The poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is written by William Wordsworth. This poem is also known as “The Daffodils”. This lyric poem is considered to be one of the most famous works by Wordsworth. This work is generally known to be a classic poem of English Romanticism. Stylistic devices and symbols used in this poem play a crucial role in explaining how inspiring nature might be for a human being.
According to Charles Mahoney, the main feature of Romantic poetry might be the attempt of writers to make readers experience through the feelings (572). Poets of the period of Romanticism considered that the purest feelings might appear only when readers are producing them in their imagination using their senses. That is why the writer is trying to apply the whole arsenal of various stylistics devices and symbols to help the reader feel everything from the inside of the story. The most important is to provoke the same strong emotions which the author felt himself while writing the poem. The whole poem is riddled with imagery. The poem starts with the simile; the author compares himself to the cloud. Even this small comparison shows the readers that the poem will be filled with solitude and loneliness because the stress falls on the word ‘lonely’, which can be associated with being sad, existing without support. Here readers can spot the case of personification because the cloud cannot be lonely, this epithet might be applied only to define the state of a human being. The author is shown as the lonely person that is wandering around feeling noble solitude. He dedicates himself only to nature, he is not communicating with the other people. All of his attention and focus is paid to nature only, and nature provides him with the company. The second line describes the way the author was wandering, and it is obvious that he is mesmerized because he can observe the perfect view of the natural beauty of ‘vales and hills’, and he can flow as high as possible. This comparison to the cloud appeals to one of the biggest dreams of humankind, the wish to fly. Readers can sense this power because the cloud might be peaceful and beautiful; however, it might produce rain and be a part of a heavy storm. The author feels comfortable being alone, and he does not even hope this solitude to interfere. Readers can see that from the third line when the author uses the phrase ‘all at once’. The author can see the crowd of daffodils.
Readers can spot personification because the author applies the words ‘crowd’ and ‘to dance’. Usually, these words are applied only to human beings, because only living creatures can dance, and these are usually people who can gather into the crowds. We can observe how the mood of the author changes when he sees the flowers. The first two lines were riddled with the gloom and solitude, but when he meets the flowers, he becomes cheerful and light-hearted. It is observed that the daffodils are welcoming to the author, as he uses the word ‘host’ to define their relation to him. The choice of the images is so great that the readers can almost feel the breeze that makes the flowers dance or they can sense the music to which the daffodils are dancing. The general view created in the poem is wonderful because the readers can imagine the natural beauty that the author saw, they can sense the lake and the way it peacefully splashes, and they can hear and feel the breeze that makes the leaves tremble on the trees. The next stanza describes the daffodils, and again the author starts it with the simile. Readers can spot it in the phrase ‘continuous as the stars that shine’. It is obvious that readers can very easily imagine a huge amount of flowers as they are compared to the stars that shine in the sky. Moreover, the stars are usually associated with guidance as people look at them when they are lost and need some help. That is why the fact that the author used this image here helps to sense how lonely and lost he felt. However, Wordsworth does not stop on this image; he intensifies it using the hyperbole ‘never-ending line’. He is so captured by that view that he subconsciously does not want them to end. The next exaggeration which can be spotted in the poem is the figure ‘ten thousand’. The mood of excitement is really strong here because only a person that is highly mesmerized can use such a huge figure to describe the field of flowers. The last line of that stanza is the example of personification because Wordsworth empowers flowers with human features again. He develops the image of the flowers’ dances that actually helps readers sense the picture even more accurately. The next stanza starts with personification. The author empowers waves with humanly features, they are also dancing in the imagination of readers due to the view that the author creates. The other image that only persuades that the waves are living creatures for the author is the fact that they have a ‘glee’. However, readers understand that the waves are only playing the role of the background, because no one can outdo the daffodils. In the third line of the third stanza, readers can spot the poet for the first time. Wordsworth is talking about himself in the third person as if describing himself. By this, he actually helps readers to see the poet the way he looked while sensing all of that. Readers understand how much