I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth
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Why did the poet write "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"?

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Wordsworth wanted to recapture a moment in time in 1802 when he and his sister were walking along the riverbank and saw a few daffodils.  Then the expanse of daffodils came into full view as they walked nearer to the riverbank.

If Wordsworth were an impressionistic painter, he would have...

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Wordsworth wanted to recapture a moment in time in 1802 when he and his sister were walking along the riverbank and saw a few daffodils.  Then the expanse of daffodils came into full view as they walked nearer to the riverbank.

If Wordsworth were an impressionistic painter, he would have painted the scene from the position of being in the sky looking down on the riverbank and the field of daffodils.

As a poet, Wordsworth attempted to recapture the moment by giving the reader a "cloud's-eye" view of the expanse of color and beauty.

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.
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Wodsworth wrote this poem to recapture a day in 1802 when he went to the shore with his sister, and saw a line up of daffodils being touched by the wind, extending to an unusual distance, and giving the impression that all around was floating.

He explains:

When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seeds ashore & that the little colony had so sprung up— But as we went along there were more & yet more & at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road . . .  [S]ome rested their heads on [mossy] stones as on a pillow for weariness & the rest tossed & reeled & danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here & there a little knot & a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity & unity & life of that one busy highway... —Rain came on, we were wet.

Hope this helps!

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