Short Analysis of I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (Daffodils)

On April 15, 1802, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy went to their friends, the Clarksons, at Eusemere. When they were coming back to Grasmere, they saw a large number of golden daffodils growing on the bank of a lake Ullswater in the Lake District. They both were astonished by the mesmeric beauty of these daffodils which were fluttering and dancing with the light breeze. Inspired by this delightful spectacle Wordsworth composed this poem in1804 and published it in 1807.

Wordsworth is mainly a nature poet and for him, there is nothing which is superior to and better than Nature. He breathes through with nature and finds solace and spiritual peace in it. In his opinion, nature has the solution for all the problems of mankind. It is through nature that he seeks salvation.

The theme of this poem i.e. “Daffodils” is based on the healing and refreshing power of nature. How easy it is for nature to lift the spirit and the morale of the man is also depicted in this poem. The poem is rich in imagery and the description of the daffodils is delightful. The poet starts the poem with the simile and compares himself with the cloud wandering lonely, free from duty and responsibility, here and there like the cloud. But as soon as he sees the beautiful golden daffodils growing along the margin of a bay beneath the trees, dancing and fluttering with the light breeze, he finds himself captivated by their magical beauty.

The poet is so impressed by their beauty that the nearby lake whose waves are also dancing and sparkling, thus looking enchanting, also captivate his attention. The poet begins to admire the mesmeric beauty of the daffodils and is unable to think of anything else. In fact, at that time he could not think of the great importance of the scene for him but later while lying on his couch he realizes the very great importance the scene had on him.

The last stanza of the poem is the most important part of the poem and is the essence of the poem. In this stanza, the poet speaks about the healing and refreshing effect of nature and also praises solitude. According to him, when one is in the state of solitude, one becomes retrospective and meditates on all the good and pleasurable moments which one had or which had happened to him in his life. These memories have a cheerful and lively effect on him. He greatly feels happy not only with himself but also with all that happened to him. The poet says that whenever he lies on his couch having nothing to do or in a pensive mood, enjoying the solitude, the images of the daffodils flash upon his imagination. When this happens, the poet feels calm, refreshed, motivated and good about himself. This is how nature influences him.

The memories of the daffodils fill his heart with pleasure and joy and he feels like dancing along with the daffodils. This shows the healing and refreshing effect of nature on the poet.

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