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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth | Analysis

Info: 1622 words (6 pages) Essay
Published: 18th May 2020 in Literature

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The poem I have chose is called I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth and the poem talks about the speaker was walking around through the hills and valleys, but he felt all lonely and miserable. Then he suddenly passed by a lake and saw a big group of yellow daffodils waving in the breeze, there were thousands of them around the lake. Also, these flowers were dancing, they danced and so did the waves of the lake, the speaker’s loneliness was replaced by joy from watching the flowers dance. But he didn’t even realize what a gift he has received until later. The poetic devices found in this poem are imagery, simile, hyperbole, personification, alliteration, assonance, consonance, metaphor and symbolism. The poem is written in an ABABCC rhyming scheme which makes the poem feel independent and self-sufficient. Here’s an example of this rhyming scheme in the poem,

“I wandered lonely as a cloud (A)

That floats on high o’er vales and hills, (B)

When all at once I saw a crowd, (A)

A host, of golden daffodils; (B)

Beside the lake, beneath the trees, (C)

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.” (C) (Wordsworth)

This rhyming scheme really works with the poem because it gives it a smooth transition to the other stanzas and it also kept the poem in a tidy and organized way.

Let’s move on to the poetic devices used in the poem. Let’s start off with the imagery in the story. In the first stanza, when the quote starts with “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.” (Wordsworth). The author paints a picture in the minds of the readers of the setting of where the story is taking place, where the daffodils are. Like how it says, the daffodils are right beside the lake and directly under the tree. Another part of imagery used in the second stanza of the poem is: “Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.” (Wordsmith). This paints another picture in the readers head of the number of daffodils there were in the field, it wants us to imagine a large amount of them like how it mentions in the poem and it also wants us to imagine how they are moving. Another example of imagery in the poem is also in the second stanza, this quote says “Continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line” (Wordsmith). The author wants us to imagine the number of daffodils as a “never-ending line”, that means he’s seen so many that they are continuous. The last sign of imagery in this poem comes from the third stanza, it says: In such a jocund company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought” (Wordsmith). The author wants us to imagine the happiness that is going through his head when looking at the daffodils, he wants us to feel joy just like he had in the poem. Overall, this gives the poem a strong effect because the author wants us to image the things that he is saying and how he does it, he does it really well because he describes it in great detail. This gives the poem an overall effectiveness to see what he is seeing and to feel what he is feeling, and that is explained really well in the poem. The author uses strong words to create an image to help us as the readers to see the way he wants us to see.

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The second poetic device in this poem is similes. There are only two examples of similes in this poem, the first one is found in the opening sentence, “I wandered lonely as a cloud” (Wordsmith). He pretty much compares his loneliness and uses an example of a single cloud to visualize to people how his loneliness felt. The second example of simile was used on the second stanza in the opening line, it said: “Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way” (Wordsmith). Here, the author compares the endless amount of daffodils with an endless amount of start because in the poem it states that there are ten thousand daffodils in the field. This give an overall effectiveness to the poem because the purpose of a simile is to get the imagination of the reader going while also getting the information across, this is super helpful when it helps the reader see the scene in their heads. This is used very well in the poem, from the examples that I used.

The third poetic device is hyperbole and there is only one example of this being used in the poem. This is used in the second stanza when it says: “They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance” (Wordsmith). This is definitely hyperbole because I don’t believe it is possible to find a field with 10,000 daffodils (in my opinion), I assume Wordsmith just wanted to paint an image to the readers on how the setting would look like. This gives an effectiveness to the poem because a hyperbole is to emphasize a message that is being passed to the audience. It sort of gives a sense of humor in some sense because of the exaggerated amount of daffodils that Wordsmith says in his poem. It is used really well in this poem and it is used effectively.

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The fourth poetic device is personification and there are a few examples of this in the poem. The first one can be found in the first line of the poem, “I wandered lonely as a cloud” (Wordsmith). He is comparing a lonely could to his loneliness that he feels. The second one is found in line 3-4 of the poem, which says “When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils;” (Wordsmith), the author is comparing the daffodils to a crowd of people because of the large number of daffodils there on that field. The third example is found in lines 4,6 which says: “A host, of golden daffodils; Fluttering and dancing in the breeze” (Wordsmith). The author is comparing the dancing daffodils in the breeze to humans dancing, the fourth example is found in the second stanza and is found in line 12 which says: “Tossing their heads in sprightly dance” (Wordsmith). The heads of the daffodils are the larger and heavier than the stem, causing it to sway in the breeze, also comparing it to humans dancing. The fifth example is found in stanza 4 and lines 21-24, which says: “Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils” (Wordsmith). The author gives an image that the daffodils is his spiritual vision, for which he uses the metaphor of an inward eye. Overall, this is very effective in the poem because it connects the reader to the objective that is given in the poem, which in this poem is finding happiness.

The fifth poetic device is alliteration and there are also only two examples found in this poem. These examples are: the usage of G sound in, “I gazed and gazed” (Wordsmith) and the usage of the W sound in, “What wealth the show to me had brought.” (Wordsmith). Alliteration is used to repeat speech sound in a set of words. This is used effectively and properly in this poem; it creates a type of rhythm and mood. This captures the attention of the readers because it wants us to be focused on that.

The sixth poetic device is assonance and there are only two examples of this in the story. The two are A in “Ten thousand I saw at a glance” (Wordsmith) and E sound in “They stretched in never-ending.” (Wordsmith) These are the only two that I found in this poem and assonance is important in a poem because it is used to grab the readers attention and create something that can be remembered by the reader. This is used effectively in the poem because it sets a mood and makes the poem more interesting which has happened in this poem. 

The seventh poetic device is consonance and there are two examples in the poem. The two examples are: the sound of T in “what wealth the show to me had brought” (Wordsmith) and N sound in “in vacant or in pensive” (Wordsmith). This is used very effectively in the poem because it gives the poem a more structural feel but also having a rhyming effect as well. This is used properly in the poem and it gives it a great tone to the poem.

The eight and final poetic device is symbolism and the main symbolism in the poem is the daffodils. The daffodils are like little yellow people (because of the colour of the flower) who keep the speaker companied when he is feeling lonely. The happiness of the daffodils can always cheer him up, because they are always dancing and are always happy.

Overall, this poem talks about a lonely person who finds happiness in seeing daffodils that wave in the breeze. This creates this joy in the speaker, once the speaker feels miserable or unhappy, he just has to think of the daffodils and he will feel joy again. Overall, there are a lot of poetic devices that are used in the poem that gives it a more effective feel and makes the poem a lot more interesting.


  • “Importance of Using Hyperboles in a Poems.” Poems Teaching, poemsteaching.weebly.com/importance-of-using-hyperboles-in-a-poems.html
  • Literary Devices. “Literary Terms.” Literary Devices, literary-devices.com/
  • Wordsworth, William. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45521/i-wandered-lonely-as-a-cloud


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