Daffodils Poem Summary in English by William Wordsworth

Daffodils Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. Daffodils Poem is written by William Wordsworth.

Daffodils Poem Summary in English by William Wordsworth

Daffodils Poem Summary
Daffodils Poem Summary

Daffodils Poem About the Poet

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) is regarded as the greatest poet of Nature. He is a worshipper of Nature — Nature’s devotee or high-priest. Nature occupies in his poems independent status and is not treated in a casual or passing manner. Under the influence of Nature, he experiences a mystic mood, a transcendental feeling.

The revolutionary movement in France (1788-92) made a powerful impression on his mind, but soon he was disillusioned and spent some years in despair. He was given the title of Poet Laureate in 1843. His major works are : Lyrical Ballads (1798), Poems in two Volumes (1807) and The Excursion (1814).

Daffodils About the Poem

All about the Poem Daffodils:
The poem ‘Daffodils’ shows Wordsworth’s love of Nature. It brings home the idea that nature is the source of eternal joy. The beautiful scene of the golden daffodils fills the poet with pleasure and his heart begins to dance with daffodils.

‘Daffodils’ is Wordsworth’s most famous work and shows vividly his love of nature. It underlines the idea that beautiful objects of nature like daffodils—flowers that bloom earliest in spring in England—fill our minds with pleasure. Even the memory of such objects delights us.

The poet tells us how he once saw a large number of golden-coloured, beautiful daffodils growing beside a lake. In their company he felt happy and was lost in their beauty. He continued to gaze at the beautiful sight. Afterwards, whenever he was lonely or sad, the memory of these beautiful flowers filled him with great happiness. His heart began to dance with the dancing daffodils.

Daffodils Poem Theme

I. Nature—a source of eternal joy
The poem brings home the idea that nature is a source of eternal joy. Nature is full of beauty that captivates us all the time. The beautiful objects of nature-flowers, plants, mountains, lakes, stars, the sun, the moon, so on and so forth – fill our minds with pleasure. In the poem ‘Daffodils’, it is the beautiful scene of the golden daffodils that mesmerized the poet. The daffodils, growing near the lake appeared to be tossing their heads in a gentle breeze, as if in a dance and the poet realized :

A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company.

He continued to gaze at the beautiful sight, the real worth of which he realized only when he was removed far from it. He comes to realize that nature has the ability to soothe and delight us in our melancholy mood. The beautiful scene of the daffodils often flashes across his mind, and he feels as if his heart were dancing in joy with the dancing daffodils.

II. Nature’s healing power
This poem shows how nature has the power to heal our stressed soul. If we care to turn to nature, we are amazed to find wonderful sights, such as the one described in the poem ‘Daffodils’.

The concluding stanza makes it clear that a beautiful sight in nature is capable of removing any stress and gloom from our minds. The poet says that whenever he is in a sad or idle mood the beautiful scene of daffodils fills his mind with pleasure. This is what we feel in the lap of nature. By just looking at the starry sky, the rising or setting sun, a garden, birds and trees, we forget all our weals and woes. In his sonnet ‘The World is Too Much with Us’, Wordsworth rightly says :

The world is too much with us; late and soon
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

Daffodils Poem Summary in English

The poem ‘Daffodils’ depicts the sight that the poet actually enjoyed in the company of his sister Dorothy while they were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park.

In the beginning, the poet describes himself as a cloud that floats over the hills, underlining the fact of his seclusion (though he was not lonely in reality). All of a sudden his eyes fell upon a large ‘belt’ of daffodils by the side of the lake. They were sheltered under growing trees. A gentle breeze made these golden-coloured flowers wave and dance. The poet uses the word ‘host’ for the daffodils as if they were welcoming the poet being their guest.

The poet feels that the daffodils were as numerous as the stars that shine and twinkle in the Milky Way. They were spread in a long line on the bank of the lake. The poet saw a large number of them moving their heads as if they were dancing and rejoicing.

The poet observes that the waves on the surface of the lake seemed to be dancing. But the dance of daffodils surpassed their dance in liveliness. The poet feels that no poet can help feeling delighted in the presence of such delightful companions. He -continued to gaze at the beautiful scene. He was so lost in its beauty that he could hardly realize its worth then. He realized its worth only when he was away from the sight.

The concluding stanza of the poem is quite important. It is, in fact, often quoted by critics to prove Wordsworth’s point that poetry “takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquillity”. It is important to keep in mind that ‘Daffodils’, like many other poems, records a past experience. That is why, the poet says :

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.

The memory of the scene of golden daffodils fills the poet’s mind with joy. His heart begins to dance with the daffodils. He forgets his sadness or loneliness. It is, of course, in solitude that human mind captures the things already seen. The poet wants to emphasize that nature is a source of eternal joy to man.

Daffodils Poem Stanza Wise Explanation

Stanza 1
The poet recalls how once he wandered as freely as a cloud over valleys and hills. Suddenly he saw a large number of golden daffodils. The daffodils had grown under the trees near the lake. A cool breeze was blowing. So the beautiful flowers tossed their heads in the breeze as if in a dance. The beautiful scene, thus, captivated the poet.

