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The poem Daffodils is a renowned work of literary art penned by the poet William Wordsworth at the

dawn of the nineteenth century. With an elementary expression of feeling and ocular impression,
Wordsworth effectively encompasses the triumph of sense and intuition over reason and intellect as a
means of acquiring knowledge. Similar to The Tables Turned, also written by Wordsworth some years
previously, he is seen to elevate the spiritual aspect of nature in this case, the daffodils are lent a divine
significance that has resounding effects on both the narrator and the audience. This effect is tailored to
spontaneity as well as sustenance in the reader; Wordsworth expresses with eloquence the lasting
sensation of continued nourishment by all he witnesses.
A thematic recurrence in Wordsworths works is the frequented demonstration of beliefs within the sphere
of Romanticism. Romanticism, a movement originating from Europe in the eighteenth century,
renounced the prominent aristocratic sociopolitical norms of the time in favor of embracing emotion and
intuition as a rationalization of nature. Of particular note is the emphasis placed upon the sublimity of
untamed nature; as such, the pastoral way of life was exalted above industrial and urban living.
Wordsworth drew extensive influence from the Romantic development, both in subject and artistic
capacity in the poem Daffodils, this is very much present and perused in tasteful measure.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
The poem is foregrounded with the first person pronoun I, suggesting a preoccupation with the
individual; this embodies an intrinsic principle of Romanticism, most akin to the mindfulness of self.
However, Wordsworth deftly leads the audience into a wider integration with nature as witnessed of the
poems apex, the daffodils he writes of seamlessly acquires the significance of the individual. Diverging
from the influences of Romanticism to Wordsworths own executive expression, the theme of passivity is
embraced in Daffodils with much clarity: the verb wandered, for example, is typical of Wordsworths
stylistic phraseology this suggests that the narrator has no definitive objective in walking as he does.
Reiterating this point further, the narrator applies the following simile in the same breath: the phrase
lonely as a cloud is highly indicative of natures uncultivated will (a concept also rooted in
Romanticism), and again facilitates the notion of the individuals solitary, nomadic existence. In addition,
likening the narrator to a cloud expertly suggests his instinctive unity with nature.
The remainder of the first stanza is equally abundant in symbolic imagery, and Wordsworth is seen to
demonstrate with ease a remarkable skill for imagery. He expresses the importance of the visual sense and
all that it touches upon with various devices such as personification, suggestive descriptors and collective
nouns. When used in tandem with each other, Wordsworth is able to concoct a versatile intellectual
landscape that remains vivid in translation within his readers minds.
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.
Adhering to the Romantic theory of spontaneity present throughout the poem, the phrase all at once
makes explicit reference to the whimsical disposition of nature. This sets the tone for further implications
of natures essence, and provides a definitive emphasis for the poem. Subsequently, the daffodils are

personified with the noun crowd; thus, it can be inferred that they have been elevated to a curiously
humanistic degree. The use of this noun also serves to further the disparity of an assembly with the
individual the pronoun I, rarely used outside of portraying the singular, is made infinitely more
isolated when compared to the collective noun. This is also compounded by the repetition of the
prepositions beside and beneath, suggesting the omnipresence of the daffodils and their unyielding
proximity. However, the lauding of the daffodils does not cease as the stanza progresses; in fact, the
collective noun host serves to promote the daffodils further unto a plane of divinity through its
association with Heaven and with angels. The spiritual element of nature and transcendentalism is
prominent here, again bearing similarity with the poem The Tables Turned. Returning to the celebration in
respect to daffodils, the descriptor of golden attributed to them conjures the vivid visual imagery of
wealth, majesty and regality. In a less conspicuous notion, gold can also symbolize the sun and hence,
provides the audience with subtle connotations of knowledge and enlightenment.
With reference to Wordsworths adept stylistic variety, this stanza also demonstrates his attention to sound
and musicality. The line fluttering and dancing in the breeze not only suggests an inherent harmony
between the daffodils, but graces the reader with the pleasing parallelism between this line and the
previous one. The gerunds fluttering and dancing also appeal to the readers visual sense, in that the
swaying movement prompted by the terms could potentially perpetuate inner joy and serenity. These
dynamic verbs both have euphonic sounds, lending musicality to otherwise mundane verbs in the same
way that the phrase could be inviting to the visual, it could also allure in an auditory context.
Compounding the auditory appeal of the poem as a whole, Wordsworth is also seen to apply a regular
rhyme scheme alongside a rhythmic iambic tetrameter. This form is decidedly effective in conceiving a
harmonious, melodic tone; such a form allows for fluency in simplicity, and gives the poem subtle
fluctuations that mimic the gentle swaying of the daffodils.
The second stanza is much alike the first in vivid imagery; however, the descriptors used in the second
stanza have noticeably been heightened in grandeur and prestige as compared to the first. Wordsworth
uses multiple literary devices to lend a richer tone to his poetry, and the overall resonance is not only
subtle but suggestive of ease in his writing.
Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
Lexes in this stanza are predominantly interconnected with the concept of continuity and boundlessness,
pertaining to the Romantic ideology of discounting reason as a means to perceive such infinities are not
meant to be fathomed through science; rather, they befit philosophy. Examples such as Milky Way,
stretched, never-ending and ten thousand all demonstrate the use of hyperbole to emulate the
profusion of the daffodils, as well as express the narrators reverent awe of them. The simile of stars and
the Milky Way, in particular, are significant of their otherworldliness; they are not of this world but of
another realm entirely, and Wordsworth uses this fact to craft immense infinities.

