget today's question:

What makes your heart dance?


Tamika: said...

Today I relish in the simple joys of life. Peace, love, health. my world shines bright just basking in the goodness of the Lord.

BK Mattingly said...

Laughing. It doesn't matter what it's about; I think laughing is a necessity to life. :D

Hardygirl said...

Oh my goodness!! I love that poem so much. My daughter has memorized it, and that is my happy thought--listening to her recite that poem. I'm going to have her say it to me when I pick her up from school today. Yay!!


Mary Aalgaard said...

Thanks for the warm, spring-time thoughts on a cold winter day up North.

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Love Wordsworth! Beautiful!!!

What makes my heart dance? So many things, Shannon. I'll list a few (randomly selected)
1.that first day of summer, true summer where the heat hits you and at first you wonder why you wanted it but then, then you remember the sand between your toes a salty breeze and blue skies & you forget the heat as you wade into the water.
2. My dog Peanut Butter Barr as he loves me unconditionally every day when I get home & every hour I get to spend with his mopheaded self.
3. When my husband looks at me for no reason and in his eyes he reflects the smile I love so much.
4. Laughter. I love to laugh. Big, hearty laughs.
5. Music. I cannot write without music, I cannot sit,stand,walk, breathe without a rhythm in my mind. It can come from an iPod or memory, either way I am always singing.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I love that poem!

Hm... days in the sunshine, cuddling with my dog, reading (or writing) a great book. :0) That'll definitely do it!

Jennifer said...

I love this poem. I have it on my fridge, where it has been for nearly 15 years. (Same poem, but the fridge has changed a few times.) I copied it out of a book while in college, and it has made all the moves with me. It's the reason why daffodils are one of my favorite flowers.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Oh thank you darlin! This is SO sweet of you! *hugs*

Tales of Whimsy said...

What makes my heart dance?

Butterflies in my tummy
Feeling God's presence
The warm feeling that spreads through my chest just before I cry tears of joy

Stephanie Thornton said...

Flowers are wonderful! I can't wait for Spring, but too bad that's not till April.

I love my daughter's hugs, tulips, and butterflies. And a warm summer day.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Holy cow! I'm thrilled to see so many early responses and I'm doubly thrilled that so many of you know and love the poem!

Your answers are wonderful! To all of you, I say thanks for being here. You make my heart dance! ;-)

Laurel Garver said...

Thanks for sharing the love, Shannon! I may not get to posting about this till next week though.

The stuff of heart dancing for me:

Giggling with my youth group girls(especially when the other adults around look at us with suspicion. hee hee.)

Hearing my daughter laugh.

Cranking a Celtic-rock fusion CD like Slainte Mhath's Va album.

Singing descant harmonies.

Reading a crit partner's work and getting the perfect idea to fix a weakness in it.

Finishing a draft in which I'm so absorbed in the story, I'm weeping along with my character.

Joshua McCune said...

Shannon, thanks! -- These are the first flowers I've received in a long time ;)

PS - great poem - I love me some well versed rhymes.

L. T. Host said...

Thanks Shannon :)

I love this poem, too.

A lot of things make my heart dance, mostly my family, friends (including you guys) and animals, and the satisfaction I get from any one of my million hobbies.

Catherine Denton said...

Thank you, Shannon. *big smile*

Music--Josh Groban in particular--makes my heart dance.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Thanks for posting this! I had to memorize this poem in 8th grade, and I still remember it. memorizing poetry is a great life-enricher.

Lindsey said...

Just wanted to say thank you again for stopping by!!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Laurel - great list!

Bane - You're welcome. Don't they smell wonderful? ;-)

L.T. - those things make me happy, too!

Catherine - I love Josh Groban!

Rosslyn - I agree. They do much much memorization like that in schools anymore. Sad.

Lindsey - Thanks to you, too! :)

Jessica Nelson said...

A good book and my children in the morning. :-)

Diana Paz said...

Thank you for the award, you made my day!

Sara {Rhapsody and Chaos} said...

Music makes my heart happy! There are certain songs taht I love so much that I have to just sit quietly and listen to them when they're on. And there are some that are beautiful and just make my fingers itch to write! (There's a sample playlist on my blog if you're curious!)

Karen Harrington said...

I love that poem, too. When I first started reading it, I wondered if it was going to be WW. Woo! Thanks for being such a nice commenter on my blog. That makes my heart dance! (That and good news on almost any topic!)

Kasie West said...

It's so true. I often view things and think, ooh, I need to remember to use that imagery later in one of my books. It's funny how when we're writing we pay more attention to the world and to characteristics in people.

jdsanc said...

Never read or heard the poem before. Where have I been. This poem makes my heart dance, and I thank you for it, seriously.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Jessica - yes!

Diana - You're very welcome!

Sara - music is a very good answer ;)

Scobberlotcher - You're welcome. I enjoy your blog. :)

Kasie - I think we really do pay more attention than most people.

Judith - It is one of my favorite poems to share, and your reaction is just what I hope for each time I do! :)

Jennie Englund said...

Those daffodils make my heart dance! Perfect reminder in the middle of the wintry, holiday season of hope. That yellow!

Katie Ganshert said...

Congrats to the award winners! And what a great poem. Thanks for sharing.

What makes my heart dance right now is the idea of sleep!

Roni Loren said...

Congrats on receiving the award and to the winners! I'll have to go check the links out.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Shannon, when something that I've tried to teach my children clicks, or when they seem content in the little things, or when they return the love I have poured into their little heart dances! It also dances as my faith grows and I grasp a certain life's truth because of that. There can be no better life than one with faith and love in it. I feel truly blessed! Also, great blogs like yours do this to me as well. Thanks for all you share here. Your followers are rapidly growing -- congrats on the awards!

Jemi Fraser said...

Laughter makes my heart dance - from a baby's giggle to a child's explosion of laughter to a quiet chuckle. Pure joy :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Jennie - Daffodils are my favorite flower and yellow is my fav. color, so the picture makes my heart dance, too.

Katie - I love sleep. I never get enough sleep. Sleep would make my heart dance. *pauses wishfully* Enjoy yours. :)

Roni - thanks! There are some really special blogs linked (many of which you already follow, I'm sure)

Roxane - "There can be no better life than one with faith and love in it." This just became my new favorite quote. I love the way you say things. Wherever you go, you leave a feeling of peace and contentment behind you. I LOVE that about you! :)

Jemi - laughter is one of life's greatest pleasures. yes, yes, yes!

lisa and laura said...

Things that make my heart dance:

- hearing my son say "Dear God" as he starts one of his random prayers
- comments from new readers on our blog
- making my husband laugh
- hearing my daughter scream "Mimi to the rescue" and watching her race down the stairs
- thinking about maybe having another
- thinking about people reading our

Thanks for a great post Shannon! It's fun to take a minute and appreciate the little things.

Leah Rubin said...

Hey! Thank you so very much! I'm deeply moved and humbled by your award. Many thanks. I hope to live up to your compliment.

And now I have found you! So the circle continues-- your blog is wonderful. I'm very impressed, and will be sifting through your archives to read more!


sanjeet said...

I love that poem so much. My daughter has memorized it,

Work from home India

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