‘I wandered as a lonely cloud’ also known as ‘Daffodils’ is a lyric poem by William Wordsworth. Romanticism and Liberal Humanism – Tenet 1 are the theoretical frameworks which is chosen to apply for the text. Romanticism was ‘an artistic, literary and intellectual movement which originated at Europe towards the end of Eighteenth Century’ . The works during the Romantic period were characterized by deep feelings of emotion and aesthetic love and reverence for nature. According to William Wordsworth, Poetry conveys about emotions and it has the purpose for great feelings. It is through a Poet that we understand about these feelings and that’s why Wordsworth defines a Poet or an Artist as a ‘Man speaking to Man’. Nature is something which Wordsworth tries to connect with the Man. He believes in the element of ‘Naturalness’ and tries to connect between Man.
Liberal Humanism is also a ‘philosophical and literary movement which tries to explain that ‘Man and his capabilities are the central concern’. It reinforces the idea of Individualism, possessing every right in his own views, liberty and happiness. The Individual is considered as ‘Rationale’. The first tenet explains about ‘Good Literature is timeless and Universal’. There are no limitations in Literature. It transcends the boundaries around it. It is something which is constant in human nature and which cannot be changed. As Ben Johnson said of Shakespeare ‘Writing is not for an age, but for all time’. It tries to explain about the universal truth bound by values and certainties.
‘Daffodils’ by Wordsworth is a poem which holds a very special place in the hearts of little children. One of the important things what I learnt through this poem was to appreciate the beauty of everything around us. The poet is marveled by the presence of Nature and he cannot get over by it. The writing style of the poet which is spontaneous filled with ‘powerful emotions’ explains how much he is attached to it. As readers we feel the presence live and also catches our attention to follow his path of being a ‘Nature-Lover’. The main theme of the poem is beauty of Nature and the Romantic movement which he started along with Coleridge is characterized by celebration and love of beauty and nature. Daffodils represents the original Romantic literature. People remember the poem as one of the greatest contributions of Wordsworth towards literature. The English texts in School have still prescribed Daffodils even today. This explains how a Good literature is timeless and powerful.
In the poem we can see that the speaker was aimlessly travelling through the hills and valleys. The description of what he saw there makes us understand that he was marveled by seeing the beautiful nature. ‘Fluttering and Dancing’ refers to the Golden Daffodils being very cheerful and happy on a breezy day. He tells about freedom in certain lines, freedom from worries, difficulties and imagining himself to be a cloud in the sky enjoying the true happiness of freedom. He uses similes, personification and other grammatical elements to grab the attention of readers towards the Nature. He considers these moments in nature as joyful, seeing beauty through his eyes. Wordsworth tries to bring out life in Nature. He appreciates nature and also humanizes it by fitting in his own mind. The first few lines brings about the true essence of Romanticism. But at the same time the speaker feels isolated. He finds happiness by walking through the rural paths and creating the effect of having people around him. Through this we are able to understand the speaker’s intense feelings. The speaker during the beginning starts with a very pessimistic tone but becomes optimistic when he sees the Daffodils. As Liberal Humanists says man becoming universal with the nature. The imageries such as the hills, valleys, the shining stars and the dancing daffodils in the breeze explains how literature transcends boundaries and is timeless with no limits.
In conclusion, we can understand that the speaker was conveying his feelings and emotions and tries to connect with the man. Through Romanticism we understand about how Nature plays a very important role in our lives. The poet has depicted the landscape so well to induce in the minds of Individuals the value of Nature. In Liberal Humanism Tenet 1, Wordsworth portrayals on idea of Individualism explains how a Man can think in his own ways about the Nature most importantly when he saw the Daffodils in the poem, helps him gain happiness and pleasure. The simple language and the form grab the attention of the readers. And that’s why ‘Daffodils’ have been one of the most widely read poems in English Literature which has stood the ‘test of time’.