Comment on Wordsworth's treatment of Nature in "I wandered lonely as a cloud".
William Wordsworth's lyric "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud," usually anthologized as "Daffodils" recaptures a moment of sheer ecstasy when he and his sister Dorothy saw the shore of a lake near Grasmere lined with daffodils during their walk on April 15, 1802. The final version of the lyric was published in 1815.
A lyric represents the deep feelings and emotions of the poet as a response to an external stimulus. Some of the important features of a 'Romantic' lyric are as follows:
1. The Romantic lyric is a very 'personal' poem. It is characterized by the presence of personal pronouns 'I,' 'me,' 'my,' and 'mine.' This can be seen at the very beginning of the poem itself: "I wandered lonely as a cloud."
2. The Romantic lyric is an expression of the poet's own inner feelings and emotions. Wordsworth has recorded in his lyric his joy and happiness on seeing the daffodils: " a poet could not but be gay, in such jocund company."
3. The Romantic lyric is very 'physical', that is, the poet's physical senses are involved in experiencing the outside world. In Wordsworth's case it is the physical sense of sight: "when all at once I saw a crowd a host of golden daffodils."
4. The word lyric is derived from the Greek word 'lyre' which was a stringed musical instrument. So, literally a lyric 'is a song written to be sung to the accompaniment of the lyre.' Wordsworth's lyric can neither be sung nor can it be set to music. He has substituted a regular metrical pattern for the musical score. The musical architectonic has been replaced with all the lines of the four stanzas being iambic pentameter. Each stanza is made up of six lines with the first line of each stanza rhyming with the third and the second with the fourth and the stanza ending with a couplet. It is this regular pattern which is repeated throughout the poem which creates the music.
5. Wordswoth was a worshipper of Nature and this poem captures the natural beauty of the daffodils on the lake shore: "golden daffodils." The 'golden daffodils' give him more joy and happiness than all the wealth in this world. He expresses his love for the daffodils which represent Nature thus:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
6. A Romantic lyric will be characterised by an excessive use of similes and metaphors as a means of conveying to his readers the poet's own feelings and emotions: "asa cloud." Wordsworth compares the seemingly endless extent to which the daffodils stretched across the lake shore to the galaxy of the Milky Way thus linking the terrestrial with the extra terrestrial
The poet in Wordsworth rises into activity and begins to paint the romantic aspects of his mind .Wordsworth imagination catches the the beauty of the daffodils , and from land , and valley his poetic being takes a flight to the upper region of the sky , where the lonely clouds , trailed by the air , float , and float on .
The poet feels oneness with the objects of nature as , the valley , lake , flowers , the clouds ,and so on
Once again the poet fills his inward -memory with the beautiful objects of nature , and in his wretched state of mind he revives the impression .The recorded sensations become living and he overcomes the crisis of his mind by replacing the daffodils .
Wordsworth's attitude nature is nothing but the projection of the kind mother in nature .Emotion , not feeling , pleasing the senses , not intellect , are the salient features of his treatment .
Subrata Ray .Mousumipara .Uluberi .West Bengal ,.INDA.
This poem demonstrates a characteristic aspect of Wordsworth’s thought. He is not a poet who provides botanical details about flowers and trees. Instead, what Wordsworth seeks from Nature is evidence of divine or universal power. To him, the invisible strength of the universe, together with the consequent shaping of human character, comes mystically through the interactions of human beings and natural phenomena. His thought is that this same mystic power constitutes the subject of poetry and causes the development of the poetic mind.
The key to the poem is the fourth stanza, in which the speaker describes how he is affected by the interaction with the daffodils. He keeps the memory as he goes on with living. At a later time, when he is alone "In vacant or in pensive mood," the scene floods his thoughts, and the pleasure fills his heart. The poem is really about memory: reminisciences are more fulfilling than actual events. It is quite a unique theme and the poem stands out as one of his most memorable poems.
William Wordsworth is an out and out Romantic poet and thus the sensualist as well as the spiritualist fascination with nature is linked with the fountainhead of the imaginative process in his entire body of work. There is the Romantic slogan of a 'return to nature' so evident in his work.
In Daffodils, it is not just the flowers numberless on a valley that lit up nature but also the poetic persona who is seen as an analogue of a cloud--as free and as lonely, wandering in nature only to explore its expansive beauty.
The beauty of nature lies in the subjective impact it has on the poetic mind. The memory of natural beauty creates an unforgettable experience of delight that lifts the depressed mind and is described in the poem as the 'bliss of solitude'. It provides creative inspiration too.
The treatment of nature as has been projected by William Wordsworth in his famous poem The Daffodils , is confused .The poet's imagination is not the kind of secondary imagination .It is simply a fancy . The lake ,the wide -wide field of the daffodils , the floating cloud-lets ,stretching valleys , certainly signify the poet's love for nature, and natural beauty .
But in his handling of the mystic aspect of nature , he is wanting ,-lacking to the core .The treatment is the visual objects of nature .There is nothing beyond what appears .The poem is rather an attempt of applying ideas into life .The beauty of nature if gets recorded in one's heart , it remains there as a store house of joy .And an individual can revive the memory to mitigate the affliction ,hurt mind caused by dreary intercourse of artificial -city life .
Subrata Ray .Uluberia .West Bengal .India .