YANGON UNIVERSITY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
Literature (ENG 3104)
“I wandered lonely as a cloud” is a lyric poem by William Wordsworth. It’s also commonly known as “Daffodils”. He was born in 7 April 1770, at Cockermouth Kingdom of Great Britain. Wordsworth’s mother died when he was 8- this experience shapes much of his later work. Wordsworth attended Hawkshead Grammar School where his love of poetry is firmly established and believed, he made his first attempt at verse. After his final semester, he set out on a walking tour of Europe, an experience that influenced both his poetry and his political sensibilities. During his tour in France, he published his earliest poetry in 1793 in the collections “An Evening Walk” and “Descriptive Sketches”. He was died in 23 April 1850, at the age of 80. His major occupation is a poet, especially an English romantic poet. Some of his notable works are Lyrical Ballads, Poems in two volumes, The Excursion, The Prelude. The earlier Lyrical Ballads had been first published in 1798 and had started the Romantic Movement in England. It had brought Wordsworth and the other Lake poets into the poetic limelight. The Prelude was a semi-biography poem which he revised and expanded a number of times. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” was one of the poems in Poems in two Volumes. Wordsworth wrote it in 1804 and published in 1807. A revised version was published in 1815. The inspiration for the poem came from a walk he took with his sister Dorothy around Glecoyne Bay, in the Lake District. He felt the atmosphere and surrounding scenery there and wrote the “Cloud”. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is commonly seen as a classic of English romantic poetry, although “Poems in two Volumes” was poorly reviewed by Wordsworth contemporaries.
The speaker was walking around through the hills and valleys, but he felt all lonely and mopey. Suddenly, as he passed a lake, he noticed a big group of yellow, daffodils waving in the breeze. This was not just some scattered patch of daffodils. We are talking thousands and thousands around this particular bay. And all these flowers were dancing. Yes, the daffodils danced, and so did the waves of the lake. But the daffodils danced better. The speaker’s loneliness was replaced by joy, but he did not even realise what a gift he has received until later. Now, whenever he is feeling kind of blah, he just thinks of the daffodils, and his heart is happily dancing. Theme
There are four distinct themes in the poem; happiness, contentment, connection between man and natural world and loneliness. (1) Happiness – The beauty of the nature uplifts the human spirit. The post can always draw on his imagination to reproduce the joy of the event and to remember the spiritual wisdom that is provided. (2) Contentment – It is that just makes you feel good about life. It says that even when you are by yourself and lonely and missing your friends, you can use your power of imagination to find new friends in the world around you. (3) Connection between man and natural world – Wordsworth’s nature is full of life and vitality. He appreciates its wildness and unpredictability, but he humanises the landscape and fits it to his own mind. (4) Loneliness – People sometimes fail to appreciate nature’s wonders as they go about their daily routines. Then they tend to reject city life and wish to go back to the mother nature.
Rhyme and Structure
“William Wordsworth’s “I wandered lonely as a cloud” is a lyric poem focusing on the poet’s response to the beauty of nature. The poem contains four stanzas and each stanza includes six lines. In each stanza, the first line rhymes with the third and the second with the fourth. For example, “cloud-crowd”, “hills-daffodils”, “trees-breeze”, “shine-line”, “way-bay”, “glance-dance”, “thought-brought”, “lie-eye”. Then, the last stanza ends with a rhyming couplet like the sentences “And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.” In analysing the style, also found that he uses a complete sentence. The title of the poem itself is in a complete sentence. Aside from using complete sentences, the poet also makes a colourful description of the daffodils as he describes “golden daffodils”. Personification
In this poem, the poet also personifies the images of the daffodils and the waves. For example, in lines four, five and six, he states, “A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze”
He is giving the daffodils human like characteristics, as in “dancing in the breeze”. Another example is in line 13, he states, “The waves beside them danced”. Symbol Analysis
Daffodils are used as a symbol of natural beauty in this poem. They symbolise living a life full with experience and sensation to make a life worth living.
William opens the poem with its title “I wandered lonely as a cloud”. There we find a simile “as a cloud”; like a cloud the poet feels like he is floating with the wind without any specific direction or destination. In line 3, he uses some metaphors “a crowd” and “a host” in line 4 to indicate the identical resemblance of the daffodil flowers and a crowd of dancing people who are the hosts to invite him to dance with them together. In the second stanza, first line, another simile “as the stars” is come across which conveys the similarity of shining property and the behaviour that stars usually guide people when we are lost and that quality of the daffodils. Throughout the rest of the second stanza and first part of the third stanza, the poet uses the exaggerated personification of the daffodils. Tone
Through the poem there is an exaggerated sense of tone in anywhere. First, the poet describes himself “as a cloud”, what might be the reason for this? Is it his imaginative skills in words or does he consider himself superior to anyone? While he had been explaining about the blissful scenery he saw, he suddenly changes into a third speaker in line number 15. It is assumed as just a poetic trick that any of the men who have poetic mind would feel just as the way he sees the daffodils. In addition to these, there are some other poetic tricks analysed. In line number 9, “They stretched in never-ending line”, there is no way that the stretch of daffodils is never-ending. He also claims that the waves beside the daffodils are in glee and in the last stanza, his heart dances with the daffodils. Summary
So and so William utilises a wide use of figurative devices to compliment the beauty of the daffodil flowers, which can make the viewer feel delighted even when they are in their melancholy mood. He also applies spatial order of the scenes he sees. Furthermore, there is gently a gradual increase in tempo, first a glance on the daffodils, then a long gaze of daffodils and the remaining of those sights in his mind.