A Critical Appreciation of Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud’


This poem is a beautiful specimen of romantic poetry. The poem is a good example of Wordsworth’s belief in the communication between nature and man, and nature’s healing power.

The 1st speaker of the poem saw a huge number of daffodils while he was roaming about without any definite purpose. His mind was free from any worldly or practical tension. The daffodils appeared to him as a crowd of living beings. Like a group of joyous dancers, they had been dancing in pleasant breeze. They were making sounds like the sounds made by the wings of the flying birds.

These daffodils, grown along the belt between the shore and the lake water, seemed to laugh together in mirth and joy. The speaker who had been walking with empty mind in a passive mood could not but respond to the happy sight. He was moved by the happiness of the daffodils. They touched his heart and made a permanent impression of happiness there. The overwhelmed speaker kept on looking at these flowers for a long time without knowing that this sight would help him overcome mental depression in future. Later on, whenever he becomes lonely and nostalgic that happy sight revives in his mind. His heart starts dancing like those dancing daffodils. This memory helps him forget all present anxieties. It provides him with solace and comfort. It revives his «genial spirit».

The poem is, therefore, about the influence of nature on human mind. Each of the stanzas consists of six verse lines rhyming ababcc. The couplet at the end of each stanza enhances spontaneity. The poet has very carefully built up a happy and joyous atmosphere selecting suitable objects, colors and mood. The daffodils are of «golden» color and they shine and sparkle. The tetrameter verse lines ensure the smooth and spontaneous movement required for the creation of such a jovial atmosphere. The first fourteen lines have been used to describe the daffodils and create their ecstatic mood. The last eight lines have been used to describe the influence of that happy sight on the mind of the speaker, a man who discovers a communion between him and nature.

The poet here used several figures of speech to create the suitable atmosphere and mood required for establishing a communion between the speaker and the daffodils symbolizing nature. The words, the figures, and the rhyme scheme together constitute a joyous tone, befitting to the happy communion.

Almahmud Rony