I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud Poem By: William Wordsworth William Wordsworth was born to be a poet. With a last name like “Wordsworth”, it was destined to happen. He was born on 7th of April 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland in northwest England in the Lake District. Being one of the more scenic places in England, Wordsworth grew up surrounded by nature, providing him with the perfect inspiration and setting to write. Utterly in love with nature, and being a levelheaded and overall sincere man, Wordsworth found love and pleasure in the simplest things in life.
In the poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, also called Daffodils, William Wordsworth described how he witnessed a scene so beautiful that it was imprinted on his mind and he often reflected on its memory in times of need. In this poem William used literary devices that tied his work together, giving the words rhythm, meaning and life. He used rhyming to add rhythm and to create an even flow of words, imagery to allow the reader to see and experience what he was writing about, and personification to make the daffodils come alive in a human way in one’s mind.
These literary devices emphasized the poem’s underlying deeper meaning: that in times of hardship, one must look at the brighter side of life, for even the simplest memory can bring joy to one’s life in a time of need. The use of rhyming in William’s poem accented and gave life to the words by creating a swaying rhythm, showing how simple words rhymed together can add a sense of movement. This allowed the reader to almost feel like they are there in person, experiencing the sway of flowers in the wind.
William’s words swung and twisted in the rhyming pattern of ABABCC. Bringing pleasure and peace to the simplest of words, William backed up his love of simplicity with his subtle rhyming of the last words of alternate lines and ending each stanza with a little flourish by rhyming the last two lines. “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. ”
William’s use of rhyming in this stanza tied the words together by connecting and intertwining the sentences like a repeating musical rhythm. I felt, as I was reading, a hypnotic swaying, produced by the rhyming pattern of the poem, as if I was there, hearing the rhythm and witnessing the thousands of daffodils in their sprightly dance. William’s rhyming pattern helped maintain that peace that he so longs for in the last stanza. The rhythm was slow and melodic, repeating the same pattern in a predictable way, giving a sense of harmony that brings joy and peace to the troubled individual.
Along with William’s use of rhyming to create a flow with the words of the poem, his use of imagery painted a picture in the readers mind, vivid and bright. William’s use of imagery in this poem started with a blank canvas to which he painted a lonely, cloudy, sad picture that quickly transformed into a vibrant wild scene, which danced and flowed in one’s mind. William’s down and depressing initial tone changed when he found sanctuary and joy in the simple scene of a field of daffodils. This reinforced his theme that happiness can be found in the simplest of pleasures.
His use of imagery in the line, “Continuous as the stars that shine/ And twinkle on the milky way,” made you imagine the sheer volume and mass of the daffodils by comparing them to the countless stars in the sky and how brilliantly they shine. Another example of imagery is shown in the line: “The waves beside them danced; but they / Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:” William used imagery to show how nothing could beat the daffodils in energy and glee, even the rolling waves of the lake.
Painting a clear vibrant picture in the reader’s mind with words and description made them feel like they were there, “Beside the lake, beneath the trees, / Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. ” I personally had a very clear and beautiful image of fields of daffodils swaying and dancing in the breeze, with the water sparkling and the flowers seeming to come alive. I have personally seen fields of flowers that seem to dance in the wind and this reminded me of the imagery in this poem.
My heart filled with pleasure just as his did at the sight of such simple flowers. In the last stanza William spoke of his 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; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils. ” This imagery gives the reader something to relate to, when they are in a down and depressed mood, and it encourages them to picture a happy memory that fills their heart with pleasure.
The pictures and imagery William created in this poem really reinforces the theme that a simple memory or event can bring joy to a distressed person, making them look into the better side of life. Painting a clear image in the reader’s mind using imagery and description is effective, but personifying the images truly brings the daffodils to life. The use of personification in William’s poem really made the daffodils move and come alive as one is reading.
Adding to the imagery, the personification helped animate the picture in the reader’s mind, and made it clearer to see the sheer beauty of the flowers. In the lines, “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 gained the impression of a lively festival or large celebration, where everyone was gathered together dancing and frolicking, radiating energy as they twirled and performed, happy and gleeful.
The words were filled with the contagious energy that reached the reader. The waves conjured the image of graceful and dignified ball room dancers, but are overshadowed by the daffodils which could be compared to the frantic energy of teenagers at a high school dance. Giving the flowers and waves human characteristics made them more real and alive. When William saw the daffodils he was thrilled and pleased to see such happiness, and this brightened his mood, and gave him fond memories to go back on during a hard or difficult time.
William demonstrated how the simplest things in life, like a flower could have such a drastic effect on a dampened down, cheerless mood. In, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud William Wordsworth used literary devices such as rhyming, imagery and personification to create a flowing, lively and beautiful picture in the reader’s mind. Rhyming in the poem gave the reader a musical rhythm to sway to, imagery allowed the reader to picture the scene in their mind, and personification created a human connection.
The uses of these literary devices really stabilized and reinforced William’s message: no matter how bad life will get, one must always keep a little faith in the world and look on the brighter side of life taking pleasure in the simple memories and experiences that bring a smile, and lighten one’s mood. Bibliography I Wandered As Lonley As A Cloud (Daffodils). 2013. 5 March 2013 . The Complete Peotical Works William Wordsworth. 5 March 2013 . William Wordsworth. 2013. 5 March 2013 .
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