Poem: The Daffodils English, 9th Grade About the Author & Poem The Author of this Poem, William Wordsworth (17701850) was a great nature poet. He is well known for his poems like “Tintern Abbey”, “Ode on Intimations of Immortality” and other shorter poems like “The Daffodils”, “The Solitary Reaper”, etc. He chose nature and common man for the themes of his poems. He wrote about natural objects in simple language and with his eyes always fixed upon the object of his description. In this poem the poet describes how he could enjoy the sight of daffodils even many days after he saw them. The Poem I wander’d lonely as a cloud That floats on high over 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 Poem Continued… The waves beside them danced, but they Outdid the sparking waves in glee; A poet could not but the 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 dance with the daffodils. Glossary • daffodils • • • • • vales A host of beneath fluttering Milky way • Sprightly • Outdo : a kind of yellow flowers commonly found in England and some other European countries. : valleys : a large number : under : flapping in the air : the white band of stars that can be seen across the sky at night : lively : do better than Glossary Continued… • • • • • • • • • • Sparkling Glee Gay Jocund Oft Couch Vacant Pensive Inward eye Solitude : : : : : : : : : : sending out flashes of light feeling of joy caused by success happy cheerful often a bed empty sad, thoughtful mind’s eye, imagination being alone Comprehension • What does the poet compare himself to? Ans: He compares himself to a cloud floating in the sky. • What did he see all at once? Ans: He saw a place full of daffodils • What does he compare the daffodils to in the line beginning “Continuous …”? Ans: He compares the daffodils to stars of the milky way galaxy • What does he mean by “ten thousand”? Ans: A very huge number of daffodils • What mood of the poet does the line “Tossing their heads in sprightly dance” suggest? Ans:On seeing the daffodils the poet feels happy Comprehension • What seemed more joyous, the waves or the daffodils? Ans: According to the poet the daffodils looked happier than the waves • What is the meaning of “wealth” in line 18? Ans: It means that the poet felt that seeing this beautiful place had created a lasting impression in him and it was very important to him. Exercise Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow: • “When all at once I saw a crowd” – – – – – – – – Who does “I” refer to? Refers to the poet What crowd did the speaker see? Daffodils When did he see the crowd? When he was wandering around, suddenly he came upon this sight. Where did he see them? Beside the lake and below the trees. Exercise Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow: • “Ten thousand saw I at a glance” – – – – – – What did the speaker see? He saw a huge number of daffodils Were they ten thousand in number? No. What does it denote? It means that there were a large number of daffodils Exercise Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow: • “I gazed – and gazed – but little thought” – What did the speaker gaze at? – A sea of daffodils – Why was he in such a state? – The sight was very overwhelming and hence he could not think beyond it at that moment. – Why do you think the word ‘gazed’ is repeated? – To stress on the fact that the poet was caught by the sight of the daffodils and couldn’t move his attention elsewhere. Exercise Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow: • “They flash upon that inward eye” – What does they refer to? – Daffodils – What do you mean by ‘inward eye’? – In the poet ‘ s mind , when he is at his house thinking about the daffodils. – Whose ‘inward eye’ is referred to? – The poet’s inward eye is referred to here. Exercise Answer the following questions in two or three sentences each: • How does the poet wander? • The poet wanders lonely like the clouds that go over the hills. • Where does he see the daffodils? • He sees the daffodils beside the lake and below the trees. • How does he describe the daffodils in stanza two? • He liken the daffodils to the stars of the milky way that twinkle. Exercise Answer the following questions in two or three sentences each: • Why could the poet not but be gay? • The poet looks at the daffodils and the waves feels they are very happy and are smiling at him and hence he too feels happy being there. • When do the daffodils flash upon the poet’s inward eye? • When he is lying on a couch at his house , thinking deeply then the picture of the daffodils flashes in his mind. • What effect does it have on him? • It makes him feel very happy and makes him want to dance with happiness Appreciation • What are the different words / expressions used to describe the daffodils? • The poet compares the daffodils to stars of the milky way galaxy that twinkle in the night. • We find the word ‘dance’ in every stanza. What does it tell us about the poet’s mood? • The poet is in a happy mood and feels very connected to the nature around him. He is touched by the natural beauty of the flowers around him Appreciation • Make a list of rhyming pairs of words. • • • cloud , crowd hills , daffodils trees, breeze • • • shine , line way, bay glance, dance • • • they , gay glee , company thought , brought • • • lie, eye mood, solitude fills, daffodils Appreciation • What are the words / phrases used to express that the daffodils were innumerable in number? • “When all at once I saw a crowd” ,“Ten thousand of them at a glance” indicates that there were a large number of daffodils Study the lines: “I wandered lonely as a cloud”, “Continuous as the stars that shine”. In each of the above lines we find a comparison. Such a comparison is • called a ‘Simile’ Further Activity • Read: Lotus by Toru Dult.