The poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by William Wordsworth is categorized as a representation of Romanticism, an intellectual impression characterized by the emphasis of an individual’s expression of emotion and imagination. Throughout the poem, Wordsworth constantly draws the connections between a heightened interest in nature and the human mood, uniting the two in one to further advocate Romanticism’s qualities. More specifically, the spiritual value which the speaker of the poem finds in nature (daffodils) is delineated through the imageries and other literary techniques such as hyperbole and overstatement that the poet employs.
In the first stanza, the speaker is metaphorically portrayed as a lonely cloud in the sky, watching down on the crowded daffodils on earth. The apparent distance between the symbolic location of the speaker and the daffodils contrasts the loneliness and the liveliness at the scene, almost as if the speaker is the only cloud in the sky, with no destination and sense of direction while the daffodils “dance[s] in the breeze.” Such loneliness and contrast create a sense of emotions in the atmosphere, nearly a feeling of sadness and a desire of the speaker to join the crowded daffodils.
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Moreover, the desire is echoed as Wordsworth utilizes hyperboles in the description of golden daffodils to elaborate the excitement and emotional affection the speaker experiences when he oversees them. In reality, daffodils are simply a type of yellow flower. However, the exaggeration of the color suggests the strong emotional feeling that the speaker has for the flowers. Such passion, which the speaker possesses for the daffodils, is further revealed as Wordsworth goes on to overstress the flowery scene with the amount of “ten thousand.” As it is almost impossible to have such an enormous amount of flowers in one spot, the overstatement does indeed serve its purpose of emphasizing the speaker’s grandiose (as if it is the same amount as the flowers) feeling about the flowers.
It is interesting to note that Wordsworth may deliberately depict the speaker as a natural object, cloud, while personifies the natural objects, daffodils, as human beings. Such technique may create a sense of unity between the two; human transforms into nature, and nature transforms into a human. Not only the feeling of the speaker (human) about the daffodils (nature) is strengthened, but at the same time, it also allows the readers to experience the poem more easily. Moreover, hyperbole is again employed by Wordsworth as he portrays the daffodils “continuous as the stars that shine”.
Such portrayal contradicts the short live characteristic of a daffodil, however, the feeling created in the speaker may stay eternally, like the stars that live to be billions of years old. Overall, Wordsworth utilizes hyperboles and overstatements, particularly in the first two stanzas, to emphasize the importance of nature while advocating the importance of imagination in Romanticism. Meanwhile, human’s affection towards nature is also another element presented in this poem.