Thursday, December 6, 2012

"I wandered lonely as a cloud" by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
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 story being told in Wordsworth's poem "I wandered lonely as a cloud" belongs to the narrator and his experience walking beside a lake. He talks about how the water is beautiful, yet the bright yellow, dancing daffodils outshine all of the scenery combined, as if the daffodils are the sun and everything surrounding it is just the black abyss of space.

Wordsworth wrote in a time where nature was the paramount topic for writing, along with love and time. He compares himself to the cloud in the first line, yet later discusses the human qualities of the daffodils, "tossing their heads in a sprightly dance" and "dancing in the breeze".  Here, the unity between man and nature is expressed, so much so that the human and nature can be interchanged between one another. The poet remarks that his "heart with pleasure fills/and dances with the daffodils," and the two dance together as one being.

The picturesque nature scene being described is what the poet reflects on in his "vacant or pensive mood". He says that just one memory of the day will let his heart fly and truly "dance(s) with the daffodils." He did not know how lucky he was and how overjoyed it made him at the time, but he understands, now, every time he remembers the scene.

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