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?

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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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Steph Müller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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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Lenny Wiza, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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...

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