Wednesday, February 18, 2015

another Spring with Crow

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 leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but 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.

As you may remember, Crow has flown to warmer climes away from our frozen northern winter. While ensconced in his library a few days ago I came across this illustration drawn by a now anonymous artist made during the early years of the 19th century when Crow accompanied William Wordsworth on his walks around the Lake District. As he's mentioned often, times were only simpler then because humans hadn't yet mastered technologies they still haven't learned to use wisely. Perhaps that was never possible. Our current conditions, both good and bad, most definitely arose with the discovery of the energy inherent in fossil fuels. Now we look back to see those centuries as innocent.

I'm looking forward to Spring and Crow's return. Once its safe to walk out on our sidewalks again I must replenish his brandy supply. This hasn't been a month to give up drinking. 

ps: I colored this and drew Crow - the rest is from an old woodblock print.

pps: Crow wrote to say the one thing that makes him and his friends laugh harder than anything else is when people say they worry the sun will become a red giant in 5 billion years.


Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Did you not see the long missing verse, only recently discovered? It goes:

And among the blooms I spied a crow
in waistcoat and bow tie
I looked at him, he looked at me
He shrugged and gave a sigh
"What troubles you sir?" I did enquire
but he shrugged and flew high, then higher

susan said...

What an excellent find, Andrew! I'll be sure to pass it on
to Crow so he can recite the poem in its entirety.

L'Adelaide said...

what a sweet image of crow in spring fields... at first i couldn't believe you actually drew all that!! Not to say you aren't outrageously talented, dear one, but patient? well.... ;)

and i loved the poem... beautiful. and how is that weather there... am i to assume you are still indoors? probably since you are doubtful different than the rest of the east coast climes.. xoxo

susan said...

Ah, dear Linda, I didn't draw the whole thing - far too impatient as you've guessed :) I had fun drawing Crow and coloring though..

There is no sign of spring here yet - nor pavement either. My only new growth is a radish in a jar of water. I found the poor thing sprouting in the vegetable crisper.

marja-leena said...

Another lovely portrait of Crow in a field of daffodils - you must be longing to join him there. You poor easterners with all that unremitting snow make me feel a wee guilty that we've April like weather here, one that occurs every five years supposedly, like the year of the Olympics.

L'Adelaide said...

Well.... Tho I know it's not your intention, that's positively depressing but at least it has some color! 💙❤️💙

susan said...

Yes, he's a bit Christmasy being red and green, but he will do for now :)

susan said...

I certainly do long to join him there :) and you know I miss west coast springtimes.

It wouldn't be so bad but for the fact last year the city announced residents didn't have to clear their sidewalks any more because they were arranging for a fleet of small plows to take care of the snow. Now, because the sidewalks are uneven, the plows only clear the top layer leaving a compressed mass behind that freezes solid. There's been such an outcry we're hoping the policy is changed back before next winter.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan
What wonderful picture of crow in his full sartorial splendour to go with the wonderful words of William Wordsworth. I must confess to an old fashioned hankering for rhyme and rhythm in poetry which was so evident in the old masters but all but abandoned in modernity. The post inclusion was very interesting and there is no disputing the accelerating pace of technological change and in particular artificial intelligence. But I’m not so convinced technology will ever be able to replicate the mind, at least in relation to the varying ephemeral states of consciousness because at the micro level the neural functioning doesn’t obey the quantum rules of their constituent particles. What remains entangled is a process we still don’t fully understand, let alone posit we can ever replicate it.
best wishes

Tom said...

I love this picture of the somewhat portly Crow, and his look of wise, good-humoured gravitas. I suppose that must come with centuries of travelling. As a child I not only loved books, a love I have never lost, but also the manner of their illustration. This picture is lovely.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Spring feels so far away at this time. Another snow storm predicted for Sunday. Some areas here in Maine have over one hundred inches of snow; we probably have near four here in the western mountains.

the Ol'Buzzard

susan said...

I'm delighted to know you enjoyed Crow's picture and Wordsworth's wonderful poem, Lindsay. I agree with you that the lyrical nature of poetry is sadly missed.

I'm glad you checked out the article. It seems to me you're correct about AI never being able to approach human consciousness. What worries me is the idea of very powerful computers that aren't aligned with human needs.

susan said...

I sometimes wish I were a tenth as wise as my friend, Crow. Now and then when a little of his equanimity rubs off I find my way back to making the kind of artworks that satisfy my childlike soul. I'm happy the picture pleased you, Tom.

susan said...

It feels the same way here, OB. While we don't have as much snow as you, we do have lots more than we've seen here before - with the addition of nasty ice layers. I don't like it.