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"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

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Jillian Host

on 13 April 2011

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Transcript of "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

Paraphrase subject Themes "I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD"
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: 10
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, 20
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Williams Wordsworth 1804 Bio THEME MEANING POV PERSONA OBJECTIVES DENOTATION RHYMING LYRIC RHYME RHYME SCHEME FORM CLOSED Paraphrase
"I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud" is a poem describing Wordworth's encounter with a wide swath of daffodils beside a lake. They are so beautiful that he is able to reflect upon them later and lift himself from a depressing mood with their mere memory. Bio
William Wordsworth (1770-1850) British poet,
Wordsworth mother died when he was very young and his father, a lawyer, was left to raise the children. His father also died when Wordsworth was 7 and he and his siblings were left to the guardianship of their two uncles who were less the pleased. He studied at Cambridge and upon graduation, he and his friend toured the continent. In 1791 Wordsworth found himself in France where he stayed for approximately 12 months. Here he had an illegitimate daughter. He left France after the French Revolution which he was very inspired by. In 1793 he came into a good deal of money from his inheritance. During this year he also wrote his first poems. By 1795 Wordsworth and his sister were living in Somersetshire. In 1797 they were visited by Wordsworth's old friend Coleridge, with whom they became close friends and soon Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, moved to a residence closer to Coleridge. Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson in 1802 and had 4 children. This period in his life is when he wrote some of his most famous poems. For example “Prelude, or Growth of my own Mind”, and “Waggoner”. In 1813 he moved to Royal Mount where he would spend the rest of his life. Subject
This poem is about nature and more specifically a field of golden daffodils. Wordsworth uses daffodils to represent nature. Tone
The tone of this poem is awe at the beauty and magnitude of the daffodils."...continuous as the stars that shine...and twinkle on the milky way,...they stretched in a never ending line...", "Ten thousand saw I at a glance...", "...but they...out-did the sparkling waves in glee...", "What wealth the show to me had brought...". However, it is also slightly depressing. As Wordsworth thinks back on these happy times he's reminded of his depressing present. "I wandered lonely as a cloud...", "In vacant or in pensive mood,...". Theme
Nature and how influential, beautiful and stable it is are major themes throughout the poem. To Wordsworth nature compels his own personal interpretation of religion and he relies on the consistency of nature compared to humanities variability. Meaning
The meaning of this poem is fairly straightforward. It is simply a homage to nature and it's beauty. Wordsworth has little undertone or hidden meaning, just his profound joy of nature. Persona
The speaker of the poem is the author.
POV
This poem is written in first person. It's all told in the perspective of Wordsworth. Although he is reflecting back upon his memories it is still written in first person. Abstract
Abstract refers to poetry dealing with feelings and emotions. In comparison, a narrative poem tells a story or tale. "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" deals more with the abstract side of poetry, rather than detailing a series of events.
Connotation
Wordsworth implies in this poem that the wealth of this world can not be found through monetary means or or physical possessions but in the beauty of the natural world around us. This is free to all but few experience this as we collectively as humans are too busy with our monotonous and meaningless lives to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. Denotation
In "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud" Wordsworth clearly denotes the tranquil beauty of a world untouched by the destructive forces of man and war. This hidden beauty of a vast field filled with golden daffodils swaying in the breeze must have been a truly awesome sight to behold. Simply the memory of this experience is enough to lift him out of his "pensive mood" upon recalling the vivid details of the glorious scene.
Lyric
Def: (of poetry) having the form and musical quality of a song, and especially the character of a songlike outpouring of the poet's own thoughts and feelings, as distinguished from epic and dramatic poetry.
There is a distinctive lyrical quality to "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud". You can almost hear someone singing in the background, dancing in a field of daffodils. There is a beat, a rhythm to the poem that causes the words to flow together as if it really is a song. Rhyme
There are couplets at the end of each stanza. Wordsworth uses rhymes to unite the poem. The meter is iambic tetrameter : "to which the daffodils might dance". Rhyme Scheme
A B A B C C Each stanza ends in a couplet. Form/Closed
Form is the structure or pattern of organization of a poem. There are two types; open and closed. “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud” is a closed poem. This means that there is an established pattern. Wordsworth used patterns to create the meaning and sound he desired. Sound
The sound of this poem is mostly euphonic. It's made of soft consonants that flow together and emphasizes the daffodils gentle beauty. Diction
Each stanza contains a different form of "dance". The diction in this poem is the words chosen, and the flow of the sentences allow the reader to feel and understand the respect the poet has for what he is writing. The diction makes you believe how important nature was to him and how it was his safe place when he was unsure about the world around him. He uses a lot of verbs like dancing, glance, fills, saw, and shine to give nature a life like feeling. He respects nature so much his words almost make it come alive.
Word Order
In select lines Wordsworth uses apostrophe which adds an old-fashione, mellow tone. Some examples are:
"Ten thousand I saw at a glance."
"What wealth the show to me had brought."
"For oft, when on my couch I lie." Euphony
Euphemisms are the pleasant sounding words. They have an agreeable sound and are in harmony with the surrounding words. For example " lonely as a cloud", "Beside the lake, beneath the trees," and "Which is the bliss of solitude;". These phrases sound so melodious to our ears because of their abundance of soft consonants. The alliteration in this poem is mostly euphonic. Which means that the repetition of the consonants Wordsworth uses helps to emphasize the euphony and lyrical qualities. Making it even more dreamlike. Cacophony
Harsh, rough, and severe sounding words. A clash of consonants. This is cacophony. It's an overabundance in coarse consonants. There is no cacophony in "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud". There are plenty of consonants that would normally be declared cacophonous but all the words that Wordsworth choose to use, even though they may have harsh consonants, are off-set by vowels or euphonic consonants. This eliminates the cacophonous sounds and embellishes the soft and smooth qualities of the poem. Alliteration
Def: the commencement of two or more stressed syllables of a word group either with the same consonant sound or sound group. Basically alliteration is the repetition of consonants. Now this would normally cause a cacophonic effect but because of Wordsworth usage of vowels the harsh sound is replaced with a softer, euphonic sound. Some examples of alliteration would be: 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 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. Assonance
Line 6: Short "i"
Line 16: "Uh"
Line 22: Short "i"

