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10/02/2018

Critical Appreciation of "I Wandered lonely as a Cloud"

The poem  “I  Wandered  Lonely as a Cloud”,   written in 1804, is a beautiful specimen of romantic poetry. It  is a good example of Wordsworth’s belief in the communion between nature and man and in nature’s healing power. It also reflects his concept of the romantic  imagination and  his belief in  “the spontaneous overflow  of powerful feelings  .   .   .  recollected in tranwuillity”   which he professed as the theory of poetry.


 The poem  “I  Wandered  Lonely as a Cloud”,   written in 1804, is a beautiful specimen of romantic poetry. It  is a good example of Wordsworth’s belief in the communion between nature and man and in nature’s healing power. It also reflects his concept of the romantic  imagination and  his belief in  “the spontaneous overflow  of powerful feelings  .   .   .  recollected in tranwuillity”   which he professed as the theory of poetry.
The  I-speaker or the first person speaker of the poem saw a huge number of daffodils while he was roaming about without any definite purpose.  The daffodils appeared to him as a crowd of living beings. Like a group of joyous dancers, they had been dancing in pleasant breeze. They were making sounds like the sounds made by the wings of the flying birds. They seemed to laugh together in mirth and joy. The speaker who had been walking with empty mind in a passive mood could not but respond to the happy sight.  He was moved by the happiness of the daffodils.  They touched his heart and made a permanent impression of happiness there. The overwhelmed speaker kept on looking at these flowers for a long time. Later on, whenever he becomes lonely and nostalgic that happy sight revives in his mind. His heart starts dancing like those  dancing daffodils. It provides him with solace and comfort. It revives his  “genial spirit.”
The poem consists of four regular stanzas of six lines. Each of the stanzas rhymes as   ababcc.  The couplet at the end of each stanza enhances spontaneity. The tetrameter verse lines also ensure the smooth and spontaneous movement. The spontaneity achieved by the careful use of rhyme scheme and verse form is well matched with the jovial atmosphere. The atmosphere has been made more happy and joyous by selecting suitable objects, colours and mood. The daffodils are of  “golden” colour and they shine and sparkle. They flutter, dance and toss in the pleasant wind. They are “gay”, “jocund” and gleeful. The first fourteen lines have been used to describe the daffodils and create their ecstatic mood. The last eight lines have been used to describe the influence of that happy sight on the mind of the speaker.
The poet also uses several figures of speech to create the suitable atmosphere and mood required for establishing a communion between the speaker and the daffodils symbolizing nature. The   I-speaker has been compared to a piece of hovering cloud suggesting passive mood and empty mind.  Similarly,   “a  crowd”  is a personification in which the qualities of a crowd have been transferred to the flowers  indicating their huge number and their lively nature. The words   “dancing”  and  ”dance”  are also used to imply the jovial and living nature of the  daffodils. The word  “company”  has been used very significantly,  In the same way to transfer life of human beings to the daffodils. Another simile,  “as the stars”,  has been used to imply both brightness and huge number of the daffodils. Thus,  The figures of speech have been very carefully used to suggest that the  daffodils are large  in number, they are living creatures, they are happy and capable of giving company to man. As a result, a communion between the speaker and the daffodils is possible. Though the poem springs from the personal experience of the poet, it presents an objective truth about  nature’s  influence on man.
The words, the figures,  the metres, and the rhyme scheme together constitute a joyous tone, befitting to the happy communion. The poem is indeed a good example of romantic poetry.

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