I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud
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I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud
W. Wordsworth in his poem I wondered Lonely as a Cloud is possibly making an attempt to show the reader the essence of life in nature, and what kind of a role a memory from childhood can play on us as adults. I think that in his poem William Wordsworth is using daffodils as a metaphor for living, perhaps even eternal life, or life after death,
“ Continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the milky way, they stretched a never ending line”, as our life stretching for as long as we can see it, the daffodils might be a mere representation of the millions of lives that take place around us, but which we seldom have time to appreciate.
He says, “ I gazed and gazed but little thought what wealth the show to me had brought”. In my opinion the author is implying that we don’t always appreciate the beautiful or meaningful things as we see them, appreciation of something special often comes only with time and years of seeing contrasts between something beautiful and something ugly. Wordsworth himself realizes what effect the memory of the daffodils had on him years later when he is most probably not a child anymore, because I doubt many kids take the time out to lay on a couch when they are in a solemn mood to reminisce about the daffodils, “For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon the inward eye which is the bliss of solitude”.
Some readers might ask, “ Why would solitude be considered bliss?” Did the author come from a hard life with daffodils being the only memory igniting peace and a feeling of harmony, which stabilize his mood and bring it back to semi-happy? I don’t know ….it might be that the author is referring to solitude as not a feeling of being alone, but as a conclusion of self-attainment. Maybe the author thinks of solitude as a new beginning, like being in a womb is like being in solitude… and then you are born into a life of millions of daffodils and trees and hills. As the daffodils that can out-do waves, solitude can out-do companionship, and obviously at the point of the author’s life when he is remembering the flowers he is ready for solitude, and it seems like just like his memory he is ready to embrace solitude with joy.
William Wordswoth says, “ A poet could not but be gay, in such a jocund company”. In my understanding that what he saw had to be seen by a sensitive eye of a poet, because a person that is not in touch with his/her emotions probably could have walked right passed this amazing sight without giving it a second thought. Was Wordsworth a poet back then, or was this what sparked his desire for poetry? Why was he wandering like a lonely cloud until he saw the hills filled with daffodils? Maybe he was lonely because he could not find his passion in life, or maybe his life was just dull and gray, and then his saw these fields of these almost weightless flowers that made up this cloud of endless life and bright golden energy. Maybe to him this sight was like waking from a coma, or taking a breath of fresh air after coming up from the bottom of the ocean.
I think that the author comes back to this memory as to something joyous, and definitely as to a birth of something pure and gentle, yet possibly to something that has changed his life…to a breaking point between ignorance and seeing, from numbness to feeling, from being a lonely cloud……to finding bliss in solitude. Every time he comes back to that moment the author is experiencing rebirth of something that touched his heart then….and is now touching his heart again……….perhaps something that makes his life worth living even as a lonely cloud.
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British poetry, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, William Wordsworth, Daffodil
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