I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth

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"That Inward Eye Which Is The Bliss Of Solitude"

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Context: Wordsworth believed that the mind functions as a storehouse for the assembly of pleasant moments. Thus, the inspirational moments which one experiences in the presence of nature's beauty, furnish not only material for present delight but also food for future thought. A poet, who by his nature is more immediately responsive to the beauty of nature, is dependent upon this faculty of "emotion recollected in tranquillity" for his creative process. Wordsworth comments, concerning this poem, that it treats more "an elementary feeling and simple impression (approaching the nature of an ocular spectrum) upon the imaginative faculty, than the exertion of it." After describing his walk among a "crowd," a "host of golden daffodils . . ./ Tossing their heads in sprightly dance," he avers, "A poet could not but be gay,/ In such a jocund company." And the wealth is greater than the immediate pleasure:

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.

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