I Wandered Lonely
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The title of the poem is the first thing that attracts the audience’s attention. The words “I wondered lonely” give a clue on the speaker of the poem: An idle individual, roaming around alone. The use of the term lonely also reveals some kind of misery that the speaker was going through. The visual element to first notice is the capitalization of the word ‘wandered’ in the first line. This is the most conspicuous word because it is the only capitalized word in the poem. Normally, you would not expect to find a word written in capital letters in a line other than the title. By using the word, the poet immediately captures the attention of the audience and creates the center of attraction.
Judging from the voice of the poem, it is a narrative poem. This is because the speaker tells a story of his experience. The poem is arranged in four stanzas with six lines each. This shows some uniformity in the poem and makes it appealing to the audience. The speaker uses a number of lyrical devices to pass a cross his message and make the story interesting. One such device is rhyme. For instance, the last word in the fifth line of the poem is trees while the sixth line ends with the word breeze. The middle sounds of the words trees and breeze are similar. Another example is found in line 8 and 10 which end with way and bay respectively. This gives some rhythm to the poem and makes it appealing to the reader.
Rhyme helps in unifying the poem. The two sounds link two different concepts that help to classify the poem. In this case, the speaker uses the end rhyme. The rhyming words link the lines together as some component to deliver a common message. The rhyme creates a rhythm that makes the flow of words in the poem to sound natural and make the audience more attentive. This element is used in every stanza. Other words that rhyme include; thought and brought, they and gay, lie and eye among others. Generally, the speaker uses rhyming words at the end of alternate lines while in some instances, he uses rhyming words in lines that are exactly next to each other.
Repetition has also been used in the poem. In line 17, the speaker says “I gazed and gazed”. The word gazed has been repeated to emphasize his action. The speaker therefore calls for attention on the word and drives the point to the audience. He demonstrates that he stared but did not get any benefit from his actions. The audience can imagine how long the speaker gazed. Repetition also creates a pattern that makes the poem more interesting to the ear if it is read out loudly. The speaker therefore connects ideas in the poem and keeps the audience thinking. He also makes use of conventions. For instance, the repeated words have been separated by a hyphen which is unusual. However, poets are at liberty to use conventions to add some creativity in the poem and make it more interesting.
On several occasions the speaker interchanges the word order. For instance in the last line of the third stanza, he writes, “What wealth the show to me had brought”. Similarly, in the second last line of the forth stanza, he writes, “And then my heart with pleasure fills.” The word order in these two lines has been altered. Nonetheless the sentences still retain the same meaning they would have had if the words were arranged in the normal order. The speaker manages to keep the flow of the poem and makes it appealing to the audience.
Another element that has been employed by the speaker is simile. In the first line, it is written “I wandered lonely as a cloud”. The speaker compares his movement to that of a cloud. We know that clouds are swayed by wind and they would move to direction the wind blows. They cannot determine their own direction and stick to it. By comparing his movement with that of a cloud, the speaker demonstrates that his movement had no specific direction or purpose. This confirms why he capitalized the word ‘wandered’ in line one. I t also justifies the title. A simile is also used at the beginning of the second stanza. The speaker states, “Continuous as the stars that shine”. The makes a direct comparison between the stars and the number of the golden daffodils that stretched in a long line. The speaker reveals to the audience that the daffodils were so many that he could not count all of them; the same way it was impossible to count the stars in the sky. The similes therefore enable the speaker to create a verbal picture that makes the audience to relate to the ideas in a more clear way. They also help the speaker to convey his message and feelings more strongly.
In some instance, the speaker has shortened words by omitting some letters. For example is in the second line of the poem, he shortens the word over to o’er. Looking at this word for the first time, one might think that the speaker used a totally different word. However, a keen look reveals that it was a shortened word. By using such a basic element, the speaker engages the audience to think a little harder and makes them to concentrate on the poem.
There is also an element of personification used in the poem. This is evident in the first line of the third stanza. The line reads, “The waves besides them danced”. In this line, the speaker addresses the waves like they were living things. He demonstrates the movement taken by the waves and equates it to dancing. Nonetheless, the audience gets the image of movement of the waves. The speaker uses this element to make the story more dramatic and conveys a jovial mood thus making the poem more interesting. Additionally, the speaker ensures that the audience is able to relate well with the idea being personified which is the movement of the waves. By relating the waves to human attributes, the audience can get a feeling of what the poem is talking about.
The speaker also uses what would be considered to be poor grammar. For instance in line 3, he states, “When all at once I saw a crowd …” to mean that he suddenly so a crowd. Despite the fact that the audience would notice the grammatical error, the audience can still get the message in the sentence. This style spices up the poem and makes it appealing to the audience thus capturing their attention. The speaker intentionally uses this kind of grammar to structure the poem.
In the last two sentences, he states, “…my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils.” This lines end the poem in a different mood from what it was in the beginning. Unlike in the beginning when the mood was gloomy and boring, the speaker ends with a happy mode. The idea that the heart dances indicates that the experience was entertaining. The speaker therefore transforms what began as a boring experience to a happy ending.