I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth

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In "Daffodils," what is the relevance of the underlying message to young people today?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In this poem, the narrator is feeling a bit despondent as he wanders around the Lake District in springtime. All of sudden, he comes across thousands of newly blossomed daffodils swaying in the breeze in front of a lake. The sight is so lively and beautiful that it fills him with joy. It wipes away his sad, lonely feelings. Not only does it make him feel better in the moment, but in later months, as he is stuck inside on his sofa, the memory of it fills him with bliss.

The poem is relevant for young people today because it illustrates that one doesn't have to spend large amounts of money—or even any money at all—to find happiness. Sources of joy are all around us, if we just have the eyes to see them. Nature has not changed since Wordsworth's time. We can still take walks, and we can still find sources of natural beauty that can lift up our hearts. If we can hold these small moments of joy in memory, they can also come back to make us happy in future times.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One aspect of relevance that the poem's message has towards young people is that it speaks of finding that which is beautiful in the world and paying homage to it.  In a world that exceeds the very definition of "speed" and a setting in which demands are evident in almost all aspects of being, there can be a lack of focus on that which is important.  The message that comes out of Wordsworth's poem is the love of the beauty in the world around us.  The world of the daffodils is one in which one can find happiness in "such jocund company."  This is a state of being in the world in which individuals can stop and take a moment to reflect on the aspects of beauty in the world.  

The message that comes out of the poem is a reverence for the simplistic, and yet complex aspect of beauty that is in the world.  Wordsworth's reflection of the beauty in the natural world is one that envelops us, but one that can be easily forgotten.  This message of remembering that which is the easiest to forget is of relevance to young people, whose identities are contingent on the world around them.  In a world of contingency and irony, the message that comes out of the poem is one in which individuals are reminded to cling to that which is true in place of that which is not.

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