How do I find commonplace topics in "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth?

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chsmith1957 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Read the poem and look for anything you can see or feel on any given day. These can be considered “commonplace” or ordinary topics.

At the beginning of the scene, the narrator is walking by himself rather aimlessly. He compares his ramble with the movement of clouds. You can imagine a gray-shaded day because of the cloud simile. Then he comes upon a field of daffodils. The yellow flowers are bright, cheery, and welcoming; they offer a completely different scene. The narrator’s mood improves just by looking at them. Later he discovers that whenever he feels sad or low or depressed (“In vacant or pensive mood”), he can simply think of the daffodils and make himself happy again.

I would count walking, clouds, daffodils, various moods, and the ability to deliberately change one’s mood as being sights and experiences that we can all share as humans. Someone else may say that they are also trivial or nearly worthless since they are so common. Wordsworth finds value in even the most casual or ordinary encounter here.