Did Wordsworth see the bugs?
Did Coleridge sweat, and stand resting
hands on hips, wheezing, attempting
to rest and take the landscape in?
Did he slip with muddy boots, in velvet suit
and try to be poetic, nursing the hot feet
attendant to a walk.
Did Wordsworth smell the daffodils,
as they blinded him in the sun, and
the bugs, again, swarmed round his pad
til he was happy with the notes?
Did he pass the stranger’s greetings
or return them to their owners
gazing down at his feet, hands at his pack.
Did sunburn plague them?
The sweat doesn’t quite appear in print
the ink that hides the work.
And the poet does his best to hide it too,
Wandering lonely as a cloud,
in a cloud, and pad dispersing
Into sodden clods of paper
sinking to the fern.