Wordsworth’s Lament

I wandered lonely as a cloud—Oh dear!
I watched the dance of daffodils—Oh my!
When on my couch in vacant mood I lie
I feel their wealthy fluttering draw near.
I see them toss their heads like twinkling stars;
A sparkling, sprightly, jocund company.
I gaze, I gaze, they outdo waves with glee;
A host, a crowd, ten thousand avatars.
They flash within my pensive inward eye;
My heart is oft with pleasure filled each day.
Alone a poet could not be but gay;
Especially great Romantics such as I.
I cringe to think that out of all the rest,
This poem might one day be deemed my best.


Class Action

The photos of my grandson always turn out
Blurred. He’s always on the go. Perpet-
Ual motion personified. He seems dead set
On living out his life on walkabout.
From the hall he hurtles through the door;
He bounds across the room and up the stair’
He’s neither here nor there; he’s everywhere!
A track and field prodigy at four.
Next year he will be old enough (alas!)
For kindergarten where his teacher will
Expect the children to stand deathly still
While someone takes a picture of her class.
The photograph, no doubt, will be approved,
Despite my grandson being the one who moved.


James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers. 

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4 Responses

  1. James A. Tweedie

    A note of explanation may be in order for my Wordsworth parody. To that end I attach the letter that accompanied my submission:


    I apologize in advance for being arrogant and cheeky enough to stand (like the lonely man with a shopping bag who defied a line of tanks during the Tienanmen Square demonstrations) in the face of the overwhelming (nay universal) academic and popular opinion that ranks Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud” as one of the most popular, beloved, respected, admired, and revered pieces of English literature and one of the top ten poems of all time (yourself included). Although my wife shares everyone else’s enthusiasm for this poem I am sorry to say that I do not. Never have. Never will. This is not in any way intended as a criticism of Wordsworth himself–only this particular poem–which has always appeared to me to have been something rhapsodically dashed off and thrown together without much effort after returning home from a walk. I have been to his Grassmere homes on two separate occasions, most recently this past summer. I have walked the paths and seen the sights that gave him so much pleasure and inspired so much of his verse. I have seen the daffodil garden planted adjacent to his Rydal Mount home and read the poem (mis-titled “Daffodils”) that stands beside the path that leads from the nearby lane to the house. Even there, standing in that hallowed place, I could not see the greatness of the verse. The greatness of its sentiment, perhaps, but not the verse itself. So shoot me! Or burn me as a heritic! I confess my sin: Guilty as charged!

    Here is a poem, written not to mock the author, but, rather, to defend him and the rest of his verse–verse which deserves most of the respect that has been bestowed on this one.

    You may print it if you dare!

    Hubristically yours,

    James A. Tweedie

  2. Ubs Reece Idwal

    To James A. Tweedie

    Thanks, Mr. Tweedie, for your tweeds, your homespun cheviots,
    your woven twills are very good; I have no caveats.
    They’re finely woven outer clothing, strong and durable;
    they can withstand Northwestern rains, when fierce and terrible.
    Like Amy Foreman, I enjoy your forays into form;
    for they are firm, resisting moisture in the raging storm,
    a humble Presbyter, who ‘s been around Pacific ports,
    a master of the woolen fabric, pastoral, of course.
    A bit of Aussie grit, no moaning crossing of the bar,
    o, Mr. Toad and Sherlock Holmes have nothing on…your garb.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Thank you, Bruce. To be mentioned in the same breath as Amy Foreman is a veritable compliment. To be mentioned in the same breath as Mr. Toad and Sherlock Holmes is, on the other hand, quixotically enchanting.


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