DAFFODILS
William Wordsworth

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

 

 

 

 


Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

 

 

 

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

 

 

 


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
;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

 

The poet is wandering in a state of loneliness and absent-mindedness (as a cloud: is a simile, he compares his lonely to that of a cloud and the cloud symbolises his integration with the natural world). Both he and the cloud are floating (floats= fluttua) on high, when he saw a field full of golden daffodils (crowd= folla  - they are seen as a crowd).  Both he and the cloud are aspects of the world, which is subject to the laws of nature but they can still retain their freedom in spite of this.
Other images in the poem reinforce this – the 'lake' 'trees' 'cloud' and 'waves' are all natural images and the daffodils give the clear focus of the poem which predominately makes nature the most important feature throughout.
host, of golden daffodils  = moltitudine di giunchiglie dorate; The poem was inspired by the sight of a field full of golden daffodils waving in the wind. These daffodils are located in the countryside near a lake and trees and are also seen to move continually in a dance. Wordsworth expresses feelings for nature through these symbolic objects. He personifies the daffodils as dancers (dancing in the breeze = danzanti nella brezza), dancing gaily as part of the beauty of nature.

In the second lines the poet shows the daffodils as part of a universal order and he compares them to the stars (as the stars) in the Milky Way (= Via Lattea).
They  stretched in never-ending line = The daffodils (they) are ( stretched = si estendono)  in never-ending line (fila infinita) The sight of the daffodils amazes the poet at first because of their great number in fact they a crowd, continuous, ten thousand (saw I at a glance = viste con un’occhiata), host, never ending-line. The poet wants to underline that the flower are really many.
The daffodils were tossing (=scuotevano) their heads in a sprightly (=allegra/briosa) dance.

The daffodils are then compared with the waves on the lake, which also dance(The waves beside them danced), though not with so much glee (= gaiezza/gioia; is a peculiar word which the poet uses when talking of the joy of creative activity) as the flowers ( Out-did the sparkling waves = superavano le onde spumeggianti).
The poet is gay because the joy of nature affects the poet. The rhythm falls with a special emphasis on the “gazing” (I gazed—and gazed = guardavo/fissavo).
The experience of the poet is not limited to the immediate pleasure of intellectual delight in the scene observed. He realises the full extent of the wealth the scene has given him in a spiritual way and it stays with him always as an inspiration (What wealth the show to me had brought).

The last stanza of the poem reveals that he is lying on a couch and visualizing the daffodils, which brings him serenity and joy: For oft = spesso.; when on my couch I lie = quando mi trovo sul mio divano; In vacant = ozioso/distratto or in pensive= pensoso mood = stato d’animo. In this stanza there is a tense shift from past to present. In the first three stanzas the tense is the past and in the last stanza there is the present.
They = the daffodils, once again, flash upon that inward (=interiore) eye/Which is the bliss (beatitudine ) of solitude: this kind of solitude is very different from the melancholy loneliness described at the beginning of the poem. In this condition the poet finds his heart dancing with joy, a joy which revives the pleasure participated in when he observed the dance of the daffodils in the breeze.

 

Commento: The poem Daffodils by Wordsworth, written in 1804 and published in 1807, recounts the experience of a walk the poet went for with his sister, near their home in the Lake District. Wordsworth is reminiscing when he saw a great quantity of daffodils which made him feel happy and in contact with nature the flowers are personified, in fact they are described as a dancing crowd whose beauty is superior to everything else. He is looking back on how much of an impression it has had on him. This poem is a clear example of Romantic poetry for its naturalistic theme. Nature was for Wordsworth a protection and the clear manifestation of God.
The key of the poem is joy, as we can see from the many words which express pleasure and delight: in fact the daffodils are golden, waving in a sprightly dance and outdoing the waves in glee: they provide a jocund company and the sight of them fills the poet’s heart with pleasure.
All nature appears wonderfully alive and happy in fact the cloud floats on high; the stars shine and twinkle, the waves dance and sparkle in glee. The daffodils, too, are not static like in a painting, but alive with motion. They are in fact fluttering and dancing in the breeze, and tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The sight of the flowers brings the poet delight but he doesn’t realize that at the moment but only later, when memory brings back the scene. It is clear that the daffodils have a metaphorical meaning. They may represent the voice of nature, which is scarcely audible except in solitude.
Wordsworth uses many metaphors, similes and personifications (for example the daffodils are continually personified as human beings, dancing and "tossing their heads" in "a crowd, a host").
Forma metrica: The poem is divided into four stanzas which correspond to the various moods of the poet. The four six-line stanzas of this poem follow a quatrain-couplet rhyme scheme: AB AB CC. Each line is metered in iambic tetrameter.

Clicca qui per: Vita di William Wordsworth
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