Rather than being envisioned, Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is actually a recount of a day the poet and his sister encountered a line of daffodils while walking beside a nearby lake. William Wordsworth reflects on the happiness he felt as he watched the flowers; a memory so potent that it still had the ability to bring a response out of him.
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I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
I wandered 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 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
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but 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.
Analysis of Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”
As he himself wandered like a cloud, the poet happened upon a host of golden daffodils. He compares the vast number of the flowers to that of the stars residing inside the galaxy of the Milky Way. Additionally, he personifies the movements of the daffodils by describing their actions in a more humane way, using words like “fluttering” and “dancing”. Such lively and vibrant is the scene brought towards his eyes; the poet cannot help but notice that the flowers have out passed even the sparkling waves of the lake.
The next two lines, however, are filled with a hint of remorse since the poet had neither fully appreciated the sight before him nor realized the rare possibility of being lucky enough to be able to watch it again. By the last stanza, he is now only left with the memories of what had once has been the pleasure of his eyes and what he may never see again. Nevertheless, the nostalgia is enough to fill up his heart with light and happiness if ever the thought strikes him as he is lying on his couch.
The speaker is a loner as can be seen from his tendency of humanizing the objects around him rather than spending time with actual human beings. More importantly, he identifies himself as such as can be perceived from the first line of the poem itself: “I wandered lonely as a cloud”. To him, the crowd of daffodils is as good as a group of people. The poem is a reminiscence of his experience with them; only when it came to be out of his sight did he realize the true beauty of nature.