The Daffodils by Wordsworth: About the Poet, Summary &Text
About Wordsworth (1770-1850):
The Daffodils is a fantastic poem. It has been composed by William Wordsworth. He is the greatest romantic poet of Romantic era. He is popular as a great poet of Nature and humanity. Several of his poems project the influence of Nature on him. They also deal with the influence of Nature on man. Wordsworth wrote about simple people in the language really used by men. His world of poetry deals with mystery, interest in the past, love of Nature, Interest in humanity, love for simplicity, freedom of imagination etc.
William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, Cumberland in the English Lake District on 7 April 1770. He was the second son of John Wordsworth. He was so unfortunate that his parents died while he was a boy. In October 1787 Wordsworth went up to St. John’s College, Cambridge. After spending a few years in London he went to France. His stay in France made him an admirer of the democratic ideals of French Revolution. But the September massacre horrified him. It shook his faith in the revolutionary doctrine. After some time Wordsworth with his sister Dorothy went to live in the Lake District. His marriage to Mary Hutchinson of Penrith took place in 1802.
William Wordsworth published the first volume of the Lyrical Ballads in 1798 in collaboration with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This publication appeared as landmark in English poetry. It heralded a new era. His notable works are – Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude, Tintern Abbey, The Excursion, The Recluse, Ode on the Intimations of Immortality, The World is Too Much with Us, The Solitary Reaper, The Rainbow, The Daffodils, Composed upon Westminster Bridge, A Slumber did my Spirit Seal and London, 1802.
On Southey’s death, Wordsworth accepted the Laureateship in 1843. He died in the spring of 1850.
The Daffodils by William Wordsworth: A Summary
William Wordsworth is the greatest poet of Romantic era. He has composed many fantastic poems. The Daffodils is one of them. It is perhaps his most famous lyric poem. It was composed in 1804 but it was first published in 1807 in a collection of poetry named Poems in Two Volumes. The poem deals with the beauty of Nature. It is the result of the memory of a previous visit made by the poet with his sister Dorothy.
The Daffodils is simple in form. Its language is very easy. This poem is a collection of four stanzas. Each stanza contains six lines. The rhyme scheme of each stanza is ababcc. Alliteration and personification make the poem wonderful.
The themes of this poem are Nature, humanity, imagination and memory. The speaker is the symbol of humanity and the daffodils are symbol of nature. But the major theme of this poem is the impact of nature on man. The poem conveys a clear message that people fail to appreciate the beauty of Nature that uplifts the human spirit.
When the poet is in the grip of sadness and loneliness, he is wandering alone. By chance he comes to daffodils. They are fluttering in a breeze on the shore of a lake under trees. They are numerous. They are busy in dance. They stretch all along the shore. This scene reminds the poet of the galaxy. In their fluttering and dancing, the daffodils outdo the rippling waves of the lake. Seeing the beauty of daffodils the poet’s heart fills with pleasure and starts dancing with dancing daffodils. Here the poet has presented Nature as a living figure.
The Daffodils: Wordsworth
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 stretch’d 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 be but 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.