Do you want to read one of the finest works of Romantic poet Willam Wordsworth? Read the poem “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, a beautiful specimen of the romantic poetry. It is a record of the poet’s happy moments that happened in 1802 and the poem was written after two years, in 1804.
It is a manifesto of Wordsworth’s romantic belief- a connection between man and nature, and nature’s healing power as you will find in “The Tintern Abbey”. This little poem is also expressing the high imagination, a romantic characteristic and the poet’s definition of poetry-
‘’the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings... recollected in tranquillity”
However, let’s have a look at the poem and get the idea what our poet wants to say-
2 years back, the speaker of the poem was roaming aimlessly beside a lake. All of a sudden, he saw a huge number of daffodils. They all were like living being to the poet. The carefree and worldly tension-free poet considered them as a jocund company. They were moving in the pleasant breeze like the joyous dancers. The poet hears a sound from them like the sound made by the wings of flying birds. For a moment, the poet could make a connection with the flowers and it seems the daffodils were responding to the poet’s feelings.
The daffodils grew along the belt between the shore and the water. It seemed that they were laughing together in mirth and joy. It was a beautiful sight and the poet in pensive mood responded to the happy sight. They touched the poet’s mind and made a permanent impression of happiness. The poet is also moved by the happy daffodils. The poet looked on the flowers at a glance for a long time. And this happy moment helped him overcoming mental depression later on. When he felt nostalgia and loneliness, that happy sight gave him relief and mental peace. His soft heart started dancing with those happy daffodils. It gives the poet comfort from anxieties and thus brings in him a heavenly pleasure.
Okay, that’s all about the poem’s story.
Now go through the technical formation of the poem-
The poem has 4 stanzas. Each stanza has six verse lines. They rhyme ababcc. The last two lines of each stanza express spontaneity. The poet has carefully created a happy and joyous moment. He selects the best-fit words, colors, figures of speeches, and mood.
The color of the flowers is golden. They are shining and sparkling. These gay, jocund, and gleeful daffodils are flattering, tossing, and dancing in the breeze.
The poet here used tetrameter verse lines to create a smooth and spontaneous jovial atmosphere. He has used the first 14 lines to describe a setting- the lake, flowers, and the ecstatic mood and the last eight lines are for describing the effects of the happy flowers on the poet’s mind in his pensive mood. The poet has presented his personal experience in this poem and brought forth the fact that nature can affect a man’s mood.
It is time for the Figures of Speech.
Wordsworth has used several figures of speech in “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud” to establish his faith that nature has a relation with man and it can affect and heal human mental pain. Let’s create a list-
- The poet has used ‘cloud’ to suggest his pensive and vacant mood.
- A crowd has been used as personification to describe the huge number and lively nature of the daffodils.
- The words ‘dancing’ and ‘dance’ have been used to suggest the jovial nature of the daffodils.
- The word ‘company’ has been used to transfer human characteristics to the flowers.
- The simile “as the stars” is used to suggest the brightness and the huge numbers of the daffodils.
- The title itself is an example of simile- I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.
However, in this way, the poet has used all the figures of speech to convey the message that the daffodils are living creatures, they have feelings, and they can make happy the man. The poet has successfully established that nature has the power to connect human, to heal the sufferings, and they can give peace when people need. Nature never did betray that heart that loves her.