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“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth Essay

For my second test I choose the poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth because I like the imagery in it of the dancing daffodils. After reading the poem many times I had realized that most of this imagery is produced by the many metaphors and similes. In the first line, Wordsworth says “I wandered lonely as a cloud.” This is a simile comparing the wondering of a man to a cloud drifting through the sky. I think that the wandering cloud is lonely because there is nothing else that high in the sky besides it. It can pass by unnoticed, touching nothing. Also, the image of a cloud brings to mind a carefree sort of wandering. The cloud is not bound by any barriers and can go wherever the impulse of the wind might take it.

The next line of poem says “I saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils.” Here Wordsworth is using a metaphor to compare the daffodils to a crowd of people and a host of angels. The word crowd brings to mind an image of the daffodils grouped together and being amongst one another. The word host makes them seem like their golden petals are shimmering like golden halos on angels. It is interesting to note that daffodils do have a circular rim of petals in the middle that could look like a halo. Later in the poem Wordsworth uses another simile, saying the dancing of daffodils in the wind is “continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way.” This line creates the image of the wind blowing the tops of random daffodils up and down in a haphazard matter, so they appear to twinkle momentarily as their faces catch the sun. This goes along with the next metaphor of the daffodils “tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”

It is also interesting how the first image of the wandering cloud contrasts sharply with the second image of the dancing daffodils. The cloud drifts in solitude slowly and placidly across the sky, whereas the daffodils hurry to and from in a lively way. This contrast seems to show that looking at the daffodils made the author feel better than he did before and that they in fact helped cheered him up. This idea is supported by the last line of poem, where he says his heart “with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils” suggesting that’s how he feels whenever he thinks of the daffodils.

The speaker says that, wandering like a cloud floating above hills and valleys, he encountered a field of daffodils beside a lake. The dancing, fluttering flowers stretched endlessly along the shore, and though the waves of the lake danced beside the flowers, the daffodils outdid the water in glee. The speaker says that a poet could not help but be happy in such a joyful company of flowers. He says that he stared and stared, but did not realize what wealth the scene would bring him. For now, whenever he feels “vacant” the memory flashes upon “that inward eye. That is the bliss of loneliness,” and his heart fills with pleasure, “and dances with the daffodils.”

This simple poem revisits the familiar subjects of nature and memory, this time with a particularly musical expressiveness. The plot is extremely simple, that shows the poet’s wandering and his discovery of a field of daffodils by a lake, the memory of which pleases him and comforts him when he is lonely, bored, or restless. The speaker is metaphorically compared to a natural object, a cloud and the daffodils are continually personified as human beings, dancing and “tossing their heads” in “a crowd.”

The four six-line stanzas of this poem follow a quatrain couplet rhyme scheme ABABCC. Each line is metered in iambic tetrameter. This poem had great use of imagery which correlated and was shown by using similes and metaphors. The imagery Wordsworth uses is very influential, and made me feel as though I to was there to see the breathtaking sight of the daffodils.

In conclusion I really liked this poem. The poems we had read before were not this rhythmic and pleasant to the ear. This poem sounded to me like a song. Overall this poem is very peaceful and gives off a feeling of tranquility. It is about a man confronting external nature and how with his imagination it can fulfill him. His creativity seems to be encouraged by the nature around him. I believe that the main theme of this poem was nature and the tone used was serious. The occasion was him remembering the sight of nature the daffodils and the “lonely cloud.” He is in a way showing us how he likes to reflect on nature and use it as an inspiration.

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