Overall, throughout the poem, the short "i" is used a lot. Consonance
Line 1: "L"
Line 3: "W"
Line 4: "D"
Line 5: "B"
Line 7: "Th"
Line 9: "N"
Line 12: "S"
Line 13: "S" and "Th"
Line 18: "W"
Imagery
Wordsworth uses very detailed imagery to describe the beauty of the scene that he is beholding. He sets the scene of a large field of golden daffodils nestled among the trees along the shore of a serene lake. Then he proceeds to describe the multitude of flowers and how they sway and seemingly dance with the wind. The memory of this sight alone is powerful enough to rise his spirits from a dismal, pensive mood to a “bliss of solitude.” Levels of Usage
Golden - Color or mineral.
Stars - literal stars or fame.
Lie - Lay down or dishonesty Symbol
Throughout "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud" Wordsworth uses several clear examples of symbolism especially with the beautiful daffodils. Life is not simply about economic situations or physical possessions but about the experiences and memories that can be gained throughout a lifetime, as money and possessions will come and go but a memory is for a lifetime. Also the daffodils represent a state of joy and happiness that can not be tainted or destroyed by the evils of this world. On the other hand there is also symbolism behind the lonely cloud. This cloud represents the majority of the human population that is so self involved with their own insignificant lives that they will just do the same old thing and get basically a monotonous existence without meaning or any worthwhile experiences to shape their character. They are so far removed from their surroundings, “lonely as a cloud that floats high o'er vales and hills”, that many will never take the time to slow down to enjoy the simple beauty of life, and therefore will never know the glorious sense of peace that they are missing. Metaphor
There are several similes in the poem, such as "lonely as a cloud", and "continuous as the stars".
However, the entire poem is a metaphor describing Wordsworth's isolation from society and how he finds solace in nature. Personification
Consistently throughout the poem Wordsworth tries to make the daffodils and other elements of nature seem to be a living, breathing being capable of intelligent thought and motor abilities. Several times he mentions how the daffodils and waves dance with the wind and it passes by.
Here are several examples:
“I saw a crowd...”
“dancing in the breeze”
“Tossing their heads in sprightly dance”
“waves beside them danced”
“waves in glee”
“jocund company”
“dances with the daffodils” Overstatement
Nearly all of the overstatements about these beautiful daffodils occurs within the 2nd stanza.
“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.”

Wordsworth over exaggerates both the quantity and beauty of the daffodils by relating them to the brilliance and inability to number each and every star beneath the sky. Metonymy
Line 21: "Inward eye" for mind Allusion
Narcissus fell in love with his reflection and then dies (daffodil). Narcissus reflected upon his own beauty, Wordworth reflected upon nature's beauty.
Host- biblical- heavenly, the experience gave him a sense of religous calmness.
Speculation** - Wordsworth was speculated to have "inappropriate feelings" for his sister, and we believe that the poem is about how sad he was after her death. Mythology by Edith Hamilton said, "such charming tales of lovely young people who, dying in the springtime of life, were fittingly changed into spring flowers, have probably a dark background."
There is a possible association with the Gemini sign, as its color is yellow, and the daffodils are yellow. Yellow itself often signifies optimism, positive energy, and creativity, all of which the daffodils in this poem inspire.
Daffodil- Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, the daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring. Though their botanic name is narcissus, daffodils are sometimes called jonquils, and in England, because of their long association with Lent, they’re known as the “Lent Lily.” Lore connecting the daffodil to not only a sign of winter’s end but a lucky emblem of future prosperity is found throughout the world. In Wales, it’s said if you spot the first daffodil of the season, your next 12 months will be filled with wealth, and Chinese legend has it that if a daffodil bulb is forced to bloom during the New Year, it will bring good luck to your home. The March birth flower and the 10th wedding anniversary flower, a gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness. But always remember to present daffodils in a bunch – the same legends that associate this cheerful flower with good fortune warn us that when given as a single bloom, a daffodil can foretell misfortune. Conclusion
William Wordsworth wrote this poem to celebrate
his deep appreciation for nature, and emphasize it's beauty,
especially in comparison to humanity. He put a lot of
emotioninto this poem, and concentrated on the humanity of
the daffodils,especially when compared to actual humans and
their feelings.
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