As far as there is to mention, there is little of weight or consequence to speak of in the direct analysis of William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, or “Daffodils” as it is popularly referred to today. From introduction to conclusion, William Wordsworth cleanly describes the act of watching a patch of country daffodils swaying in the breeze and the lasting effect this pleasant image has on his quiet moments of reverie thereafter. But, perhaps in this simple four stanza poem, William Wordsworth has, in writing “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, succeeded in creating one of his greatest works of Romantic poetry by so perfectly actualizing the emotional virtue of Romantic poetry itself. William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850) was a Romantic poet and a major influence in bringing about the 18th centuries’ Romantic Age of Literature. An original poet for many different artistic qualities, his personality and emotional intelligence had made him the perfect forefather for a literary movement that would resound philosophically and poetically to this day. Romanticism, defined by it predisposition towards nature and its deep emotional connection with the feelings of the poet, is what makes William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” such a perfect example of Romantic poetry. Another literary revolution realized by William Wordsworth, for the sake of anyone who wanted to read his works, was his acceptance of all forms of readership and choosing to write in very plain English. His writing was a movement away from those of his peers, who wrote specifically for educated aristocrats and the intellectual elites who were, at this time, the major consumers of poetry. Instead he wrote for the average Englishman. The very fact that William Wordsworth’s “I Wander Lonely as a Cloud” is more popularly known as “Daffodils” is evidence to the poem’s significantly broader circulation and distribution in areas where “Daffodils” readership was less concerned with the formality of the poem and instead appreciated it, quite literally, for the “Daffodils”. I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD
Written at Town-end, Grasmere. The Daffodils grew and still grow on the margin of Ullswater and probably may be seen to this day as beautiful in the month of March, nodding their golden heads beside the dancing and foaming waves. – William Wordsworth, 1804
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, 5
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, 15 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.
- William Wordsworth, 1804 William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered as Lonely as a Cloud” opens with the narrator describing his action of walking in a state of worldly detachment; his wandering “As lonely as a cloud / That floats on high o'er vales and hills,” (1-2). What he is thinking of we never really uncover, but his description leaves us to analyze his words as a sort of “head in the clouds” daydream-like state where his thoughts are far away, unconcerned with the immediate circumstances in which he finds himself. Wordsworth, ever the Romanticist, perhaps uses...