Daffodils – William Wordsworth

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Daffodils – William Wordsworth

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Summary & Notes

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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. 

Meaning

  • Wandered – Roamed
  • Lonely – Alone
  • O’er – Over
  • Vales – Valleys
  • Crowd – A crowd; a host
  • Daffodils – Large yellow flowers
  • Beside – By the side of the
  • Beneath the trees – Under the trees
  • Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Questions & Answers

  1. How do we get to know that the poet was so happy when he saw the daffodils?
    We get to know that the poet was in a happy mood because he was wandering like a cloud. This means that his mind was very light. He had no worries in his mind. Besides, the poet liked being lonely.
  2. What does the poet compare himself to? Why?
    The poet compares himself to a cloud that floats in the sky. He makes such a comparison to express how happy and stress-free he was at that time.
  3. What did the poet see while wandering?
    The poet saw a host of golden daffodils by the side of a lake. They kept moving as if they were dancing under the trees.
  4. Where did the daffodils grow?
  5. What did the daffodils do?
  6. In what sense, do you think, was the poet and the daffodils similar?
  7. Pick out instances of personification from the stanza.
    The poem personifies the daffodils by giving them human features such as dancing and calling them a ‘host’ and ‘crowd’ that are usually used to refer to human beings.
  8. Write the rhyme scheme of the stanza?
    The rhyme scheme of the stanza is ababcc.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 

Meaning

  • Continuous – in a long line
  • Twinkle – Shine
  • Milky way – A Galaxy
  • Margin – Bank; boundary
  • Bay – Part of a sea of river or lake where the land curves inward
  • Ten thousand saw I at a glance – I saw 10000 daffodils at a time
  • Tossing – Dancing
  • Heads – The flowers
  • Sprightly – Happy

Questions & Answers

  1. What does the poet compare the daffodils in the stanza? Do you think this comparison is appropriate? Why?
  2. Who stretched in never-ending line?
  3. What does bay mean?
    1. Lake
    2. Horizon
    3. Inlet
    4. Sea
  4. The poet could not have counted the daffodils yet he calls it ten thousand. What poetic device is this?
    1. Simile
    2. Metaphor
    3. Oxymoron
    4. Hyperbole

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought: 

Meaning

  • The waves beside them danced;
  • Glee – Great delight
  • but they  out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
  • A poet could not but be gay,
  • Gay – Happy
  • Jocund – Merry
  • In such a jocund company:
  • Gaze – Look
  • I gazed—and gazed—
  • Little thought – I did not think
  • Wealth – Profit
  • What wealth the show to me had brought:

Questions

  1. Who outdid what? How?
    The daffodils outdid the sparkling of the waves with their delighted dance.
  2. Explain, “A poet could not but be gay.”
    According to Wordsworth, a poet who looks at such a wonderful sight can have only one emotion and that is happiness.
  3. Why are ordinary people not able to be happy at the sight of the daffodils?
  4. Whose company is said to be jocund?
  5. Why didn’t the poet think of his benefits from looking at the daffodils?

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.

Meaning

  • Oft – Often
  • Couch – Chair
  • Vacant – Empty mind
  • Pensive – Heavy with thoughts
  • Inward eye – Imagination; memory
  • Bliss – Happiness
  • Solitude – Loneliness

Questions & Answers

  1. How does the memory of the daffodils make the poet happy when his mind is devoid of happiness?
  2. What is the bliss of solitude for the poet?
  3. What happens to the poet’s mind when he recalls the memory of the daffodils?
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Biju John

Biju John is an educational writer, educator and the author of OM - The Otherwise Men.

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