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Daffodils No More
Gorden J.L. Ramel

"With due praise to W. Wordsworth"

I wondered lonely as a crowd
that flows down streets and avenues
my spirit darkened by a cloud
of troubles I could not refuse,
for I had looked for daffodils
and found but few in England's hills.

For butterflies, for birds I sought,
for all of nature's finest gems
that I had long ago been taught
bedecked the Pennines and the Thames,
caressed our valleys, blessed our moors
and danced by thousands on our shores.

But what I found was barbed-wire fence
protecting repetitious fields
that offered up in self defense
statistics on their better yields
with ne'er a thought towards the cost;
that fragile beauty we have lost.

A poet could not help but sigh
on seeing how the world is changed
and ask himself, or God on high,
why humankind is so deranged
it can destroy, for such poor ends,
the world on which its life depends.

about this poem

This work is a serious parody of an earlier poem Daffodils written by the English poet William Wordsworth in 1804.  In that poem, Wordsworth wrote of the beauty of wild daffodils and how they inspired him.  He also mentioned seeing large numbers of this plant: "Ten thousand saw I at a glance, tossing their heads in sprightly dance."

In Daffodils No More, Gorden J.L. Ramel draws our attention to the fact that the number of wild daffodils in England has declined greatly since Wordsworth's day.  In addition, the abundance of many other organisms, including certain species of birds and butterflies, has also decreased.  Many of these declines are the result of drainage projects and extensive conversion of wild lands to agriculture.

Such loss of local biodiversity is now a common problem throughout much of the world.  To learn how the healthy functioning of ecosystems is dependent on local biodiversity, click the following link:  Biodiversity Loss and Ecosystem Functioning.

The author of this poem, Gordon J.L. Ramel, holds a Master's Degree in Ecology from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. The poem was recently published in his Kindle collection of poems The Human Disease.

The photograph at the top of the page shows a monoculture of rye and was taken by Michal Koralewski of Poland.

Poem © Copyright 2005 Ecology Online Sweden.  All rights reserved.







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