Wordsworth “Daffodils” also known as “I Wandered lonely as a Cloud” is one of the most celebrated and oft anthologized of Wordsworth’s works. The inspiration was an experience on April 15, 1802 when Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy Wordsworth came across “a long belt” of Daffodils.” The poem was first published in Poems in Two Volumes, in 1807.The poem penned in iambic tetrameter has the rhyme scheme ABABCC . Each stanza consists of a quatrain and a couplet. The Westminster Review described the poem as “very exquisite.”
The death of his brother John had a profound impact on Wordsworth and he felt dejected. Nevertheless, the warmth and love Dorothy Wordsworth exuded imparted a positive influence on Wordsworth. The influence of the Daffodils at once emblematizes the all-pervading essence and presence of Dorothy Wordsworth. At the outset, he describes himself as lonely as a cloud. The image of the cloud evokes the paradigm of transparency in its purest form. The initiative of floating over vales and hills reflects the idea of being in a state of high despite being in seclusion. Note that being in isolation, he notes the ‘crowd’ in the form ‘daffodils’ and, is enchanted to find the same more than he would at discovering human multitude.
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 daffodils seem to possess an infectious inherent euphoria that the poet imbibes. They appeared as continuous as the stars that shine on the galaxy. This perspective is from his positioning as a cloud in the sky. The likening of flowers on the earth to stars in the sky also signifies the bridging of the gap of the lithosphere and atmosphere. The vibrant flowers etched endlessly along the shore, seemed to indulge in communal harmony as they tossed about their heads in a sprightly dance. The waves endeavored to ape them, but the flowers outdid the waves in their glee. The poet was overwhelmed and enthused. Though he gazed at it vacantly at first, little did he comprehend the inward wealth of lofty thoughts,the sight would impart him with. It was not only an encounter for him, but an experience that he would cherish in the days to come.
Whenever the poet is in a blank or vacant mood, and or he is in the pensive, the daffodils continue to enthrall his ‘inward eye”. By the phrase “inward eye”, the poet implies insight. The word ‘couch’ echoes that in times of affinity with his domestic surroundings, this aspect of nature continues to beguile him. In such an instance, the situation of solitude is also enriched with bliss. He derives joy from his own profound thoughts; and his heart synchronizes with the harmony of the daffodils. An interesting aspect is-at the beginning of the poem and at the end of it, the poet is lonely. The difference is -in the beginning in spite of being at a height, he is on a low; and in the end in spite of being low, he is on a high.