Before you get confused, let us tell you ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ and ‘Daffodils’ are the same poem by William Wordsworth. Do you love flowers and gardening? Wouldn’t it be lovely if you had a picnic by a lake with rows of flowers on a sunny day? So, our poet, William Wordsworth, had once gone on a casual stroll in such a place and then he wrote this beautiful poem for us to read. Close your eyes and let an elder read I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud poem to you. Imagine yourself as a cloud floating above a lake with bunches of daffodils on its side.
Wordsworth as a nature poet is vividly reflected in ‘Daffodils’ or ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’. Composed in the year 1802, Wordsworth’s ardent love for nature is portrayed through his description of the daffodils in the poem. Some of the most prominent themes discussed in the poem include nature’s beauty and overcoming the feelings of loneliness and sadness through the memory of nature’s beauty. The poem begins with Wordsworth referring to himself as a lonely cloud, probably springing from his grief of his brother’s death. However, his gloom is soon overpowered by the power of nature in the form of dancing daffodils.
The daffodils and sparkling waves make the poet cheerful. They help him come out of his lonely state of mind. Even in a much later time, when the poet finds himself in solitude and melancholy, the memory of the scene brings back joy and delight to his mind. Here the dancing daffodils rekindle hope and help him lose himself in the company of the beautiful flowers.
Rows of daffodils at the edge of a lake
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.
The very title of the poem conveys the loneliness and grief of the poet that resulted from the death of his beloved brother. However, on coming across rows of daffodils beside a lake, the poet finds joy and is delighted. This appears to be nature's greatest gift as it overpowers the darkness in his mind. The clusters of golden daffodils were spread in thousands along the shore and they seemed to be happily dancing in the breeze. Moreover, the sparkling waves of the lake seemed to accompany the daffodils in their happy dance. The poet renders a heavenly nature to the flowers as refers to them as twinkling stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Wordsworth holds the beautiful memory of the scene with himself. Later, when he happens to be in a solemn state of mind, the memory of the daffodils fills his heart with pleasure and his mind seems to dance along with the daffodils. He is able to cope with his sorrow in solitude. Through the poem, Wordsworth encourages us to appreciate the beauty and power of the gift of nature. He exhibits its healing potential in our times of misery.
Born on 7th April 1770, Willian Wordsworth is considered one of the greatest founders and purveyors of English Romanticism. He is commonly referred to as a nature poet as he strongly advocated the spiritual effects of nature and human relation with nature. Along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he ushered in the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication of the ‘Lyrical Ballads’ (1798). He started writing poetry at a young age while at grammar school. During college, he undertook walking tours around Europe and his love for nature and sympathy for the common man found new depths. These themes have resurfaced in his works, quite often. He died on 23rd April 1850 leaving behind a host of wonderful and memorable works. Some of the most popular among them include ‘The Prelude’, ‘Lyrical Ballads’ (along with Coleridge), ‘The Solitary Reaper’, ‘Tintern Abbey’, ‘Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802’, ‘The Lucy Poem’, etc.
1. Discuss any one theme of I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud poem.
One of the most prevalent themes of the poem ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ is the beauty of nature and its power in bringing peace and happiness to the mind of the observer. When the poet was taking a casual walk in a melancholic mood, he came across clusters of daffodils along the shore of a lake. It seemed to the poet that the flowers were dancing in the breeze, accompanied by the waves of the lake. This mesmerising view changed the mood of the poet to a happy one and its memory helped him find pleasure later in his loneliness.
2. Mention any two comparisons used in the poem.
One of the two comparisons that can be observed in the poem is when the poet compares himself to a lonely cloud that wanders around aimlessly. The second comparison can be noted when the poet strikes a similarity between the clusters of daffodils and twinkling stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. The endless rows of golden daffodils appear to him as bright stars in the sky.