We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
I wandered lonely as a Cloud (Daffodils)

I wandered lonely as a Cloud (Daffodils)


by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a Cloud (Daffodils) Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line)

Quote #1

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils; (lines 2-3)

You don’t think about verb tenses through much of the poem. It reads like a straightforward narrative which, though not set in the present, still has this present-y atmosphere to it because of phrases like "all at once."

Quote #2

A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company: (lines 13-14)

The poem could have worked just fine if it ended here. Sad man becomes happy: a perfect plot. But no, Wordsworth has to be Wordsworth and add more layers of complexity.

Quote #3

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood, (lines 19-20)

The final stanza hits us with a surprise: the daffodil scene wasn’t something that happened yesterday, or even last week. It happened a while ago. Now the speaker is giving us a memory about his memories.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...