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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Wordsworth's 'Daffodils' now set to rap

The new "hip-hop" version of the famous poem and an accompanying pop video can be seen at Cumbria Tourism's website.

books Updated: Apr 16, 2007 15:30 IST

The magic of William Wordsworth's words has delighted generations of people across the globe, but 200 years after his famous daffodils poem 'I Wandered Lonely as A Cloud' was published, it has been turned into a rap for the YouTube generation.

The poem is England's most easily recognised poem. It was written in 1802 when Wordsworth was walking with his sister Dorothy along the shore of Lake Ullswater in the sylvan Lake District.

Dorothy's journal entry for April 15, 1802, describes how the crowd of daffodils, "tossed and reeled and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind, that blew upon them over the lake".

Two years later, Wordsworth wrote the famous poem, which was published in 1807, although a revised 1815 version remains better known. Now tourism officials in Lake District has given the poem the 'rap' treatment to help the next generation of Lake District visitors connect with his work.

The new "hip-hop" version of the famous poem and an accompanying pop video can be listened to and watched for free at Cumbria Tourism's website at

The modern re-working manages to stay true to the original sentiment but with some slight variation of the lyrics. The video was shot on the banks of Lake Ullswater which provided the original inspiration for the poem, as well as around Ullswater Steamers, the grounds and gardens of the luxury Sharrow Bay Hotel, and Grasmere where Wordsworth made his home.

A spokesman for Cumbria Tourism, which was behind the innovative approach to the poem, said: "Wordsworth's Daffodils poem has remained unchanged for 200 years and to keep it alive for another two centuries, we wanted to engage the YouTube generation who want modern music and amusing video footage on the web."

"Hopefully this will give them a reason to connect with a poem published in 1807 as well as with the works of Wordsworth and the stunning landscape of The Lake District that inspired him."

David Wilson, the Robert Woof Director of the Wordsworth Trust, said: "Wordsworth's poem, 'I wandered lonely as a cloud', always achieves very high ratings in any survey of favourite English poems.

"It is a poem about the mind's growing awareness over time of the deepening value of an experience, in this case observing the dancing daffodils. Two hundred years after it was published, the poem is still reaching new audiences and inspiring people.

"Part of our work here at Grasmere is demonstrating how Wordsworth's poetry is relevant today and encouraging young people to enrich their lives by exploring his poetry in their own ways."

Meanwhile, tourism officials in the oft-visited district have come under some criticism for recently planting fake daffodils on the shore of Lake Windermere. The real flowers had bloomed in February due to the mild winter, and the officials reportedly wanted them in place for the Easter holidays.

First Published: Apr 11, 2007 19:38 IST

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