The final line of this stanza is especially effective in fusing the worlds of humankind and nature, for their
repeated personification likens the daffodils to the narrator and thus, to the extent of humankind. Also,
sprightly dance, an adverb with connotations of mischief and magic, attaches a sense of child-like joy to
the imagery. Not unlike many verbs used in this poem previously, the verb dance as applied here lends
movement and musicality to the piece, and perpetuates a resounding affirmation of life therein.
Although the influence of the Romantic Movement was made sufficiently explicit and effective in the
first two stanzas, Wordsworth chose to employ a thematic repetition that served the purpose of reiterating
Romantic doctrines to great effect. Authors and poets often peruse repetition when theme is of utmost
importance within the piece, and Wordsworth is seen to abide by this in the third stanza.
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company:
These lines are an explicit reference made by Wordsworth unto himself, where the aforementioned poet
is seamlessly absorbed into the poem this is a device that greatly enhances the poems personality, and
further amplifies the persuasive and convincing qualities that make Daffodils so compelling. The phrase
could not but is yet another tribute to the Romantic idea of spontaneity, for Wordsworths response
comes across as highly intuitive and lacking logic or reason.
I gazedand gazedbut little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:
Furthermore, the importance of visual aesthetic within the poem is revisited in the penultimate line of this
stanza the repetition of gazed is tremendously effective in reminding the reader to fixate upon the
ocular sense. Much like the groundlessness expressed previously, the phrase but little thought also
makes apparent the insignificance of reason, intellect and mental faculty, showing that one cannot rely on
thought processes to bring truth or enlightenment. Wordsworth has achieved remarkable thematic and
descriptive cohesion within Daffodils through repetition, and has brought his audience to an ample
understanding of spiritual wealth and its significance. In addition, the abstract noun wealth has a subtle
affinity with the adjective golden in a previous stanza both have connotations of worth and value, as
attributed to the awe of the daffodils that reflect a similar abundance.
Despite drawing great influence from Romanticism and its doctrines, Wordsworth also displays his own
independent ideologies and conceptualizations. In Daffodils, this is more prominent in the fourth and final
stanza. Wordsworth is seen to express the permanent nature of memory and how the spiritual nourishment
endures long after the physical stimuli ceases to exist.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
The change in tense, although immediately apparent, is not at all jarring in fact, the transition from past
to present tense engenders Wordsworths ideology. As the first three stanzas were all of past tense (and
hence, in reference to a past experience of the daffodils), it is reasonable to conclude that the purpose of
adopting present tense in the final stanza was to reflect upon how his past experiences might continue to
shape him. The adverb oft also compels by means of connoting everlasting influence, not unlike some
perceptions of spirituality.

They flash upon that inward eye


Which is the bliss of solitude;
Abiding by the theme of spirituality, the mention of an inward eye is an explicit expression for the soul,
and how one can be spiritually moved by memory. However, the choice of drawing upon the eye in
particular is Wordsworths subtle convergence upon the visual sense yet again; it demonstrates great care
and craft in his poetry, and is an excellent example of how Daffodils is an artful entanglement of both
Romantic ideology and Wordsworths own. As the stanza progresses, the audience is re-introduced to the
same reverence for the seclusion of thought displayed in the first stanza this is exhibited by the explicit
mention of solitude, and elevated by the descriptor bliss to emphasize the importance of uninterrupted
meditative ideas.
And dances with the daffodils.
Wordsworth concludes this display of literary ingenuity with a thoughtful final line, reiterating his
fixation upon the daffodils. In keeping with the perpetual and enduring nature of memory, we notice that
daffodils is the concluding word of the poem he intends for the impression of the daffodils to remain
indefinitely with the reader, just as it remained with him. The alliteration of dances and daffodils in this
final line is highly gratifying to the auditory sense, and serves as a conclusion to this poem with a cadence
of exquisite melody.
By virtue of the artistry demonstrated by a true wordsmith, Wordsworths Daffodils is more than worthy
of the merit it receives. To this day, it is an illustrious piece of poetry that does the immeasurable notion
of nature justice, supplementary to the comprehensive education on Romantic theory it provides.