I wandered lonely as a Cloud (Daffodils)
by William Wordsworth
Angels and Spirits
You have to read into the poem a bit, but we think that Wordsworth is definitely trying to associate the flowers with angelic or heavenly beings. Maybe he was thinking of Dante’s Paradiso from The Divine Comedy, in which all the angels and blessed souls of heaven form a big flower. However, Wordsworth is a more naturalistic (i.e., strictly realistic) poet than Dante, and so the imagery of angels is extremely subtle.
- Line 4: You may have heard the phrase, "heavenly host" in reference to angels or spirits. We think Wordsworth adds the word "host" in order to suggest this connection. Also, the color of the flowers is golden like a halo.
- Line 10: Stars are associated with angels, too, so the simile comparing the flowers to "twinkling" stars reinforces the connection.
- Line 12: The word "sprightly" is derived from the word "sprite," meaning a local spirit, almost like a fairy.