Daffodils by William Wordsworth

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.

Stanza Explanation

Stanza 1

The poet is wandering alone from one place to another like a cloud, which flies over valleys and hills with the flow of wind. Suddenly the poet sees a large number of golden daffodils. These daffodils are growing close to the lake and under the trees. Alight breeze is blowing making these daffodils dance and flutter with it.

Stanza 2

To the poet these daffodils looks like the stars that shine and twinkle in the milky-way. The daffodils are spreading over a very large area along the margin of a bay. They are in an excessively huge quantity. All these daffodils are dancing happily with the wind.

Stanza 3

The waves in the lake beside these daffodils are also dancing with the wind. But in comparison to the daffodils the waves are not as beautiful and attractive. Watching such a beautiful scene the poet feels very happy. The poet continues to look at the daffodils. The poet prizes the scene greatly for himself.

Stanza 4

The poet says that whenever he lies down on his bed either thinking about anything or not thinking, the images of daffodils flash upon his imagination. It usually happens only when the poet is all alone. These images of daffodils have a magical effect on the poet.These images fill the heart of the poet with pleasure. The poet also feels like dancing with the daffodils

Summary

The poet is alone and having nature in mind wandering from one place to another like a cloud which flies over vales and hills with the wind. All of a sudden he sees a large number of golden daffodils which are growing on the bank of the lake under the trees. A light breeze is blowing, making the daffodils flutter and dance with it.

For the poet, the view of these beautiful golden daffodils is similar to the stars shining and twinkling in the milky-way. As far as the poet can see, he finds only the daffodils growing along the margin of a bay and they seem to the poet to be in very large numbers. All of these flowers are tossing their heads in a sprightly dance.

In the nearby lake, the waves are dancing with the wind and sparkling because of the sun-rays falling on them. But the beauty of the golden daffodils is so attractive and charming that it easily surpasses the beauty of the dancing and sparkling waves. The poet feels happy and blessed in such an enchanting and cheerful company. The poet is completely absorbed in the beauty of the daffodils and for the moment he has lost touch with his surroundings. He considers himself fortunate and very happy that he has been the witness to such a wonderful sight of the daffodils.

Later, whenever the poet is thinking of not being busy, lying on his couch the daffodils flash upon his imagination. The memory of the daffodils not only fills his heart with pleasure but also has a refreshing effect on him and he feels like dancing along with the daffodils.

Analysis

Background

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.

Critical Appreciation

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 near-by 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 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 fills 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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