‘Not in entire forgetfulness….’

The forget-me-nots take over the garden in early spring, and even though they threaten to squash out some of the burgeoning young plants trying to push their way up, I don’t have the heart to weed them out. They are so profuse, so hopeful, so intricately simple, and so faithfully reliable. They are glorious. I was remembering the often quoted part of Wordsworth’s Intimations of Immortality today as I was looking at them ‘…..not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come….’


This sense of being clothed in glory is incredibly evocative, when set alongside the simplicity of a forget-me-not. The concept of glory often brings with it golden chariots, trumpets, all the bright lights of arch-angelic and magisterial heaven. I quite like that kind of glory too, and no doubt it won’t be long before I am reaching for the splendour of grandeur once again. But the glory of simplicity, of the innocent, the uncomplicated, the straightforward, joyful, carpet of a multitude of calls to remembrance.


Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,

Has elsewhere had its setting,

And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!


(from Ode – Intimations of Immortality, William Wordsworth)IMG_2982

3 Replies to “‘Not in entire forgetfulness….’”

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