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Wordsworth’s Poetry

William Wordsworth

“I wandered lonely as a cloud”

“London, 1802”

“The Solitary Reaper”

Summary

The speaker says that, wandering like a cloud floating above hills and valleys, he encountered a field of daffodils beside a lake. The dancing, fluttering flowers stretched endlessly along the shore, and though the waves of the lake danced beside the flowers, the daffodils outdid the water in glee. The speaker says that a poet could not help but be happy in such a joyful company of flowers. He says that he stared and stared, but did not realize what wealth the scene would bring him. For now, whenever he feels “vacant” or “pensive,” the memory flashes upon “that inward eye / That is the bliss of solitude,” and his heart fills with pleasure, “and dances with the daffodils.”

Form

The four six-line stanzas of this poem follow a quatrain-couplet rhyme scheme: ABABCC. Each line is metered in iambic tetrameter.

Commentary

This simple poem, one of the loveliest and most famous in the Wordsworth canon, revisits the familiar subjects of nature and memory, this time with a particularly (simple) spare, musical eloquence. The plot is extremely simple, depicting the poet’s wandering and his discovery of a field of daffodils by a lake, the memory of which pleases him and comforts him when he is lonely, bored, or restless. The characterization of the sudden occurrence of a memory—the daffodils “flash upon the inward eye / Which is the bliss of solitude”—is psychologically acute, but the poem’s main brilliance lies in the reverse personification of its early stanzas. The speaker is metaphorically compared to a natural object, a cloud—“I wandered lonely as a cloud / That floats on high...”, and the daffodils are continually personified as human beings, dancing and “tossing their heads” in “a crowd, a host.” This technique implies an inherent unity between man and nature, making it one of Wordsworth’s most basic and effective methods for instilling in the reader the feeling the poet so often describes himself as experiencing.

More Help

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the world is too much with us

by anil1573, September 02, 2013

The following lines are omitted here -
Nor heed nor see what things they be,
But from these create he can,
Forms more real than living man,
Nurslings of immortality!
This is the poem of nineteen lines.
the world is Too Much with Us , means the people of this world are engrossed in the futile pleasures of this material world.
late and soon _ all the time, throughout their entire life,
get-earn
they earn and spend money over futile pleasures of this mortal world.
We lay waste our pow... Read more

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35 out of 49 people found this helpful

WilliamWilliam Wordsworth as a nature lover poet with reference to critical appreciation of his poem 'Tintern Abbey'-

by Shehanaz, December 16, 2013

…ON BASIS OF REFERENCE TO -‘Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting The Banks of the Wye During A Tour July 13, 1798’.

The scene is in the narrow gorge of the river, Wye, somewhere between Tintern and Monmouth. Wordsworth had visited it in the summer 1793. In July, 1798, he again visited it with his sister, after five years of absence. Many reminiscences of the earlier visit were recalled. “The peaceful charm of the scene prompted him to retrospect of the long, debt which he owed to Nature;” and he reviewed t... Read more

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13 out of 17 people found this helpful

Some notes and questions

by goodnight_nobody, February 27, 2014

Tintern Abbey Notes

He’s returning in 1798 after 5 years—in that time he’s left England, been moved by the French Revolution, fallen in love, married and been forced to leave and return. He no longer feels the same way about home. The sycamore tree—not native to England, also tough and adaptible.

The scene: Wye river valley, border between England and Wales (between home and a wilder, foreign place). It’s spring—the seasons like clothing, “clad” in green that erases human boundaries (seasons are human inventions... Read more

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6 out of 6 people found this helpful

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