Wednesday, September 19, 2007

William Wordsworth’s, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, presents an appreciation for the beauty of the world around us. The speaker in this piece is a person who is wandering, although through the use of multiple conceits Wordsworth creates the image of a cloud looking over a field of daffodils. By comparing the speaker to a cloud Wordsworth gives him the ability to see things from a great distance, without having any effect on that which is being observed. Another conceit used in the piece is the comparison of the people, and the sights of the speaker to daffodils. Daffodils are distinct flowers that are most widely known as being yellow, and in that way they are seen as uniform. However, Wordsworth gives the flowers individuality in their motions. That is to that though the flowers are visually similar they nonetheless were “fluttering and dancing in the breeze”. A poem is an effective literary form for Wordsworth to have used because it allows great freedom in ways such as the use of metaphors and sentence structure. The rhyming pattern adds to the tone of the piece through the way that it goes back and forth between rhyming sound, similar to the way in which the daffodils are dancing.

The conceit of the cloud ends before the poem does, allowing the reader to understand better the true speaker. While the cloud travels and watches over the daffodils, the speaker lays on his couch and thinks of these things. This can be related to the ideas of cities and their inhabitants because so often despite the beauty of cities their inhabitants remain inside. This reminds me directly of Loyola because so many of the students remain disconnected from the city. While every student has physically been through the city, like the cloud wandering above, not as many actually got off their couches and internalize all that the city has to offer.

In my previous Event Analysis, I discussed “the oneness” of people despite their backgrounds. Wordsworth, too, demonstrates “the oneness” through the idea that everyone is a daffodil. However, the image he creates has an effect more of superficial similarities than they idea that beneath everything we are humans. Also because in the conceit the speaker is a cloud, high above and separate from the flowers, it differs from my own experiences in Baltimore. That is not to say however, that I have always felt as connected with Baltimore. When I first came to Loyola their seemed to be a barrier equal to that between a cloud in the sky and flowers rooted in the ground. However, it was through service and experience that the distance became not as vast.

The poem challenges the reader to appreciate the beauty within everyone; to see the daffodil within everyone. Beyond seeing the beauty in individuals, the speaker is able to see the beauty of his surroundings despite being isolated. However, I think the poem welcomes people to remain within their comfort zone. The speaker sets the example of not actually leaving his couch, and therefore remains lonely. Through negation the poem implies that if you wander through the world in reality you will see much more and by being on the ground amongst the flowers no longer be as lonely as the cloud.

No comments: