In stanza three of "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" what are some possible different interpretations to it?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This poem is pretty straightforward, without much sub-text or hidden, secret meaning to it.  Wordsworth is simply describing a happy memory that he had, of a field of daffodils.  That memory keeps him contented when he is alone and daydreaming, perhaps lonely and sad.  It brings him joy.

In stanza three, I can guess what you are getting at, so let me just clarify a couple of things.  The part that I am assuming is in question is the following:  "A poet could not but be gay/in such a jocund company."  First of all, gay, in this sense, means happy.  Using gay to describe sexual orientation did not surface in popular culture until recently.  Poets, novelists, playwrights, and many other artists, and even the people as a whole used the word gay to mean happy.  It did not have the connotation that it does for us.  If Wordsworth had written this poem 2 years ago, and purposely picked that word, then that would definitely be an argument that could be supported.  But given the time period and vocabulary at that time, the most defensible interpretation is that the daffodils are a bright, happy sight that makes those who view it happy also.  I hope that helped; good luck!