I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth

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What is the theme for "The Daffodils" ("I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud") by W. Wordsworth?

Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" addresses themes such as the Romantic reverence for nature, how imagination and memory relate to the composition of poetry, and the impact of a childlike perspective on one's experience.

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In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt poems ever written in the English language. The most prevalent themes in this poem are overcoming feelings of sadness and the beauty of nature. It is thanks to the beauty of a field of daffodils that the poet happens upon that he is able to leave his feelings of melancholy behind.

Wordsworth describes himself at the beginning of the poem as being "lonely as a cloud". This implies feelings of unhappiness—we all know we aren't happy when we are lonely. Suddenly, though, he is not alone, but in the company of a "host, of dancing daffodils." This display of natural beauty brings him joy and possibly reminds him that he is part of something far bigger than he could ever fathom.

In a nutshell, the daffodils empowered him to put his problems into perspective, transform his sadness into joy and reflect upon the beauty of what he had seen.

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Romantic poets such as William Wordsworth are noted for their reverence for nature. A prominent emotion described in this poem published in 1807 is the speaker's delight in encountering a massive field of blooming daffodils in a wild landscape and, later, remembering it vividly.

Romantics found inspiration in the outdoors and considered nature a place representing the ultimate source of joy and knowledge.  In this poem, simply recalling the sight of thousands of daffodils "tossing their heads in sprightly dance" lifts the speaker's mood when he later finds himself feeling empty and downcast.

The theme of the poem could be that nature has the capacity to delight man if he takes the time to fully appreciate it; also, it is vital that man have the imagination to recreate its gifts when removed from it.

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There are a few themes in "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," also known as "The Daffodils." One theme is the imagination as it relates to poetry. For Wordsworth, poetry was "the spontaneous overflow of emotion reflected in tranquility." In this poem, the speaker experiences a connection with nature. He doesn't merely see pleasant landscapes; he sees life. This is evident in the lines where he uses personification. "Ten thousand saw I at a glance, / Tossing their heads in sprightly dance." (11-12)

Later, when he reflects upon this experience, he has a deeper understanding because he is tapping into a creative process (the imagination) in which he recreates (or makes himself open to) the feeling of that experience through his memory. This memory-recreation is the imaginative process in the mind and it is the process of writing poetry. For Wordsworth, the two are linked. 

Just as this poem is about recalling an experience, or reflecting on emotion in a tranquil state, it is also about recalling the way we look at the world as children, with a more innocent sense of wonder. When Wordsworth writes "I wandered lonely as a could," the implication is that he is floating along aimlessly looking...

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for any experience, anything new to gaze upon. This is like the child wandering, asking questions about everything because he/she is curious. As an adult, the speaker, although it sounds paradoxical, purposefully wanders aimlessly in order to try to experience nature in the same way and again to reflect upon it later. 

These are two themes: the poetic/imaginative process and recalling the wonder of a child's perception of the world. 

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What is the theme for Wordsworth's "The Daffodils"?

"Daffodils' essentially talks about nature, and its beauty. Wordsworth being a nature poet has used beautiful symbolism, such as 'continous as the stars that shine' and 'a host, of golden daffodils'. The readers can almost see the scene themselves, which the poet had experienced during a walk. The poet is in a happy mood, and seeing the beautiful scene uplifts his spirits. He remembers them for a long tiem afterwards in his 'inward eye'.

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What is the theme for Wordsworth's "The Daffodils"?

"Daffodils" (1804)

I WANDER'D 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.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretch'd in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thoughtWhat wealth the show to me had brought:

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.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

The overall theme of this poem is just to enjoy nature in its element.  Don't be afraid to "wander" and waste time by filling your senses with the beauty and wonder of nature.  Nature is spiritual, uplifting, soul-cleansing, and a pep rally for the whole person.  Essentially, the poet is telling human nature that if we all took time to revitalize by taking a walk and enjoying simple things like daffodils dancing in the breeze, we would all get along much better and our quality of life would be ten-fold.

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What are the themes in the poem Daffodils

On a superficial level, Wordsworth is simply referring to the beauty of the field of daffodils. He appreciates the brilliant yellow color against the background of the trees, the reflection of it all in the water, and the motion of flowers and waves in the wind. At the beginning of the poem, he had apparently been feeling somewhat lonely, but by the end of the poem he has a joyful memory of that sight to cheer him.

Looking deeper, in the first stanza the poet is detached from the surroundings; perhaps ill and unable to get out, perhaps depressed and choosing to withdraw from society? The sight of the daffodils gives the speaker a vision of beauty and delight that is in great contrast with his frame of mind  - "A poet could not but be gay,In such a jocund company." The "wealth" of that experience stays with the poet and carries him back to a beautiful and pleasurable memory when he has returned to his "vacant" or "pensive mood." The memory of the daffodils allows for some escape from the isolation of his condition, whatever it is.

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What is the theme of Wordsworth's "The Daffodils"?

“Theme” is a tricky, not very technical term in literary analysis.  But what is generally meant by it is “What larger abstract idea is most commonly discerned by a reader when reading the piece?”  With all of Wordsworth’s poetry, the first “theme” is his observation that natural phenomena and human emotion are tied together.  In “Daffodils," two major connections are made:  the immediate consolation of Nature for the troubled human “soul,” and the value to the human spirit when recalling contacts with the natural phenomena once experienced.  Here, the troubled, discontented “I” narrator finds peace and order in first coming upon the “host of golden daffodils” he/she sees one day, and again finds peace in recollecting the sight at a later time.  Wordsworth’s choice of vocabulary enforces this peace and tranquility (one of the elements in the definition on Romanticism is “powerful emotion recollected in tranquility” and this poem is exemplary in that description.)

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