Daffodils Questions and Answers and Appreciation
Daffodils by William Wordsworth is a fascinatingly vivid and reflective poem.
It describes the beauty of a field of Daffodils that the poet came upon during one of his walks, which he was taking in Gualberto park in the Lake District in the UK.
His sister Dorothy was also with him.
William Wordsworth is perhaps the greatest of the Romantic poets.
According to him, poetry is one, the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, and second, emotions recollected in tranquility.
As we read and understand the poem Daffodils, we will easily be able to spot and appreciate these elements in his writing.
Wordsworth loved nature, and this love shines through brilliantly in the poem.
Wordsworth also believed that poetry should be written in everyday language, and be about common people, sights and sounds.
The poem Daffodils has been written in the first person.
Let us look at the events in the poem.
The poet is taking a walk all alone in the countryside.
Suddenly, he comes upon a stretch of land, covered with deference. He stands there, observing and absorbing the beauty of the flowers.
He loses himself in the gaiety and finds himself feeling very joyful.
At that point, he doesn’t realize how much the beautiful side has benefited him.
Whenever he’s lying on his couch, feeling lonely or anxious, he simply remembers the daffodils vividly.
He immediately feels very happy, and enjoys the company of the daffodils in his solitude.
Now let us read the poems Daffodils slowly and understand the meaning.
The poet was walking all alone in the countryside.
He says, I wandered lonely as a cloud, wondered means he was roaming aimlessly.
He was lonely, which means sad about being alone.
Now, let us remember he was not actually alone. But he felt alone, probably because of the death of his brother John.
He compares himself and his loneliness to a cloud that floats in the sky high above the hills and valleys.
The cloud floats on high, which means it is positioned high in the sky, at a distance from the hills and valleys.
It sees them, but it is a detached observer. When all it wants, I saw a crowd means all of a sudden, unexpectedly he saw a crowd. Was it a crowd of people? No, it was a host of golden Daffodils.
They were everywhere. Beside the lake beneath the trees.
They looked beautiful, fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
The Daffodils were of a dazzling golden colour, a host meets a crowd, and also hosts signifies that the stretch of land was their home. They were welcoming others here, the poet into their home and entertaining him.
The poet compares the number of daffodils to the number of stars on the Milky Way.
He says that the Daffodils appeared as continuous and indistinguishable from one another as the stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way.
This comparison creates a sharp contrast between the poet’s lonely state of mind in the first stanza. And the daffodils that are many in number and thickly clustered and close to each other, just like the stars in the Milky Way.
Also, note the difference between shine and twinkle.
Shine means that the stars give out a bright light.
Twinkle means that they give out a light that changes constantly from bright to faint.
Does the stars in the Milky Way perform a symphony in their own way by shining and twinkling continuously.
In the same way, the Daffodils also appeared continuous, they stretched in never ending line, which means that as far as the board’s eyes could see.
They kept on appearing in a never ending line along the margin of Bay, which means the boundary of the lake.
The point then says that in just one glance, he could see 10,000 daffodils, dancing enthusiastically and tossing their heads together in enjoyment.
The waves beside them danced, but they, the Daffodils did the sparkling waves in glee.
Along with the daffodils, even the waves that were just beside them were dancing.
Since the sunshine fell on the water, the waves are sparkling, they were also sparkling with happiness.
But the daffodils perform better than the waves with their happy dance.
A poet could not be gay in such a jokin company.
Poets are highly sensitive to beauty and emotion.
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This is why Wordsworth says that in such a beautiful company, a poet could not stop himself from being happy.
It was impossible to be lonely and sad anymore.
The poor stood there for a long time, gazing, or just looking fixedly at the daffodils, absorbing the beauty and happiness.
At that point, he did not even realise what riches he had actually got from the show, put up by the daffodils.
The last stanza reveals the everlasting impact of the daffodils, which the poet had not found, when he was actually looking at them in the countryside.
He says that it is very often that he finds himself lying on the couch, feeling lonely, bored and anxious.
It is at this time that the difference flash, which means appear suddenly and brightly in his inward eye, which means the mind’s eye or memory or imagination.
The poet calls this the place of self solitude, which is very different from loneliness.
When you are lonely, you crave for someone’s company.
But solitude is when you’re by yourself and happy with your own company.
The place of solitude means the pure, unadulterated, calm happiness, that the poet experiences, thinking of the daffodils all by himself, undisturbed by anything or anybody.
When the poet sees the Stanza in his mind’s eye, his heart is filled with pleasure, and remembering the dance of the daffodils.
His heart also dances with them in joy.
What a journey from floating on high in the sky over Wilson hills, like a lonely cloud, to enjoying, in fact, dancing with his heart and seeing the difference in his mind’s eye.
As we end let us also take note of the fact that the lines, they flash upon that inward eye, which is the place of solitude.
These lines were contributed by Wordsworth’s wife, Mary Hutchinson.