the author changed being pleased to see such a company because the only state he can be in is ‘to be gay’. The author is excited to be in such a company because even the choice of words ‘gay’, ‘jocund’, ‘sparkling’, ‘glee’ helps to reflect his emotions. It is obvious how the mood changes to really pleasurable, the same as changes the state of a person that is alone and suddenly meets someone who is so dear. The last line of the stanza provides us with an understanding of how important this show was to the author. It is riddled with thankfulness of the author to nature, because the fact that he observed this usual nature view is a ‘wealth’ for him. Readers understand that the greatest wealth is something that cannot be material, it does not go about money, it is the happiness that is immeasurable and what can really make the person rich. The last stanza of this poem is telling the readers about the emotions which the author has felt after that meeting with the flowers. It becomes obvious even from the first line that the author is really quite a solitude, and readers can sense it due to the phrase ‘for oft’ when he tells that he lays on the couch or is just free and in ‘pensive mood’. This kind of mood provokes to think about something positive, to recall some pleasant event that has happened. And here the author shows that in such ‘bliss of solitude’, he recalls about those flowers that affected him so much. The author has very strong emotions to these flowers because he can see them even with his ‘inward eye’, and this phrase is the case of a metaphor. It is obvious that by this phrase Wordsworth wanted to show the feelings in his soul. This spiritual vision is much stronger than the regular vision of a person because it helps to sense the actual nature of things that are happening around the main hero. This is the first case where the readers understand how drastically that beauty impressed the author. Wordsworth’s heart is filled with pleasure the moment when he forgets about being alone, and from all of the senses he had, he recalls the moment of being in a company of dancing daffodils and waves. In the last line, the readers can spot the last stylistic device of this poem which is personification. The author is full of happiness at the moment when he recalls about the flowers’ dances, and this actually provokes his heart to dance. The heart is a small part of the author’s body, but it is the most important organ that is responsible for the fact of being alive. The usage of the dancing heart image is very strong because it means that these flowers make the author live, make him content, they give him a sense in life. The topic of dances wraps around the whole poem, readers can spot it in every single stanza; however, the characters performing the dance are all of the time changing. Generally speaking, the dance is something that is performed again and again according to some rhythm. It might be the symbol of life because the dance remains the same, and these are the performers that will always change with the flow of time. And the culmination of the poem is the usage of the same image to the part of the body, which is widely associated with the soul. The feeling that the author had while writing this poem is so strong that readers can easily sense them and recreate in their own hearts.
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The poem persuades that the beauty of nature can be inspiring; it can change the mood, it can help become content and understand simple matters of life. The way the author creates the images is almost similar to the way the artist is painting a picture; the words are colorful and full of life. Thanks to that, readers can see everything the way Wordsworth saw many years ago. It is preserved unchanged and this picture will be everlasting. The author must use various stylistic devices to create a charming effect on the readers. He gives the flowers humanly features and the power to dance, which helps readers to see something magical in the things that people are already used to see as something ordinary and plain. They are acting as the one, dancing all together to the music of the breeze; they are created by the nature to perform before the poet’s eyes because only the artist might sense the deep meaning in that entire picture. The personification and hyperbole make the feelings of the author more understandable to the reader. The poem consists of only four stanzas, but the usage of stylistic devices makes it sound richer, and it takes much fewer words to explain the mood and to feel the inspiration by nature. This poem truly belongs to the Romanticism era, because it is embracing the powerful beauty of nature; however, the author is very careful while choosing the words to describe his feelings and emotions which overwhelmed him at that moment. The poem explains to us that a person might be very deeply affected by the simple delight of nature. Wordsworth considered that nature itself is the creator; the poet can only learn from her how to create beauty. Nature can give the imagination of all, it embraces everything, and that is why the poet might gain the feeling of totality while staying close to nature (Mahoney 587). Nature is something close to the infinity and so might be the poetry if the feelings and images in it are real and inspiring for many generations.