Homework Help

What are the poetic devices in the poem "i wandered lonely as a cloud"?

user profile pic

thaer | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted October 17, 2010 at 10:37 PM via web

dislike 2 like

What are the poetic devices in the poem "i wandered lonely as a cloud"?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

epollock | Valedictorian

Posted October 19, 2010 at 10:34 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

The force of simile: the poem serves as an introduction to some simple (and other, not-so-simple) modes of poetic figuration (or “troping”). It begins with a simile (I was like a cloud) and moves into other kinds of comparisons. He (Wordsworth) is solitary, but he is also part of a group. In another simile, he makes the daffodils themselves solitary, or removed. he role of personification: Wordsworth chooses to humanize (or personify) his daffodils, and we may wonder why. There is a continual exchange between him and his flowers, as he surveys his position by comparison with theirs.Grammar and word choice: it is important to examine a poet’s diction and to ask why he chooses certain words instead of other, almost equivalent ones. What do we make of “host,” “golden,” “wealth,” “show,” and the lines “A poet could not but be gay/In such a jocund company”? Importance of repetition and variation: One thing we notice is that many of the poem’s opening details are repeated, though with variation, in subsequent stanzas, and we must determine the force of such repetition. Above all, we notice two special twists in stanza 4: a repetition of all of the previous details and a shift in tense from the past to the generalized present.

Wordsworth also includes—and in some cases repeats—references to the four classical elements: air, earth, fire, water. The words “dance” or “dancing” appear in all four stanzas. Overall unity: the poem not only recounts, but also dramatizes, the workings of the human mind (one of Wordsworth’s great themes) and makes an important statement about the independent, unwilled, and uncontrollable faculty of memory. It does so, at its climax, with a telling and delightful use of alliteration and a particular emphasis on a preposition (a part of speech that Wordsworth used to great advantage), in this case “with,” that links him to the flowers.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes