I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth
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How does "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" represent the literary shift to Romanticism?

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"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" is a poem that is an almost-perfect example of the Romanticism advocated by its author, William Wordsworth . Romanticism was a literary shift in perspective that valued the use of simple language, a love of nature, and showing the simple life in...

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"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" is a poem that is an almost-perfect example of the Romanticism advocated by its author, William Wordsworth. Romanticism was a literary shift in perspective that valued the use of simple language, a love of nature, and showing the simple life in the most positive possible light. Romanticism also put an emphasis on feeling or emotionon writing lyrical verseand on the importance of memory.

All of these elements, which represented a radical shift in literary style at the time (this can be very difficult to understand, as romantic poems can seem to us today what poetry is) come into play in "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud." The poem uses simple words such "clouds," "hills," "trees," and "shine," words that anyone would know. It describes a simple scenestumbling on a crowd of daffodils waving in a breeze in front of a lakein positive terms. It celebrates nature, and it expresses an emotion of joy as the speaker feels his heart lift as he watches the daffodils seem to dance. In the last stanza, in expresses the importance of memory: the speaker continues to receive joy indoors on his couch as he recalls the joyful daffodils.

This is much different from the Neoclassical poetry of the previous generation, which assumed an audience knowledge of classical literature, employed sometimes difficult diction (word choice), and concentrated on great men and heroes as subject matter.

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