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 I remember cruising upriver onboard the Zephyr. I used to hang out after watch with Captain Vic in the wheelhouse. He taught me how to steer the towboat and barges up the river. Captain Vic used to recite poetry as I'd steer up the mighty Mississippi River at dusk. I had never really been into literature, but Captain changed this. Vic was born and raised in the Cayman Islands. I just cannot forget his deep Caribbean accent as he read from a old green and yellow hardback book.

He knew one particular poem by heart that he had learned as a young boy growing up on the islands. Years later I obtained Captain Vic's wife's email address. I contacted them and asked about that particular poem he would recite. In a reply back, they sent the poem and here it is.


"The Daffodils"

by William Wordsworth (04-07-1770 to 04-23-1850)

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and fills,
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
Outdid 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.








Captain Vic Bodden of the mighty Zephyr