I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by Wordsworth
Wordsworth takes readers on a reminiscent journey in "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" reflecting upon visions of nature. The figurative language and diction used elucidate the poet's response to nature. Wordsworth uses each stanza to share his experience in nature through the image of a dance that culminates in the poet's emotional response.
Wordsworth opens with reference to himself through simile as a part of the natural landscape, "I wandered lonely as a cloud / That floats on high" (Wordsworth, Line 1). The diction used in the opening simile puts the reader in the poet's state of mind. A cloud is a lightweight, free-flowing image. Cloud paired with the action "floats", lets the reader experience the tranquility and lightheartedness the author feels in the presence of nature. "Lonely" in this verse does not carry a negative connotation; one can read this line as peaceful solitude as opposed to loneliness. Wordsworth observes that he is not alone, viewing "A host, of golden daffodils" (4). Wordsworth is using a metaphor to compare the daffodils to a crowd of people or a host of angels. The words "golden" and "host" create a visual image of the flowers' petals shimmering like golden halos. The imagery is one of light in a visual and emotional sense, which will be repeated in various forms in future stanzas. The poet proceeds to give the natural landscape humanistic qualities, describing the flowers as .".. dancing in the breeze" (6). The introduction of the daffodils' dancing personifies the flowers and creates a figurative relationship that illustrates the poet's synthesis with nature. The daffodils are also personified as "fluttering" (6), the diction makes the lines flow with a musical eloquence and enhance the imagery of the dance. The daffodils' dance and references to light are employed as a repetitive structure and unifying link for each of the stanzas.
Wordsworth continues to relay his experience in nature as he expounds upon the affiliation between the daffodils and another natural element. Applying simile, the poet connects the flowers to the stars, "Continuous as the stars that shine / And twinkle on the milky way" (7-8). A mental picture of infinite flowers is created, while "shine" and "twinkle" produce an image of light. Wordsworth uses the light imagery to link the two aspects of nature; the luminous stars of the night and "golden" daffodils of the day. The link shows the reader the connection the poet sees in different facets of nature. The second stanza continues the description of the dance "Ten thousand saw I at a glance, / Tossing their heads in sprightly dance" (12). The image created is of large numbers of flowers moving in unison and expresses the harmony the poet finds in nature. The usage of "sprightly" makes another reference to light, but in the sense of movement and weight as "cloud" and "floats" were utilized in the first stanza. Diction in the...