Homework Help

What is the theme of this poetry?What is the theme of this poem?

user profile pic

lovelydeer | Student, College Freshman | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted June 7, 2009 at 8:20 AM via web

dislike 1 like

What is the theme of this poetry?

What is the theme of this poem?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted June 13, 2009 at 4:33 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

lovelydeer,

The theme of Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonley as a Cloud" is that an experience of seeing flowers was weaker than the actual remembering of the flowers. People might have a sense of experience as the opposite, that in remembering is not as powerful as the original experience. But in this case, Wordsworth proves how powerful memory can be.

This poem is in iambic tetrameter. It is a gentle melodic rhythm that parallels flowers swaying back and forth in the "breeze." The poem begins with "solitary life" in the first line, and ends with "company or a "group life" in the end. He moves from a single entity to a member of the natural world.

The flowers "flash," and "glisten." "Golden" and "wealth" are something economic, making a deposit in the bank of one's mind reaping the reward after the initial experience is over.  They are money in the mind's bank.

The daffodils are personified as performing an aesthetic action for him, a "show" from the third stanza. The flowers are rooted firmly in the ground.  They are performing for him in the beginning and then with him in stanza four.

There are allusions to the four elements in the poem: fire, earth, air, and water. The four stanzas are complete; it is a natural completeness in remembering an action performed by nature.

The poem works on repetition and variation.  Much is repeated and reiterated. Dance or a form of it is in every stanza. Most of the power of repetition lies in that he was in the same condition in the beginning as he was in the fourth stanza: "vacant" and "pensive" as in the first stanza when he was a will-less passive cloud. The flash is indirect, not directly to him, to the "inward eye" forcing him to relive the experience.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes