What would be a starting point of comparison between Adrian's Henri's "The New Fast Automatic Daffodils" to Wordsworth's "I Wandered as Lonely as a Cloud"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Given how Henri is akin to a symbolist and therefore tends to embrace some elements of Romanticism, there might be a natural connection between both poems.  On one hand, I think that Henri is pointing out that Wordsworth's ideas have to face some level of modernization when applied to the current setting.  Henri's poem replaces the natural view of the field of Wordsworth's flowers to the commercial reality of cars.  Henri is pointing out how the world of advertising has coopted much of Romantic thought in the need to develop commercial interest.  In this, one can see that Henri might be creating a symbolic critique of how modern Romanticism has become appropriated.  In some respects, a starting point of comparison can exist here in that Wordsworth might represent the ideal, the purest point of origin, and Henri is constructing a poem that reflects the reality in which we live.  The ideal is the fixed point upon which our gaze is needed, and from this focus, we move from where we are to where we should be.  Through this, Henri ends up symbolically representing Romanticism and Wordsworth himself in constructing art as a looking glass, a transformative vision to describe what can be as opposed to existing merely in the world of what is.  This could serve as a starting point in comparing both poems.

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