What Is the Poem 'Daffodils' by William Wordsworth About?


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The poem "Daffodils" (or "I wandered lonely as a cloud") by William Wordsworth is, superficially, about the beauty and bliss of the sight of daffodils. On a deeper level, it can be interpreted as a celebration of the oneness that exists between human beings and the natural world. It is one of Wordsworth's most famous poems.

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"Daffodils" begins with the simile "I wandered lonely as a cloud," which immediately establishes the narrator as a component of and participant in nature, rather than as a detached human observer. In this capacity, he floats over a scene of "golden daffodils," which are themselves personified as people, or "a crowd ... dancing in the breeze" and "tossing their heads." By blurring the distinction between humans and nature in this way, Wordsworth aimed to give his readers the same sense of unity that he experienced himself and which many of his other works touch upon. Blurring the distinction further, he moves on from the comparison of the daffodils with people to likening them to "the stars that shine / And twinkle on the Milky Way."

The sight of the daffodils has a lasting value for the narrator of the poem. In the final stanza, he describes how it comforts him when he is in an otherwise vacant or pensive mood.

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