“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth Poem and Analysis

Daffodils“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth is a poem commonly known as “The Daffodils”. Let’s take a moment and go over a summary of the poem and then discuss it through a line-by-line analysis.

Summary

This poem is about the speaker who wanders throughout the land and comes upon a field of daffodils everywhere he goes. He feels great pleasure from it. Later, when the time has long gone, he thinks about the pleasure he felt while seeing it for the first time.

Analysis

Style: Four stanzas that are written in iambic tetra-meter with each stanza having the same rhyme scheme.
Theme: Being Alone
Tone: Joy
Rhyme scheme: ABABCC

Line-by-line Analysis and Figurative Language

    • I wandered lonely as a cloud / That floats on high o’er vales and hills, – The speaker walked around because he was lonely. Vales means valleys.
    • 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. – The speaker suddenly saw a field of daffodils moving in the wind.
    • Continuous as the stars that shine / And twinkle on the milky way, – Neverending
    • They stretched in never-ending line / Along the margin of a bay: – The went along the side of the bay.
    • Ten thousand saw I at a glance, / Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. – The speaker saw 10,000 with only a quick look. The daffodils swayed in the wind.
    • The waves beside them danced; but they / Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: – The waves were flowing yet the flowers moved more.
    • A poet could not but be gay, / In such a jocund company: – A poet can only be happy in such a happy place.
    • I gazed—and gazed—but little thought / What wealth the show to me had brought: – He looked but didn’t think. The scenery brought him great “wealth” – – joyfulness and memories.
    • 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; – Often times when the speaker is lying on his sofa alone, whether thinking deeply or without thought, the scenery of the daffodils comes to mind. And that is the happiness of being alone.
    • And then my heart with pleasure fills, / And dances with the daffodils. – after he thinks about the daffodils, he gets happy.

Poem: “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” 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.

Life Poetry: “Teenage Life” by Gary R. Hess

This iambic poem is a reminiscence of the author’s own life but one that almost every young adult has experienced. We have all experienced heartbreaks–some more than others. However, these heartbreaks are especially plentiful in our teenage and 20-something years. We have all dreamed to experience great things in life, but oh so few of us have succeeded. We plan for the big things. We all believe we will live in a giant house, have a loving family, travel the world, and see all that this great world has to offer. Few do. Few can. But all feel the pain of failure.(Continue reading…)

Political Poetry: “Cruelty of Life” by Gary R. Hess

“Cruelty of Life” is a spoken poem about politics akin to slam poetry. It is an inner monologue about all of the cruelties in this world and what the world has done to us and to our fellow man. We look around and see nothing but hate. We see the struggles, we see the pain. We see that there is so much that goes wrong in our lives and in other’s lives that there can’t possibly be a future. But there is. And that does give us some hope.(Continue reading…)

Political Poetry: “On Healthcare” by Gary R. Hess

This political poem was written due to the forthcoming inept healthcare reform bill going through Congress. The American people need better and deserve better. I’m a huge proponent of single payer (a big thumbs up to California!). The richest country on earth deserves single payer and the citizens deserve to live a long, prosperous life without being tied down to medical debt.(Continue reading…)

“To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet Analysis and Poem

SeparatedAnne Bradstreet was one of the most remarkable English poets in early North American colonial history. She was the first Puritan author in American literature, and her writings continue to give insight into women’s role in Puritan society. Her writing “To My Dear and Loving Husband” is a great example of female Puritan belief. Let’s take a look at a synopsis of the poem along with an analysis of the figurative language she used.

Synopsis

“To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet is a love poem written about her and her husband’s relationship. The poem begins by speaking about how if two people ever became one person, then it was surely them. If a man was every loved by his wife, it would be him. If a wife was ever happy with her husband, then surely it was her and you can compare her to any other woman who feels the same. She goes on to state that she prizes him more than any riches of the world and that her love will never. She says that she can never repay the love of her husband and that she prays he will get his reward in heaven. She ends the poem by stating that even when they are in heaven that they will continue to love each other forever.(Continue reading…)

“The Tyger” by William Blake Analysis and Poem

Tiger

“The Tyger” by William Blake is often considered as one of the greatest poems ever written. In this article, we will take a look at Blake’s tiger through a brief synopsis of the writing, an analysis of the poem, a look at any figurative language used, and end with a reading of the writing.

Synopsis

“The Tyger” looks at what could create such a creature like a tiger. The poem takes a look at the different parts of the tiger’s body and the thing (God?) who created the subject.

(Continue reading…)

Class Warfare Poetry: “Divide Us, Unite Us” by Gary R. Hess

“Divide Us, Unite Us” is a contemporary slam poem written by Gary R. Hess in hopes to inform the world about the ever-growing class war that’s taking place. Americans and people around the world are being divided by those in power by putting us into groups: skin color and sexual preference being two of the most common divisions. They are doing this as they take billions out of our economies as they put it back into their pocket. No, it does not “trickle down”. It stays there with the elite class as we fight over who has weirder hair and what Miley Cyrus did this weekend. We are being shoved pointless drivel and fighting pointlessly among ourselves instead of focusing on uniting against what our true enemy is: inequality of wealth, healthcare, and social justice.(Continue reading…)