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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

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This work is an epic to the significance of nature and also the close link between nature and mankind. Through the speaker’s characterization, diction, personification and meter, the writer creates a feeling or sense of a solitary bliss with the nature. The poem’s plot is very simple on the surface, it depicts the writer’s meaningless wandering and his discovery of a daffodils’ field by a lake, the memory that gratifies and consoles him when he is bored or lonesome. The poem’s first line compares or relates the speaker to a cloud metaphorically: “I wondered lonely like a cloud”.

However, the sense that the cloud is referred or described as ‘lonely’ means that the features of nature are lonely beings; thus it is claimed that the speaker is lonely. The reader is given the impression, through the comparison to a cloud, that the spirit of the speaker is unrestrained and cheerful just like a cloud is a light-weight, free-moving image. The writer uses figurative language in describing himself in the poem. He starts the poem alone, and is not only happy to be alone, but enjoys the tranquility of loneliness. He describes himself as a ‘cloud’ which is considered as calm or peaceful.

The speaker’s gender is not clearly identified in the poem, but it is written in the first person perspective, which puts the writer in the speaker’s place, meaning that the speaker is a male. The images of loneliness together with the fact that the speaker has made the poem personal by using personal pronoun ‘I’ alludes to the fact or sense that the experiences of man with the nature is a personal matter, that differs with regards to the person.

The poem’s four six-line verses follow a kind of rhythm scheme called quatrain-couplet; ABABCC, whereby every line is metered in the iambic tetrameter. However, this kind of rhyme scheme, with the last two lines of every verse rhyming offers the poem a joyful rhyme, mirroring or reflecting the speaker’s feelings. The structured rhythm and rhyme scheme also provides the poem with a sing-song sound, just like a nursery rhyme that would be recited by a mother to her children for the purpose of consoling and comforting them, showing that the experience of the speaker with the nature is one of bliss and comfort. The writer has used reverse personification in the poem in creating the sense of inherent unity between the nature and man.

The speaker is compared to a non-living thing; that is a cloud, whereas the daffodils are personified ad human beings; ‘when all at once I saw a crowd’ (line 3). The term ‘crowd’ is normally used in describing a group of people, and not flowers, which are always described by terms such as ‘bundle.’ Nevertheless, these descriptions are contrary to the descriptions of loneliness that the speaker is described. However, this reverse personification shows that whereas an individual might feel isolated and lonely, one can be able to find harmony and camaraderie with the nature’s beauty.  

Diction is also another essential component to the poem’s meaning. The diction that has been used in the opening simile greatly helps in putting the reader in the author or poet’s state of mind. The speaker clearly values the nature’s rewards above the material wealth, as shown in (line 18), ‘what wealth the show to me had brought.’ Here, the term wealth is not a measure of possessions, but instead a positive emotion simply resulting from the daffodils’ memories. Through specific choice of words, the reader is given a sense of accomplishment, alluding to the notion that nature is a fundamental feature of the life of a person. In lines (19-22), the speaker says that in pensive or vacant mood, they flash upon that inward eye, and then his heart filled with pleasure. The mood of an individual is not usually described as vacant. The use of this term which has the meaning of ‘empty,’ stresses the fulfillment that is found in the nature by the speaker.

The writer has used exaggeration in the second verse to demonstrate the nature’s accessibility to everybody, and not only himself. In lines (7-9), where he states that continuous as the stars shining, and twinkle on the milky way, they extended in an infinite line. The daffodils’ fields here is compared to the notions of infinity in expressing the everywhere presence of the healing and beauty effects of the nature if one embraces them. Moreover, the writer adopted two different tenses in describing the emotion of the speaker in the poem; that is the past tense in the first three verses and present tense in the last verse.  

Wordsworth was an author of the romantic period. During this time, writers felt lonely in the world and several of them were looking for the ideal realm. Nonetheless, they felt like that is where there was pure knowledge. This poem has kind of a somber mood since the writer is lonely. He feels very special, that is the way romantics felt, and does not have anyone to understand him. He is actually longing for the ideal realm. The terms ‘cloud’ further shows that he feels to be superior since the clouds float above everything. The poem may have started on a kind of sad note when the speaker asserts that he wandered lonely as a cloud, but its tone quickly changes to joyfulness, when he scouts a group of daffodils. The poem embodies natural images, musical cadence, simple language as well as emotion and the wealth of sight which revisits as precious memory.

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