Describe the scene Wordsworth was fascinated by in his poem about the daffodils.  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Wordsworth was overwhelmed by the beauty of some daffodils which he came upon as he was walking. They were spread out in glorious colour 'beside the lake beneath the trees.' The setting could not have been more aesthetic. The speaker's pleasure on this unexpected discovery of nature at its best is clearly emphasised in the word 'golden' which signifies something of great value. He has stumbled upon one of nature's great treasures and is treated to an extraordinary spectacle by these beautiful yellow flowers. 

The unusual use of the word 'host' as a collective noun suggests that the speaker felt like a special guest being provided with a truly marvellous service. The use of metaphor and personification to describe the movements of these exceptional flowers very clearly expresses the speaker's delight.

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

The image is one of a happy occasion, specifically to entertain and enthral the viewer.  

The speaker continues in this positive tone in stanza two. He compares the daffodils with a continuous line of stars shining and twinkling in the night sky. The hyperbole suggests that the daffodils stretched out along the edge of the bay for as far as the eye could see, making the view so much more impressive. The speaker claims that he saw 'ten thousand at a glance' suggesting that if he had looked closer, he would have seen even more. 'Ten thousand' is obviously just an estimate, but the speaker wishes to emphasise that there was a huge number of daffodils spread out next to the bay. Once again, the last line indicates, through personification, what a happy scene it was. The flowers were celebrating by 'tossing their heads in sprightly dance,' suggesting the gentle movement of the flowers, probably created by a breeze blowing through them. This animation makes the whole experience so much more enthralling and delightful.

In stanza three, the speaker continues to show the interconnectedness of nature. Just as the daffodils were similar to stars in stanza two, are they now equated with the waves, which also danced. The daffodils, however, were far superior and happily 'out-did the sparkling waves.' The descriptors remain positive and create a mood of conviviality and suggest a synergy between all things natural. A poet could not help but be happy in such joyful company. The last two lines suggest that the speaker was mesmerised by what he saw, to such an extent that he did not realise what great value he had actually gained from witnessing this tremendously exquisite panorama.   

The last stanza focuses on the remarkable impression that that glorious vista has had on him. He has retained the memory thereof for, whenever he is by himself, thinking or having nothing to do whilst lying on his couch, he thinks about what he had seen. Just the thought of the radiantly exquisite flowers makes him happy and his heart 'dances with the daffodils.' His heartbeat assumes a dancing rhythm which signifies the gratification he derives from such a pleasant memory.   



Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial