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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Write a Critical appreciation of "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud".

The poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" is a beautiful specimen of romantic poetry. It was written in 1804 recording a happy event that had taken place two years earlier in 1802. The poem is a good example of  Wordsworth's belief in the communion between nature and man, and  nature's healing  power. It also reflects his concept of the romantic imagination and his belief in "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings....... recollected in tranquillity" which he professed as the theory of poetry.
I wandered lonely as a cloud

The I-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 over- come mental depressions 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, colours and mood. The daffodils are of "golden" colour and they shine and sparkle. They flutter, dance, toss in pleasant wind; they are "gay" "jocund" and gleeful. 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. There is no doubt that the poem springs from the personal experience of the poet but his first person speaker presents the truth about na- ture's influence on man.

The poet here uses several figures of speech to create the suitable atmosphere and mood required for establishing a communion between the speaker and the daffodils symbolising nature. The I-speaker has been compared to a piece of hovering cloud suggesting passive mood and empty mind. Similarly "a crowd" is a personification in which the qualities of a crowd have been transferred to the flowers indicating their huge number and their lively nature. The words "dancing" and "dance" are also used to imply the jovial and living nature of the daffodils. The word "company" has been used very significantly, in the same way to transfer life of human beings to the daffodils. The other simile in the poem "as the stars" has been used to imply both brightness and huge number of the daffodils. Thus, the figures of speech have been very carefully used to suggest that the daffodils are large in number, they are living creatures, they are happy and capable of giving company to man. As a result, a communion between the speaker and the daffodils is possible. The words, the figures, the metres, and the rhyme scheme together constitute a joyous tone, befitting to the happy communion.

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