Discuss how we see Wordsworth's "emotion recalled in tranquility" idea from the Preface to Lyrical Ballads in "I wandered lonely as a cloud."

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There are several key ways in which we could argue that this famous poem, probably Wordsworth's most famous, actually, fulfills the various ideas that he puts forward in his Preface. This poem focuses on the twin topics of memory and nature, but what is particularly interesting is that in form, content and style, the poem seems to be very sparse in its simplicitly.

The sight of a field full of daffodils by a lake is one that clearly produces an emotion in the speaker, and this is a memory that he recalls deliberately whenever he is in need of comfort or feeling restless. In addition, it is interesting to note stylistically that there is a very close relationship between man and nature implied. The simile in the first line compares the speaker to a cloud, and the daffodils are personified as humans, as they are described as "a crowd, a host."

The final stanza of this poem clearly presents the "emotion recalled in tranquility" idea, as Wordsworth remembers this scene whenever he is in need of experiencing the joys of nature once again:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Wordsworth in this poem recreates the emotion that he experienced when he first saw those daffodils and presents it to us in poetic form.


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