WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (part 2)
A. Listen to the poem and read it.
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.
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.
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:
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.
host: large number
fluttering: moving quickly like a bird's wings
tossing: moving up and down or from side to side
out-did: did better
glee: happiness, excitement
gay: happy, excited
jocund: happy and cheerful
gazed: looked attentively for a long time
in vacant or in pensive mood: not thinking about anything or thinking deeply about something
inward: inner, inside
bliss: complete happiness
solitude: the state of being completely alone
B. Answer the questions.
- Where is the poet in the first stanza and what is he doing? Is he alone or in company?
- What does he suddenly come across?
- Find references in the poem to the colour, the location, number and movement of the daffodils.
- What is the poet's reaction to the scene?
- Where is the poet in the fourth stanza and what is he doing?
- What is the poet's mood in the fourth stanza? Why and how does it change?
- Find a simile in the first stanza. What state of mind is the poet in?
- Find the words in the description of daffodils in the first stanza that contrast with the poet's description.
- Find a simile in the second stanza. Why does the poet use this comparison?
- Find examples of personification in the second and third stanzas. What is the movement of the daffodils compared to?
- Find three synonyms in the third stanza for 'happy' and 'happiness'. Which other words in the first three stanzas convey the sense of joy?
- In which part of the poem does the setting change? How does the tense of the verbs change? Why?
- What does the poet mean by the word 'wealth'?
- What metaphor does the poet use for human imagination?
- Wordsworth's definition of poetry, in Lyrical Ballads' preface, is: "the spontaneous overflow of feelings and emotions recollected in tranquility." How is this definition connected with the poem you've read?
- What is the main idea of the poem?
overflow: a very strong emotion (something flows over the top because there is too much of something);
C. Think of a natural setting which you particularly liked and write its short description with an account of emotions it stirs up in you.