The Daffodils By William Wordsworth
“The Daffodils” is one of the most famous poems written in the English language. William Wordsworth, also known as ‘the poet of nature’, vividly recreates the beautiful sight of a stretch of daffodils. He also shares with the reader how the memory of the daffodils brings him back from a serious and deep mental state.
What is Daffodil?
A daffodil is a trumpet-shaped yellow flower. Wordsworth wrote the poem after actually seeing a vast stretch of daffodils while having a walk in the country with his sister.
Summary and explanations
“The Daffodils” has four stanzas. The first three stanzas describe the enchanting beauty of the daffodils. Once the poet, while wandering around purposelessly, came upon a vast stretch of daffodils beside a lake. Under the shade of trees the daffodils fluttered and tossed in the wind. This created a sense of joy in the poet. The mesmerizing sight made him so happy that he kept watching on for a long time.
The final stanza delivers the message that whenever the poet is lost in thought or becomes very serious, reminiscence of the gleeful daffodils brightens his mood and brings joy back to his heart.
• Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: The daffodils were much happier than the waves.
• But little thought/What wealth the show to me had brought: The poet did not realize at that time how beneficial the memory of the scene was going to be to him in future.
• In vacant or in pensive mood: In deep and serious contemplation.
• Inward eye: Memory/mind.
• Bliss of solitude: The gift received (by the poet) after meditating in solitude.
The poem primarily describes a kind of therapeutic and beneficial effect that nature has on the poet‘s mind. When he is unhappy or seriously thoughtful, it is the memory of the beautiful scene of the daffodils that transforms his sadness into joy and his heart dances. The poet calls it ‗wealth‘ in order to highlight how caring and motherly nature can prove to be. The poet‘s power of imagination has also been highlighted since it is the ‗inward eye‘ of the poet that receives the scene and stores it so that it can be recreated in a beautiful and valuable way.
Point of view
The poem describes the poet’s personal or emotional experience of seeing and then remembering a beautiful sight of nature. The poem has been written from a subjective or personal point of view.
What is the Tone of The Daffodils?
The first three stanzas that describe the daffodils through expressions like gold, stars and sprightly dancers reveal a joyful tone. The last stanza has a more thoughtful or contemplative tone because the poet dwells on the impact of the daffodils on him.
Simile: ‘lonely as a cloud’.
Personification: The poet has personified the daffodils by using the expressions ‘a crowd’, ‘a host’, ‘fluttering and dancing in the breeze’, and ‘Tossing their heads in sprightly dance’.
The waves have been personified in “The waves beside them danced”.
Rhyme scheme: ababcc