Daffodils

William Wordsworth's “Daffodils” or "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is a lyric poem focusing on the poet's response to the beauty of nature. The poem was composed in the year 1802. It was first published in Poems in Two Volumes, in 1807. The poem “Daffodils” is the outcome of actual visualization rather than imagery. It is very much based on real incidents. Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, came across a large number of Daffodils during a walk in the woods. He gave it a poetic expression when he wrote the poem “Daffodils”.
Wordsworth believed that “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”  The memory of golden daffodils bring joy to the poet’s mind. To Wordsworth Nature was Godliness. Anything close to Nature was good. He forgets his sorrows and loneliness in the gentle embrace of Nature.
"Daffodils" is a wonderful poem by William Wordsworth, a great romantic poet who believed that Nature has the capacity to nourish and even heal a wounded soul.
Daffodils, marvelous manifestations of Natural beauty, astound and enslave the poet’s thoughts.
For the poet being alone with Nature is a beautiful and enriching experience that replenishes his soul that has become thirsty in the urban jungle of cement!    
The poem brings home the idea that Nature is an eternal source of joy. It has the power to heal our aching soul and stressed mind.

 

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  • Q1

    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.

    Q1. Who are ‘they’ referred to the above stanza? When had the
    poet come across them?

    Q2. How does the poet feel in their presence?

    Q3. What effect do daffodils have on the poet?

    Q4. Explain the phrase “the bliss of solitude”.

    Q5. What do you think is the message of the poem?

    Marks:16
    Answer:

    1. ‘They’ refers to golden daffodils in the above stanza. Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, came across a large number of Daffodils during a walk in the woods. He gave it a poetic expression when he wrote the poem “Daffodils”.
    2. Wordsworth feels that a poet, who is often perceptive of the beauty around him cannot help but be awed by the loveliness he is surrounded by, that is beautiful golden daffodils. The poet, mesmerised by the beauty surrounding him, couldn’t realize its worth until he was separated from it.
    3. The poet is awed by their beauty. For the poet, being alone with Nature is a beautiful and enriching experience that replenishes his soul that has become thirsty in the urban jungle of cement!
    4. The poet says, he often sees the beautiful scene of daffodils flashing across his mind. However this only happens in solitude. These images fill the poet’s mind with happy thoughts.
    5. "Daffodils" is a wonderful poem by William Wordsworth, a great romantic poet who believed that Nature has the capacity to nourish and even heal a wounded soul. The poem brings home the idea that Nature is an eternal source of joy. It has the power to heal our aching soul and stressed mind.

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  • Q2

    Continuous as the stars that shine

    And twinkle on the milky way,

    They stretch'd in never-ending line

    Along the margin of a bay:

    Ten thousand saw I at a glance

    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    Q1. What was particular about the dance of the daffodils?

    Q2. Explain “They stretch'd in never-ending line”.

    Q3. What literary device has been used in the first line of the
    stanza?

    Q4. What has the poet compared the daffodils to? Why?

    Q5. Why does the sight of golden daffodils come to the poet’s
    mind later in the poem?

    Marks:16
    Answer:

    1. The daffodils are personifies as human beings as they are shown to be “dancing” and “tossing” their heads. This personification serves to highlight the unity between man and nature.
    2. The daffodils growing beside the lake seem to form an endless line. The poet is trying to highlight that their overwhelming number.
    3. The literary device used in the first line of the stanza is alliteration.
    4. He continues to say that the daffodils that he saw were as numerous as shining stars in the Milky Way. He says this to emphasize the beauty and number of Daffodils. It also seems to suggest that their beauty is not earthly, but they have a rather mystical beauty which resembles the ethereal beauty of the stars.
    5. Wordsworth believed that “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” The memory of golden daffodils bring joy to the poet’s mind. He says, he often sees the beautiful scene of daffodils flashing across his mind. However this only happens in solitude. These images fill the poet’s mind with happy thoughts.

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  • Q3

    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.

    1. What was the poet doing? How has he described himself?

    2. Do you think the poem is based on true events?

    3. What is it that attracts the poet’s attention?

    4. Name the literary device used in the first line of the stanza?

    5. What has the poet compared the daffodils to?

    Marks:16
    Answer:

    1. The poet was wandering idly when he encountered a ‘host of golden daffodils’. He felt he was wandering as freely as a cloud over valley and hills.
    2. The poem “Daffodils” is the outcome of actual visualization rather than imagery. It is very much based on real incidents. Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, came across a large number of Daffodils during a walk in the woods. He gave it a poetic expression when he wrote the poem “Daffodils”.
    3. A beautiful sight of golden daffodils attracted his attention. They seemed endless in number like the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
    4. The literary device used in the first line of the stanza is a simile.
    5. The poet recalls how the waves seemed to be “dancing” in the breeze. However their dance was outdone by the dance of the daffodils. The beauty of the waves is surpassed by that of the daffodils, they seemed much more lively and invigorating.

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