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  1. 1. Daffodils I wandered lonely as a cloud I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud (Photo credit: katerha) That floats on high o’er vales and hills, 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.
  2. 2. 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. 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 gazed–and gazed–but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: 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;
  3. 3. And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils. William Wordsworth English: William Wordsworth by Benjamin Robert Haydon oil on canvas, 1842 49 in. x 39 in. (1245 mm x 991 mm) Bequeathed by John Fisher Wordsworth, 1920 NPG 1857 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  4. 4. All critics believe when they come to study this poem that Wordsworth is describing the flowers. Conventional criticism believe that while he was walking, he came to a bunch of daffodils. They believe that the poem is nothing more than a description. However, I believe that Wordsworth did not meet the daffodils when he wrote this poem, a good poet doesn’t need to see the daffodils to write about them. In his “Preface to Lyrical Ballad” he says that a poet is not in need for external stimulus so that he could write a poem. This means that whenever we meet a poem, we shouldn’t understand that the poem is the product of a certain definite occasion. Wordsworth may have seen but also he could write the poem even if he didn’t see the daffodils. He can write with or without a stimulus. Seeing the daffodils or not is an external factor and shouldn’t be considered in evaluating the poem. This has nothing with the evaluation of the poem. The first impression about the title is that the first lines would be
  5. 5. about the daffodils. In this case it will appear that Wordsworth is describing the daffodils. This is not the function of poetry because Wordsworth say that poetry is the “Spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings recollected at tranquility”. So, the lines are not about the daffodils, and even if they are, the poet is not reproducing nature. The purpose of poetry is never to imitate nature, because if it is an imitation, then it wouldn’t be poetry according to Wordsworth. This is what is conveyed in his preface. “Poetry has no purpose, if there is a purpose, it should be a worthy one”. There are two contradictory cases, either poetry has a purpose or not. If poetry has a purpose, then Wordsworth would be describing, but as proved in the lines, he is not describing the flowers. The worthy purpose is not describing the daffodils, so there is another story behind the title. The word “wander” denotes moving without destination. The person who wanders doesn’t know where he is
  6. 6. going. Wordsworth was not going to look at the daffodils. “I” is the I of the poet, there is no distance between the poet and the “I”. The person in the poem is the poet himself, he is not reproducing nature. The person of the poem is lost, so the poet is placing the poem at another level of discussion when he says that he is lost. He is not satisfied, he is like a cloud because a cloud doesn’t choose its direction. He is choosing himself and another image which is the cloud that is driven by the wind, so may the poet be driven by something else? I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high over vales and hills , which is the image of the cloud. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29 is noted as a favourite with Coleridge. It explores the notion that love
  7. 7. can cure all ills and make us feel good about ourselves. It demonstrates the strong feelings that love can inspire in us; both the good and bad feelings. You can read the full text to Sonnet 29 in our collection of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Sonnet 29: The Facts Sequence: Sonnet 29 is part of the Fair Youth Sonnets Key Themes: Self pity, self hatred, love overcoming feelings of self deprecation. Style: Sonnet 29 is written in iambic pentameter and follows the traditional sonnet form Sonnet 29: A Translation The poet writes that when his reputation is in trouble and he is failing financially; he sits alone and feels sorry for himself. When no one, including God will listen to his prayers he curses his fate and feels hopeless. The poet envies
  8. 8. what others have achieved and wishes he could be like them or have what they have: Desiring this man’s heart and that man’s scope However, when in the depths of his despair, if he thinks of his love, his spirits are lifted: Haply I think on thee, and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising When he thinks of his love his mood is elevated to the heavens, he feels rich and wouldn’t change places, even with kings: For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings That I scorn to change my state with kings. Sonnet 29: Analysis The poet feels awful and wretched and then thinks about his love and feels better.
  9. 9. The sonnet is considered by many to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest. However, the poem has also been scorned for its lack of gloss and its transparency. Don Paterson author ofReading Shakespeare’s Sonnets refers to the sonnet as a "duffer" or "fluff". He derides Shakespeare’s use of weak metaphors: “Like to the lark at break of day arising/ From sullen earth...” pointing out that the earth is only sullen to Shakespeare not to the lark and therefore the metaphor is a poor one. Paterson also points out that the poem does not explain why the poet is so miserable. It is up to the reader to decide whether this is important or not? We can all identify with feelings of self pity and someone or something bringing us out of this state. As a poem, it holds its own. The poet demonstrates his passion, mainly for his own self loathing. Could this be the poet internalising his conflicting feelings towards the
  10. 10. fair youth and projecting or crediting any feelings of self worth and self confidence onto him ... attributing the fair youth with the ability to affect his image of himself?