I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth

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What is the speaker's mood in lines 1–2 of "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," and how does it change when the speaker sees the daffodils?

In the first two lines of the poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," the speaker is, as he notes, "lonely as a Cloud." However, when he sees the daffodils, he no longer feels lonely, since they appear as a "crowd," dispelling his loneliness and making him feel "gay" again because of their "glee."

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The speaker of this poem highlights his loneliness and sense of dejection as the poem opens. He uses a simile to further convey his feelings, comparing himself to a cloud that floats high above the world. Although a part of nature, clouds are fairly disconnected from the rest of creation, observing the world from a distance but never directly interacting with it. In this way, the speaker removes himself from the reaches of nature, conveying his sense of being distinctly separate from the world.

While walking toward a lake, the speaker's mood is transformed when he spies "ten thousand" daffodils lining its shores. The flowers dance and flutter as the breeze passes through, their "heads" dancing beside the waters of the lake. Suddenly, the author no longer feels the sense of loneliness that pervaded his soul at the poem's opening. After watching this dance of flowers, the poet finds that he cannot help but feel "gay / In such a jocund company."

The speaker is so moved by this naturally beautiful scene that it has a lasting impact on him. When he finds himself at home, feeling the same emotions of loneliness and dejection, he realizes that he can conjure up this scene in his mind, and his heart is once again filled with "pleasure." This poem demonstrates the powerful connection of mankind to nature; it has the power to bring peace and joy to one's soul.

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The speaker in the first two lines of this poem is describing the "lonely" state in which he found himself before encountering the "crowd" of daffodils while out walking. He compares himself to a cloud, suggesting that he felt untethered, unconnected to the world around him, and as if he were simply floating over the "vales and hills" below.

However, when he sees the daffodils, his mood immediately changes. The use of the word "crowd" seems significant here, as a contrast to the speaker's previous loneliness. Where he is single and isolated, the daffodils are "never-ending," defined by the sheer quantity of them. They are also extremely cheerful: the speaker describes them as "jocund company" and notes that they seemed as if they were dancing. This, the speaker declares, made it impossible for him to feel anything other than "gay."

In the final stanza of the poem, the speaker describes how he uses this memory to shore him up when he is lying on his couch and feeling "pensive" or unhappy. The wealth offered to him by the sight of the daffodils does not last only for a single moment, but is capable of giving him "pleasure" when he recollects it after the fact. This is an example of Wordsworth's theory that nature can be "recollected in tranquillity" to give pleasure to the soul, as if the beautiful things in nature can be stored up to give us solace when we are feeling low.

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The speaker is lonely and at loose ends in the first two lines of the poem, which are as follows:

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The speaker is lonely and at loose ends in the first two lines of the poem, which are as follows:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills
The imagery of being a cloud floating on "high" suggests that the speaker is feeling disconnected and alienated from the world around him. He is drifting and not connecting with his surroundings.
His mood changes dramatically, however, when he sees the daffodils. There are thousands of them blooming in front of a lake and swaying together in the wind. The sight fills him with joy. He says he has no choice but to become "gay," or happy, in such company.
This is a quintessential Wordsworth poem. It celebrates nature and captures a moment of deep emotion recollected in tranquillity, which Wordsworth wrote was the goal of his poetry. In the last stanza of the poem, his speaker ruminates on how much joy remembering the daffodils brings him later on, when he is inside his house in a thoughtful mood. He calls this kind of remembering "bliss." He writes of it:
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
In other words, it is the simple pleasures that bring the most joy, Wordsworth says.
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Stanza one of Wordsworth's poem reads:

I wandered lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 
In lines one and two the speaker, or person narrating the poem (not necessarily the author of the poem), explains that he was "wandering lonely." The speaker uses a simile to compare their movement to the movement of a cloud floating above rolling hills. At that moment, a transition happens as he suddenly notices a great number, which he describes as a "crowd" of daffodils. This description of the daffodils as a "crowd" or "host" is an example of figurative language. We know that this isn't literally a crowd, like a crowd of people. Yet, we understand that he is implying that there is a large number of flowers clustered in this spot. 
In the first two lines, he describes his mood as "lonely." But when he sees the flowers, he is no longer lonely. Now he is surrounded by a cluster of apparently cheerful flowers, since they are "fluttering and dancing in the breeze." This energetic diction shows the improvement that the flowers made on the speaker's mood. At first he was wandering lonely. The word wandering  implies a slowness of pace; in the same way, clouds usually glide slowly through the sky. However, the flowers are dancing in the wind. This increasing action once more emphasizes the positive progression of the speaker's mood. 
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