Why does Wordsworth use daffodils as a key word in "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"?

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There may be several reasons why Wordsworth chose the word daffodils, which first appears in line four. The final syllable rhymes neatly with "hills" in line two. The rhyme pattern is repeated as end rhymes in lines twenty-three and twenty-four with "fills" and "daffodils." It works well metrically, too, with its three syllables that contribute to the poem's consistent iambic tetrameter.

Beyond the mechanics of the meter and rhyme scheme, the choice of daffodils works well with Wordsworth's subject matter. Daffodils bloom in the spring and are often colored bright yellow, a color associated with the happiness that the poem's speaker feels when he remembers how they looked. Daffodils naturalize into a landscape and spread, which makes the idea and image of them growing in a vast field completely plausible.

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The poem is based on an experience Wordsworth had when he saw a full field of daffodils while walking with his sister Dorothy. In essence, then, this is a factual poem, although Wordsworth transforms the view into a personal revelation not shared with anyone else. Daffodils are among the showiest and most noticeable flowers of spring. Their yellow hues pop out from the surrounding green grass and leaves of the season. The narrator enjoys the way they sway and dance whenever the wind blows across the field. They seem to say that winter is over, and that color and life have returned to the landscape. Seeing the daffodils improves Wordsworth's mood, both in the moment and then later, when he pictures the scene again. The daffodils represent life and some of the best parts of it.

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