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"I wandered lonely as a cloud"

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Susannah Meyer

on 6 February 2013

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Transcript of "I wandered lonely as a cloud"

William Wordsworth "I wandered lonely as a cloud" - 1804 Structure:
- The poem consists of four six-lined rhymed stanzas in iambic tetrameter.
- Each stana has the rhyme scheme ABABCC. I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, Simile:
The speaker describes himself or herself wandering through nature, and likens himself or herself to a lonely cloud floating atop valleys and hills, creating a landscape filled with nothing but nature. 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. Personification:
The host of daffodils is described as 'fluttering' and 'dancing.' Here, Wordsworth elevates the presence of daffodils and nature as a whole. He describes daffodils as gold, whereas we usually think of them as just yellow. He also describes a host of daffodils, which is usually a word used to describe angels. Therefore, this gives the daffodils a more angelic feeling. Wordsworth lived in a part of England called the Lake District, filled with valleys, hills, and lakes. It seems possible that he is wandering through the Lake Valley, describing what he sees. The Lake District of England Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in a n e v e r - e n d i n g line
Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance Simile:
The abundance of daffodils is likened to the stars in that they are continuous, each daffodil gleaming like a star. With this, the speaker comes back to the supernatural feeling of an aspect of nature. 360-Degree Milky Way Panorama Personification:
The speaker refers to the daffodils as dancing a 'sprightly dance.' Sprites, similar to little elves or fairies, are also supernatural, which again brings these daffodils to a state above the natural world. 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 Personification:
The waves are described here as dancing. We know from Dorothy Wordsworth's journal that on this particular day, the waves on the lake were larger than usual and did indeed seem to be dancing. The waves that 'sparkle' make yet another reference to the stars. These two lines in particular show one characteristic of Romanticism: awe of nature. The speaker makes reference to the fact this sight is something worth appreciating, which the speaker may not have realized in the moment. However, the word 'wealth,' bringing money into the picture, seems to contrast with the natural and supernatural feelings appearing throughout the rest of the poem. The 'never-ending' line of daffodils is an example of a hyperbole. 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. To be in both a 'vacant' and a 'pensive' mood is somewhat of a contradiction, for the former refers to being empty of thoughts while the latter refers to being filled with serious thoughts. The 'inward eye' refers to somewhat of a spiritual vision that the speakers seems to have when in these 'vacant' yet 'pensive' moods. This poem was based on an experience Wordsworth had with his sister, Dorothy, on April 15, 1802. The title "I wandered lonely as a cloud" is somewhat misleading. It leads you to think that you will be reading a poem about loneliness. However, once you read the poem you discover that the overall tone of it is actually associated with sublime happiness. One minor controversy over this poem involves the title. Because of its misleading nature, some editors believe the poem's title should more accurately convey what it is about, which is why it is referred to in many poem collections as "The Daffodils." Biography of William Wordsworth
(1770 - 1850)
One of the most influential English Romantic poets
Childhood in the Lake District instilled in him a love of nature
Never stopped writing poetry
Named poet laureate in 1843
Moved to Dorset with his sister and constant companion, Dorothy
Believes in the religion of nature The Speaker The speaker is a lonely poet who learns to find companions not in people but in nature. The speaker demonstrates how important nature was to the Romantics.
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