Thou liv’st with less ambitious aim,
Yet hast not gone without thy fame;
Thou art indeed by many a claim
The Poet’s darling.

-William Wordsworth, To the Daisy

Daisies in Celadon, 2017, oil on board, 17 x 28cm

Ginger coloured daisies from the local market, executed over several days, whenever the sun was right. These humble daisies lit by daylight are doing, I hope, what daisies do best, offering, in the words of Wordsworth: “The homely sympathy that heeds/ the common life“.

For interested readers, some progress shots showing some minor adjustments, camera failure, and lens-flare:

Daisies in Celadon in progress

Daisies in Celadon underpainting

Wordsworth really liked daisies. He wrote a second poem in their honour, which I provide in its entirety below because I couldn’t pick a favourite verse to sample:

With little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Daisy! again I talk to thee,
For thou art worthy,
Thou unassuming Common-place
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace,
Which Love makes for thee!

 

Oft on the dappled turf at ease
I sit, and play with similies,
Loose types of things through all degrees,
Thoughts of thy raising:
And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee, for praise or blame,
As is the humour of the game,
While I am gazing.

 

A nun demure of lowly port;
Or sprightly maiden, of Love’s court,
In thy simplicity the sport
Of all temptations;
A queen in crown of rubies drest;
A starveling in a scanty vest;
Are all, as seems to suit thee best,
Thy appellations.

 

A little cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy,
That thought comes next–and instantly
The freak is over,
The shape will vanish–and behold
A silver shield with boss of gold,
That spreads itself, some faery bold
In fight to cover!

 

I see thee glittering from afar–
And then thou art a pretty star;
Not quite so fair as many are
In heaven above thee!
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem’st to rest;–
May peace come never to his nest,
Who shall reprove thee!

 

Bright ‘Flower’! for by that name at last,
When all my reveries are past,
I call thee, and to that cleave fast,
Sweet silent creature!
That breath’st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share
Of thy meek nature!

– William Wordsworth, To The Same Flower (Second Poem)