I Wandered Lonely as a Puff of Smoke (with apologies to William Wordsworth)

When I was I child I always went to my grandparents on Mondays after school. I loved those Monday tea times: my grandparents all to myself (no battling for attention with my brothers!), eating my favourite foods (they spoiled me a bit) and always laughing over something.

One thing my granddad and I used to do on those evenings was write silly poetry. We would throw ideas across the dinner table and come up with something that made us laugh. We usually took a well-known poem and put our own twist on it, then we would regale my grandma with it over the washing up.

The other day one of my favourites came to mind: our take on William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. I thought I would share it here. It follows Wordsworth’s poem quite closely… with none of its beauty and thoughtfulness but all the irreverence that a twelve-year-old and her young-at-heart grandfather could muster!

I wandered lonely as a puff of smoke

I wandered lonely as a puff of smoke

That floats from a chimney and over the hills,

When all at once I saw a bloke,

Carrying a mass of daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Swaying along on rubbery knees.


His face was flushed as red as wine

With drooling mouth and vacant gaze,

He followed an erratic line

Staggering in a drunken daze.

Ten dozen saw I in his arms

Stolen I’m sure from nearby farms.


The waves frothed wildly at his heel

Yet he was far to drunk to see.

A passer-by could not but feel

A portion of anxiety.

I gazed and gazed then watched him take

A tumble deep into the lake.


When later on my couch he lay,

In much apologetic mood

Recalling how I’d had saved the day

He was struck with gratitude.

Yet to this day pure horror fills

Me at the sight of daffodils.


The original is worth reading too!

I’m linking this up with ‘Prose For Thought’ over at Verily Victoria Vocalises. Head over there to read other poetry and prose. Or join in! It’s my first time!

Prose for Thought

10 thoughts on “I Wandered Lonely as a Puff of Smoke (with apologies to William Wordsworth)

  1. Stephanie

    So glad you joined in! This made me laugh. Looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog too. Love the wee pencils at the top by the way!

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Michelle, that’s the best thing about it for me too. My grandad celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year. I think I may frame the poem for him for Christmas!

  2. David / Oddly active

    Ha! Funny how WW’s daffs always comes to mind for sending up – I’ve written at least 2! One was about being drunk in a pub and not being able to get served, and the other was when a friend commented that the daffs she had bought from Waitrose smelled of wee. My favourite ever line of WW comes from the original publication of The Thorn:

    And to the left, three yards beyond,
    You see a little muddy pond…
    I’ve measured it from side to side:
    ‘Tis three feet long, and two feet wide.

    I always figure if he can write that badly and get it published there’s hope for us all!


    1. Maddy Post author

      I’d love to read your versions, David, they sound funny! You’re right, it does lend itself to ‘adaptation’ (shall we say). I remember not liking the daffodils poem but re-reading it now I actually kind of do… by the sounds of it, it’s far superior to The Thorn anyway!


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