Stanza 2
The poet, then recalls that the daffodils he saw were as numerous as shining stars in the Milky Way in the sky. The simile underlines the large number and the beauty of the flowers. The daffodils growing beside the lake seemed to form an endless line. They tossed their heads to and fro in the breeze as if they were engaged in a lively dance. The daffodils are personified as human beings “dancing” and “tossing” their heads. Earlier, they have been described as “a crowd” and “a host”. This personification continues throughout to underline an inherent unity between man and nature.

Stanza 3
The poet recalls how the shining waves in the lake seemed to be dancing in the breeze. But their dance was surpassed by the dance of the daffodils. The daffodils seemed to be dancing with much more liveliness and vigour. The poet is of the opinion that no sensitive person can help feeling delighted in the company of such joyful companions. He recalls how he continued to gaze at the beautiful scene. He could not think what wealth of joy it had brought to him.

Stanza 4
This stanza marks a break in time. There is a clear shift from the past to the present. The poet says that whenever he lies on his couch in a free or sad mood, the beautiful scene of daffodils seen by him flashes across his mind. This happens only in solitude. The memory of the beautiful scene fills the poet’s mind with joy. His heart begins to dance with the dancing daffodils. This is the crux of the poem. The poet conveys the idea that nature has the power to make us come out of our melancholy or depressed mood and be happy.

Daffodils Poem Glossary

Stanza 1
wandered : moved about
floats : flies
o’er : over
‘a crowd…. a host’ : the daffodils have been personified here as human beings
a host : one who receives a guest
beside : near
beneath : under
fluttering : moving lightly and quickly

Stanza 2
continuous : growing in a large number
twinkle : shine with a light that changes constantly, as stars do
the Milky Way (=the Galaxy) : a shining bright band in the sky (made up of stars)
stretched : spread
never-ending : continuous
margin : bank
bay : lake
ten thousand : a large number
at a glance : at one look
tossing : moving from side to side
sprightly : lively

Stanza 3
beside : near
them : (here) daffodils
out-did : surpassed/excelled
sparkling : shining
glee : joy
A poet : any poet or any sensitive person with a poetic heart
gay : happy (old use)
could not but be gay : could not help becoming happy
jocund : happy
jocund company : joyful company of the daffodils and the waves, etc.
gazed : looked steadily for a long time
little thought : did not think
wealth : (here) wealth of joy

Stanza 4
for : because
oft : often
couch : bed
vacant : idle
pensive : sad
they : the daffodils
flash : suddenly appear like lightning
inward eye : mind’s eye, imagination
bliss : great happiness
solitude : the state of being alone, which is pleasant
‘dances ….. daffodils’ : the poet shares the joy of the daffodils imagina-tively, even though he is now far removed from them.

Daffodils Poem Critical Appreciation

Origin of the Poem
The poem ‘Daffodils’ was inspired by a real incident. Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came across a large number of golden daffodils during a walk in the woods. Wordsworth gave poetic expression to his experience and the poem he wrote was published in 1807. Its revised version appeared in 1815.

Title
Wordsworth entitled his poem Daffodils. The title ‘Daffodils’ is apt, as the whole poem is about the golden daffodils which the poet saw during his walk and which became a source of continuous joy for him.

Nature Poem
It is obvious to say that ‘Daffodils’ is a nature poem. In this poem we note how the poet’s mind receives the impression from his chance meeting with a host of golden daffodils growing under the trees beside the bank of a. lake. The flowers were swaying in the breeze. Enchanted by the beautiful scene the poet compares them to the twinkling stars in the Milky Way. The pleasant encounter with the daffodils remains etched in his mind. This has the capacity to make him calm and happy in his melancholy or idle mood.

Reality vs Utopia
The poem has a clear shift from the real world full of tensions, weals and woes to the utopian world of nature where peace and happiness prevail. The very opening line ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ shows the poet’s sense of loneliness (which was marked by the death of his brother John) which was not pleasant. There is then a sudden shift to the world of nature in which beautiful flowers capture his attention and he is transported to another world of bliss. In the last stanza, the poet brings us back to the real world in which one cannot escape from the daily problems, worries and anxieties of life. Now he realizes the true worth of the beautiful sight of the daffodils. He recollects the sight and regains his peace of mind and then his heart begins to dance with the dancing daffodils.

Daffodils Poem Style and Literary Devices

Form
The poem is a lyric. It gives expression to a single emotion or feeling of joy in nature. Like a true lyric, it is not complex. It appeals more to the heart than to the intellect. Then it is quite short and musical.

Literary Devices

Personification
In order to convey an inherent unity between man and nature, Wordsworth compares himself to a ‘cloud’, an object of nature, while he humanizes the daffodils by using the words ‘a crowd’ and ‘a host’ for them.

Similes

  1. The poet compares his idle wandering to that of a cloud over hills and valleys.
  2. Then he compares the beauty of the daffodils with that of the twinkling stars in the sky.
  3. He also compares the dance of the v daffodils with that of the waves in the lake to pinpoint the superiority of the daffodils in their liveliness.

Structure
The poem is divided into four stanzas – each having six lines, with the rhyme scheme of ababcc in iambic tetrameter. The rhyme scheme is regular throughout the poem. In each stanza, the first line rhymes with the third and the second line rhymes with the fourth and the fifth line rhymes with the sixth.

Alliteration
‘I gazed and gazed…’
g A Collection of Poems

Inversion
“For oft, when on my couch I lie”
“Ten thousand saw I…”

Metaphor
‘That inward eye’ refers metaphorically to the memory.

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