'I wandered lonely as a cloud'

A lyric poem inspired by an event on 15 April 1802, when William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came across a “long belt” of daffodils in the Lake District, where they lived at the time. Written in 1804, it was first published in 1807 in Poems in Two Volumes, and a slightly revised version was published in 1815. It is written in four six-line stanzas with an ABABCC rhyme scheme. Often referred to as ‘Daffodils’, it is one of England’s most famous poems.

Although its lines are profoundly engaged with the realities of life on the ground (the flowers, the water, the wind) they are written as if from above. Wordsworth is determined to establish a visionary dimension to the poem, stretching the limits of the physical world, exploring the sympathetic relationship between diverse elements (earth, water and air), and rising to a climax in which the limits of both time and the human mind are challenged.

Manuscript of 'I wandered lonely as a cloud' by William Wordsworth

Printer's manuscript of William Wordsworth's Poems, in Two Volumes, 1807 [folio: 80r]

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Creator:
William Wordsworth
Published:
1807
Full title:
'Daffodils'
Forms:
Poem
Genre:
Romantic literature
Literary period:
Romantic

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