A Close Reading of 'Daffodils' by William Wordsworth

Topics: Poetry, Poetic form, Stanza Pages: 4 (1391 words) Published: March 18, 2008
A Close-Reading of ‘DAFFODILS' By William Wordsworth

The poem ‘Daffodils' by William Wordsworth reflects the inherent connection between man and nature, which is so commonly found in his poetry; for example, in ‘Tintern Abbey', and ‘The Two-Part Prelude'. In my essay I am going to explore and analyse the variety of figurative devices Wordsworth uses to communicate this idea, and the poetic motives behind his writing. ‘ Daffodils' is essentially a lyric poem which is expressive of the feelings of joy the poet encounters when seeing the multitude of daffodils. In the preface to The Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth writes that "poetry is the image of man and nature". Wordsworth uses a variety of figurative devices to communicate this idea: for example, in the first line of the poem he uses reverse personification in representing himself metaphorically "as a cloud". Wordsworth then proceeds to personify the daffodils as humans, "dancing" (line 6) and "tossing their heads" (line 12). He also personifies the daffodils as a "jocund company"(line 16), suggesting the flowers have feelings just as humans do. Again, there is the suggestion of unity between man and nature when Wordsworth describes himself as feeling ‘gay' in the company of the daffodils. The fact Wordsworth shows himself and nature as interchangeable, signifies the close relationship there is between man and nature in the Wordsworthian world. The poetic diction Wordsworth uses depicts nature in a positive, almost heavenly light ; for example, "a host" of daffodils, suggests perhaps a congregation of angels. The choice of the word ‘host' is, I think, deliberate –it has far more connotations than the word ‘crowd'. Also its position at the start of the line helps to emphasise not only the sheer multitude of daffodils but also the immediacy of impact on the beholder. Such description creates a feeling of nature as a Utopia. The image of a lone cloud, wandering and...
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