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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

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  • December 2012
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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
1
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........6
Summary, Stanza 1
While wandering like a cloud, the speaker happens upon daffodils fluttering in a breeze on the shore of a lake, beneath trees. Daffodils are plants in the lily family with yellow flowers and a crown shaped like a trumpet. Click here to see images of daffodils. 2

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........12
Summary, Stanza 2
The daffodils stretch all along the shore. Because there are so many of them, they remind the speaker of the Milky Way, the galaxy that scientists say contains about one trillion stars, including the sun. The speaker humanizes the daffodils when he says they are engaging in a dance. 3

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:.....18
Summary, Stanza 3
In their gleeful fluttering and dancing, the daffodils outdo the rippling waves of the lake. But the poet does not at this moment fully appreciate the happy sight before him. In the last line of the stanza, Wordsworth uses anastrophe, writing the show to me had brought instead of the show brought to me. Anastrophe is an inversion of the normal word order. 4

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.............24
Summary, Stanza 4
Not until the poet later muses about what he saw does he fully appreciate the cheerful sight of the...