In the poem `Daffodils`, Wordsworth eloquently uses figurative language, imagery, and personification to describe a scenic display of daffodils. It is through his description of, feelings behind, and reaction to the daffodils that craftily reveal the true meanings of this text.
In the first verse Wordsworth describes himself to wander `lonely as a cloud`. He identifies himself as a solitary creature alone in a void of privacy. In the next line he sees the daffodils, describing them as a crowd (`A host of golden daffodils`). Wordsworth went from being alone to the total opposite, completely surrounded and overwhelmed by a presence (the daffodils). We can also find impact in the several meanings of the word `host` used in line 4. The word `host` can also mean: `crowd,` `swarm,` `congregation` and `mass.` Wordsworth’s usage of the word `host` creates images of community and strength in numbers.Order now
Wordsworth overwhelms us with collective images in verse 2, relating the daffodils to stars, describing them as stretching `in never-ending line` and also expressing that he sees `ten thousand … at a glance`. In the last line of verse 1 he personifies the daffodils to be `fluttering and dancing in the breeze`. We can elaborate on Wordsworth’s many collective images through this line. Frequently, communities or groups of people have trouble working together, but through Wordsworth’s personification of the daffodils, also seen in line 12 where the daffodils are `tossing their heads in sprightly dance,` we recognize that the daffodils are working together in unison with no trouble at all. Their `dance` is in complete coordination.
In verse 3, Wordsworth compares the daffodils to another natural image, waves. `The waves beside them danced; but they Outdid the sparkling waves in glee`. He personifies both the daffodils and the waves to `dance,` again suggesting the ability of both to work as one, but here we also see that Wordsworth decides that the daffodils make much more of an impression on him than the waves. Both objects work in unison, but the difference between the two is that when Wordsworth looks at the waves he only sees one object. When he looks at the daffodils he sees `ten thousand` objects! The waves lack strength in numbers, which is the one aspect of the daffodils which impresses Wordsworth the most; the fact that these `ten thousand` separate things can unite and `dance` so beautifully together.
The manner in which Wordsworth arranges each line in verses 1 and 2 places emphasis on the significance that the daffodils are working communally. Each verse has six lines, and in the first five lines of verses 1 and 2, Wordsworth hits us with these collective images. But in the last lines of each verse, lines 6 and 12, Wordsworth effectively impresses upon us the image of the daffodils moving as one. It is not by coincidence that Wordsworth creates so many images of community and then hits us over the head with images of working together in verses 1 and 2. Wordsworth has something important to say about individualism versus community, suggesting that there is definite beauty in communities or large groups (a.k.a. society), that have co-operation. And notice, Wordsworth has to venture outside of society and into nature to be able to find this beauty. Appreciating and reflecting on these newfound feelings is the next step.
In the last two lines of verse 3 Wordsworth describes his behaviour, `I gazed – and gazed – but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought`. This demonstrates that at first he is not in a state of realization, but when it finally `hits` him, he is brought `wealth,` which can be understood to signify an important lesson or realization. It `hits` Wordsworth when he is lying on his couch. He explains the process of coming to this realization. `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`. Notice, Wordsworth is back to `wandering` again. He is alone, and again in that void of privacy where he can get lost in thought. And it is only in this `mood` that the daffodils `flash upon that inward eye`. Wordsworth describes the `inward eye` as `the bliss of solitude`.
Through this we can interpret the `inward eye` to signify Wordsworth’s reflection of the solitary individual upon himself. But here, Wordsworth describes the solitude as blissful because being alone made him able to gain this perspective. And finally, in the last two lines of the poem, Wordsworth describes what happens when in his blissful solitude, he thinks of the daffodils. `And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils`. Wordsworth ends his poem with another usage of personification. It is only through this distanced perspective, that of being in `blissful solitude,` when he is able to really appreciate and reflect on the impact the daffodils have on him.