2006/11/01

Wordsworth, Pasta, and Daffodils

"The thought of our past years in me doth breed perpetual benedictions."
- William Wordsworth

To celebrate my second year of residence in Japan, K and I went to our favorite restaurant - Wordsworth. Just over the 'border' in Kamisu City, Wordsworth has a cozy bistro atmosphere. Their specialty is seafood pasta. The kitchen has high open counters to the dining area and a large glass window at one end where you can see the chefs as they prepare the food (everything is very fresh). Satellite radio plays jazz and soft rock in the background. The decore consists of photos and numbered art prints of Italy, wine and olive oil bottles, clusters of garlic cloves and Wordsworth poem or two.

At the front door, one is greeted with a chalkboard of the day's specials and, in a small frame, the following poem:

"Daffodils" (1804)



I WANDER'D 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 stretch'd 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.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

I don't know about you, but I've gotta love a small business that expresses the owner's passion.

For starters we had red wine with a cheese plate that had walnuts and rasins in the center and four cheeses - camabert, blue, a very hard thinly sliced cheese, and a cream cheese. The main course was pasta with white sauce, crab and smoked salmon. For desert, a plate with fruit and ice cream. The ice creams were unusual - sesame, pumpkin, and sweet potato. The fruit slices included grapefruit, melon, pineapple, and persimon. Not an overwhelming amount of food, but a wonderfully complementary fare that delighted our palates.

Two years is a lot longer than I expected to be here, but, as a German man who also never meant to stay long but has lived in Japan 26 years none the less said to me recently, "things happen". Yes, indeed they do. Personally, I hope to be on my way to Fiji someday soon, but meanwhile I'll enjoy being where I am and learning what I can from this fascinating country.

To quote William Wordsworth once more, "The mind that is wise mourns less for what age takes away; than what it leaves behind. "

11 comments:

Robin said...

I rem this, I did study this wonderful poem during my secondary school days.

Happy Anniversary and may you have many more happy days in the land of the rising sun.

HillCountryGal said...

Thoroughly entertaining, the description of the food and the poem. Glad I stopped by.

Pandabonium said...

Thank you Robin. I try to enjoy each day no matter where I am. That poems expresses his love of nature which was a theme of Romantic art at the time. Glad you like it.

Thanks for visiting Hill Country Gal. I too am glad you stopped by.

The Moody Minstrel said...

What a coincidence: Wordsworth is also my wife's favorite restaurant, and I often take her there on special occasions. I'd take her there more often, but it's not very big and tends to be crowded...

Have you tried the natto spaghetti? It's pretty good, actually.

Try the natto, Panda-B,
For it is really quite a treat
Chock full of vitamins B and E
And there is not a speck of meat.
"How bad it smells!" say gaijin, true,
Yet cheese can oft be just as bad.
Zany, stringy, slimy goo;
Uncanny pleasure to be had!

Reena said...

Daffodils has been my favorite poem ever since I was a little girl. I know it was a little difficult for me to learn it back then and didnt really appreciate it but over the years, I must admit that no other poem has fascinated as much as the Daffodils.
Glad you had a good time and that menu sounds scrumptious.

Pandabonium said...

Great poem, MM, gotta post that. Natto spaghetti? Hmmm... I'l let K order that sometime. We discovered the restaurant a few years ago when I was staying in the Kashima Central and using the computer service next door to Wordsworth. We don't go out often, so when we find something we like, we stick with it.

Reena - wow, I posted your favorite poem and didn't know it. He does bring the flowers to life in that poem. The dinner was not on my diet, but sure was good.

PinkPanther said...

Wow..wow...what a great,yummy and romantic dinner you & K had.

No matter where we live in the world, treasure & enjoy our daily life/family/friends is the most important.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Daffodils - that poem was drummed into us as children - we had such an English bias to our education - all about British kings and queens and 'their' poetry. No real poems about Australia that I recall.
On TV this week there was a travel docu showing the place where that poet saw the daffs. They were small daffs, not the ones we have in front gardens.
Re a cafe/bar with a literary theme - we have O'Reillys at Southbank, Melbourne, with pics of Dublin writers on the walls and samples of their writing - Joyce, etc. Nice vibes for me when I was there one day - writin' but not drinkin'!
W.

Pandabonium said...

PP - we don't go out often, but we also have a great time when we do. couldn't have said it better.

Sorry you missed the alcohol, Wendy. It is what fueled all those great Irish artists, isn't it? Or maybe they just seemed great when the reader was under the influence...

Happysurfer said...

A wonderful poem, Pandabonium. Thank you for sharing it.

Happy anniversary. May you have happy days wherever you are.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks!