© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
I wandered lonely as a Cloud (Daffodils)

I wandered lonely as a Cloud (Daffodils)


by William Wordsworth

The Daffodils (Dance, Dance Revolution)

Symbol Analysis

In "I wandered lonely as a Cloud," the daffodils are like little yellow people who keep the speaker company when he is feeling lonely. The happiness of the daffodils can always cheer him up, and he can tell that they are happy because they dance. Some variation of the word "dance" occurs in each of the four stanzas. Also, the speaker is taken aback by how many daffodils there are. We often think of daffodils as a flower that people plant in their gardens in the springtime, so it would be surprising to come upon thousands of them by an isolated lake.

  • Lines 3-4: The daffodils are personified as a crowd of people. This personification will continue throughout the poem.
  • Lines 6: Daffodils cannot actually "dance," so Wordsworth is ascribing to them an action that is associated with people.
  • Line 9: The speaker says that the line of daffodils is "never-ending," but we know this can’t be strictly true: all good things come to an end. This is an example of hyperbole, or exaggeration.
  • Lines 12: The personification of the daffodils becomes more specific. The "heads" of the daffodils are the part of the flower with the petals. It is larger and heavier than the stem, and so it bobs in a breeze. (When you think about it, it’s kind of amazing how flowers support themselves at all.)
  • Lines 13-14: The waves also get in on some of the dancing (and personification) action, but the daffodils are not to be out-done – they are happier than the waves.
  • Lines 21-24: Wordsworth imagines the daffodils in his spiritual vision, for which he uses the metaphor of an "inward eye." His heart dances like a person, too.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...