"I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud" - Poem Analysis Essay Sample

Published: 2022-02-21
"I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud" - Poem Analysis Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Literature review
Categories:  Poem William Wordsworth
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 984 words
9 min read

In the poem "I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud," William Wordsworth explores the wonders and marvels of Nature as he often does in many of his poems. According to Wordsworth Nature is sacred and divine but we humans rarely see this. In the poem, Wordsworth takes the point of view of a single cloud wandering in the sky. He is walking in a garden, and he feels as isolated as the cloud above. The cloud "sees" a crowd below. A crowd is normally associated with people or at least living things, but this crowd is "a host, of golden daffodils" (Wordsworth 3-4).

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Wordsworth felt that Nature was being neglected at this time. Indeed in the early 1800s, in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, many people were moving from the countryside to urban areas like London looking for work. This poem, like many of the Romantic Period, has profound, reflective emotions. For example in the fourth stanza, lines 19 and 20, Wordsworth writes "For oft, when on my couch I lie/ In vacant or in pensive mood" (Wordsworth & Creeley). These lines shows us that although, the persona was supposedly a cloud that was not the case. The persona is a poet musing on Nature. In the Romantic Period, poets were similar to environmental conservationists. William Wordsworth, in particular, used poems of varying compositions.

The Romantic poet was more focused on describing nature and his emotions and reactions in regards to it. The poem uses primary and secondary imagination. The primary imagination is in the imagery of the observed Nature for example in describing the movement (dancing) of daffodils, Wordsworth writes, "Fluttering and dancing in the breeze" (Wordsworth 6). Secondary imagination includes his comparison of daffodils to the Milky Way, "Continuous as the stars that shine/ And twinkle on the Milky Way" (Wordsworth 7-8). Wordsworth describes Nature this way because he feels people do not appreciate the beauty of the natural environment.

"When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be"

In this poem, John Keats becomes candid about his fears of a personal nature. His first fear is death and more than that, he fears to die before reaching his peak as a poet and writer. The first two lines, "When I have fears that I may cease to be/Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain" (Keats 1-2) shows us his fears. He fears that he may not fulfill his full writing potential. In this case, Time is the unknown. He feels that if he lives longer, he will be a writing great but that is not guaranteed because Time has no master. "When I behold, upon the night's starred face/ Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance" (Keats 5-6). Keats describes his expectations of love in these lines. Love has no form or shape as he describes it as "huge cloudy symbols of high romance" (Keats 6).

Keats fears the high expectations placed on a person by society concerning love. Keats imagines how it will be if his fear of not finding love comes true. In the same lines, he also addresses the pressing concern of being alone. He writes "Never have relish in the faery power/ Of unreflecting love-then on the shore/ Of the wide world I stand alone and think" (Wu, (Ed.). 11-13). "Faery power" is imagery for the fantastic nature of love- rooted in a make-believe world.

Lastly, Keats fears fame. He worries that he may not handle fame very well. Also, he fears that fame will isolate him from the rest of the world. He writes "Of the wide world I stand alone, and think/ Till love and fame to nothingness do sink" (Keats 13-14). In the Romantic period, poets were very famous people. Their lives were under public scrutiny. Keats fears to lose his writing prowess and to sink into "nothingness." (Keats 14)

Lord Byron's "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"

Characteristics of the romantic period from Lord Byron's "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" tend to nature and its beauty to communicate and drive a point to the reader. For instance, the poem "to Ianthe" applies the used of nature like the rainbow in line 8 of stanza 2 to explain how bright the future is explained using natural colors of the rainbow. Additionally, line nine also affirms the use of nature in creating romantic vibes in poems. The line communicates that beholds the rainbow of her future years, and future sorrow disappears through heavenly hues. Secondly, the poets are known for their immense rhyme scheme that runs through their poetic works. In the "canto the first," poem, Lord Byron outlines a perfect rhyme scheme through the poem (Marandi & Pirnajmuddin 15). It is indeed an ideal regular rhyme that has the format, -th, -ill, in the first paragraph. The subsequent stanzas also have their own rhyming words.

The romantics thought that a perfect rhyme makes their message to be wrapped in a romantic appeal. Additionally, they felt that rhyme shows their perfection in the choice of soothing and seductive words to communicate with their loved ones. Through the rhyming words, the romantics tried to wrap up their message in a classic appeal to cement the reader with the urge to keep reading the poem. Lastly, through rhyme, the romantics could be able to communicate a perfect romantic message that showed creativity. An example is in stanza two of "canto the first" poem that communicates Whilome and the aisle from the youthful life by the use of perfect rhyme that uses words that depict romantic sensation. Words like delight, night, shrine, nine and mine are perfectly intertwined to make a romantic text sound more romantic (Marandi & Pirnajmuddin 14).

Works Cited

Wu, D. (Ed.). (2012). Romanticism: an anthology (Vol. 5). John Wiley & Sons.

Wordsworth, William, and Robert Creeley. I wandered lonely as a cloud. ProQuest LLC, 2004.

Marandi, Seyed Mohammad, and Hossein Pirnajmuddin. "Childe Harold's Journey to the East and "Authenticity"." International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (ILSHS) 1 (2014): 14-27.

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