I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
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.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
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.
~ William Wordsworth, 1804
There is a fantastic analysis of this poem here. A couple of the analyst's passages that, I think, really capture the essence of the poem are:
"Wordsworth, ever the Romanticist, perhaps uses these two introductory lines to describe the disconnected and dispassionate ways that we all live our lives; walking through life in a haze of daily ritual and monotonous distractions in a pointless and spiritually disinterested state where we fail as emotional creatures to appreciate the quiet beauties of life that we as human beings need for spiritual sustenance. William Wordsworth’s “lonely cloud” is our own private impersonal perception of the world, floating miles above it and missing the quiet virtues of nature, beauty, and other sources of emotional nourishment."
"In William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, the daffodils become much more than mere flowers. They are a symbol of natural beauty and, more importantly, symbolize living a life as rich in experience and sensation as would make a life worth living. They represent, in their light-hearted dance, the joy and happiness of living an adoring and fulfilling life, embracing it for every drop of nectar it could so bring."
Here are some images taken during my day of wandering around Fiesole last October...in my blissful moments of solitude, memories of the natural beauty surrounding this place fill my heart with pleasure much as I imagine Wordworth's daffodils filled his. ♥