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William Wordsworth's poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud", 1804, is a favorite among students and teachers because of its timeless themes of remembrance, the longing of people and things to be together, and the fondness to remember significant or inconsequential events in our lives.
The second stanza, rich in language and context is as follows:
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 force of simile: the poem serves as an introduction to some simple (and other, not-so-simple) modes of poetic figuration. The second stanza begins with a simile (Continuous as the starts that shine) and moves into other kinds of comparisons such as "twinkle" and "line."
Wordsworth is solitary, but he is also part of a group.
In personification, he makes the daffodils dance as if an invitation (tossing their heads.)
The role of syntax in the the line "ten thousand I saw..." rather than "I saw ten thousand..." emphasizes the quantity and de-emphasizes him.
The 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.
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.
Wordsworth also includes—and in some cases repeats—references to the four classical elements: air, earth, fire,
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 memory.
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