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 waves in glee:—
A Poet could not but be 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.

This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on October 1, 2017. This poem is in the public domain.

I.M. of David Ferry

The mouths of the bankers are closed. The secret
Police dream of hanging and hang. The gallows

Lay down upon the hill and refuse the money
They are paid. The drowsy crows stand on the eaves,

Ridges, and composed light in mudpuddles
With their dark, wet gold out, bartering

With the wind. Money is finally no good
Here. The offered lamb, only a rumor

Of its death, the black smoke of him now nothing
More than the night extended. Sleep. The dogs

Regard the night joyfully because the dead
Let them rest in the alleys beneath the loud gods

That have gone quiet in the sky. House and vulture
Veil whatever aches or bleeds. The good axe,

The bow, the wagon, the viper forget—
As everything at rest forgets what it has

Maimed or killed. The eyes of the poor, for once,
Are bruised like eyes of the rich—only with sleep.

Come, Gods of the Night, enter here, touch
One of your sleepless clients. His head

Is a rose being burned alive. His mother 
Calls out from her urn, telling him to find her, 

As death has, does, finds, walking, not
Knowing whether … Gods of the Night,

Take this man I love who’s being promoted
Beyond his commas and the little motions

Of light on the ceiling, which is his mother
Calling him, take him now to her. Without his rose.

Copyright © 2024 by Roger Reeves. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 30, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

When the pickup truck, with its side mirror,
almost took out my arm, the driver’s grin

reflected back; it was just a horror

show that was never going to happen,
don’t protest, don’t bother with the police

for my benefit, he gave me a smile—

he too was startled, redness in his face—
when I thought I was going, a short while,

to get myself killed: it wasn’t anger

when he bared his teeth, as if to caution
calm down, all good, no one died, ni[ght, neighbor]—

no sense getting all pissed, the commotion

of the past is the past; I was so dim,
he never saw me—of course, I saw him.

Copyright © 2020 by Tommye Blount. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 19, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets. 

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

From The Poetry of Robert Frost edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright © 1923, 1947, 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, copyright © 1942, 1951 by Robert Frost, copyright © 1970, 1975 by Lesley Frost Ballantine. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.