William Wordsworth Questions and Answers

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What are the main themes of the poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" written by William Wordsworth?    

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Vikash Lata eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The sight of daffodils “dancing in the breeze” by the side of a lake offers Wordsworth much spiritual joy.

In the poem, nature is a benign power. Finding the poet lonely, nature offers him great delight through the dance of “golden daffodils” by the side of a lake. The poet no more feels lonely because he’s found “a jocund company” in “fluttering” daffodils and “sparkling waves.” The theme of nature as a benevolent power is the central theme of the poem.

Nature is given life and spirit in the poem. Daffodils flutter and dance. They toss “their heads in sprightly dance.” The “sparkling waves” dance too. They offer their company to the lonely poet to make him cheerful. We see that nature is not lifeless or dispirited; rather it’s a living spirit, very much sensitive to human feelings. Nature as a living spirit is another theme that runs through the poem.

Moreover, the strength of human imagination and memories is another pivotal theme of this poem. The joy the poet experiences by gazing at thousands of daffodils flutter and dance is not going to end when he goes back. He says the sweet memory of the day will comfort him when he is lonely and sad. This memory will be “the bliss of solitude.”

What he is saying is through his imaginative faculty, he can relive the delightful experience. This will offer him instantaneous joy and make his heart dance "with the daffodils," even if he’s depressed.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

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