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Is the tone of "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" sad?

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atallah | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 17, 2010 at 4:37 AM via web

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Is the tone of "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" sad?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 17, 2010 at 4:43 AM (Answer #1)

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In my opinion, the tone of this poem is anything but sad.  I think that the tone of the poem is very much the opposite -- it is a happy poem.

The poet is saying that, as he wandered, he saw all these beautiful flowers.  The flowers made him really happy.  After that, whenever he is somewhat sad, all he has to do is think of the flowers and they make him happy.

You can also say that the tone is happy because of some of the words used.  For example, he uses "sprightly" and "glee."

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted March 17, 2010 at 5:44 AM (Answer #3)

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I think the answer to this question lies in the first line, and more specifically in the language so carefully chosen. In the Daffodils poem by William Wordsworth, the poet uses the word "lonely." Yet William Wordsworth was never very lonely. He grew up in a large family and although they had to be split up due to sad family deaths and circumastances, they stayed in touch - particularly Willoiam and his beloved sister Dorothy, who often accompanied her brother on glorious nature walks along with very close poet friends of his. They all shared a bliss in enjoying the natural landscape. He did know grief and often flowers would be planted to mark a bereavement. Often people would feel lonely without the company of a deceased loved one and the flowers would cheer them.Try researching his daughter:

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted March 17, 2010 at 5:22 AM (Answer #2)

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The poem may begin on a somewhat sad note when the speaker claims that he "wandered lonely as a cloud," but the tone of the poem quickly becomes joyful, when he spies a group of daffodils "fluttering and dancing in the breeze."  He claims that with such a sight "a poet could not but be gay," especially when he is in such "jocund company" as the numerous daffodils "tossing their heads in sprightly dance."

It is only later, though, that he fully appreciates the richness of this glorious sight.  When he is in a "vacant or in pensive mood," the image of these daffodils flash in his "inward eye," and  his heart is filled with pleasure and delight.  It's a lovely poem showing the power of nature to transport us from loneliness, pensiveness, or emptiness to bliss. 

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prashant86 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted February 18, 2011 at 12:57 AM (Answer #4)

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no...absolutely not..

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