I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloudThat 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.

Continuous as the starsthat shine and twinkle on the Milky Way, They stretched in never-ending linealong the margin of a bay:Ten thousand saw I at a glance,tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but theyOut-did the sparkling waves in glee:A poet could not but be gay,in such a jocund company:I gazed - and gazed - but little thoughtwhat wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lieIn vacant or in pensive mood,They flash upon that inward eyeWhich is the bliss of solitude;And then my heart with pleasure fills,And dances with the daffodils.

"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" (also known as "The Daffodils") is an 1804 poem by William Wordsworth. It was inspired by an April 15, 1802 event in which Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy came across a "long belt" of daffodils. It was first published in 1807, and a revised version was released in 1815.

The poem is written in iambic tetrameter.


Like the maiden's song in "The Solitary Reaper," the memory of the daffodils is etched in the speaker's mind and soul to be cherished forever. When he's feeling lonely, dull or depressed, he thinks of the daffodils, and cheers up. The full impact of the daffodils' beauty (symbolizing the beauty of nature) did not strike him at the moment of seeing them, when he stared blankly at them but much later when he sat alone, sad and lonely and remembered them.

The inspiration for the poem may have been a walk he took with his sister Dorothy around Lake Ullswater. Dorothy later wrote in reference to this walk:

I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing." (Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journal)"

Popular Usage

The poem is covered and taught in the 7th grade English textbook of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) board of Education of India. It is also part of the English Literature GCSE course in some British examination boards.

Because it is one of the best known poems in the English language and is also unabashedly romantic and sentimental, it has frequently been the subject of parody. Some recent examples can be found [http://allpoetry.com/poem/2631590 here] , [http://www.dcdave.com/poet13/051225.htm here] , [http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/63.html here] , and [http://limerickdb.com/?182 here] .In the satirical cartoon series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Bullwinkle J. Moose read the poem while being stalked by Boris Badenov.

External links

* [http://www.wordsworth.org.uk/Default.asp?page=114 The Wordsworth Trust]
* [http://www.grasmerecumbria.co.uk/pages/wordsworth.html Information about William Wordsworth]

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