Daffodils by William Wordsworth Poetry Intertextual Oral Task

Essay add: 19-01-2016, 12:34   /   Views: 333
Flowers are perhaps one of the main symbols of happiness in the world. This is because of their bright colours, amazing shapes and often beautiful fragrance. Therefore, they are arguably the most common topic for poetry. Many people will immediately come across flowers when thinking about nature, but little do they think and appreciate the wonder of flowers when walking around everyday. This is because flowers are grown all over this planet and are often thought as being ordinary. However William Wordsworth has been able to capture his experience in one of his most famous poems by the name of “Daffodils” which will be the basis of my oral today. William Wordsworth was a major English romantic poet who helped launch the Romantic Age of English Literature. I will be comparing his poem to a photo of daffodils which was taken in England. The poem clearly describes the appearance of the daffodils that Wordsworth encountered on a stormy day when walking by Ullswater in England and especially focusing on the way that the daffodils look dancing as if they are on a breezy day. The poem is as follows:


I wonder’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vale 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 stretch’d in never ending line
Along the margin of the bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee –
A poet could not but be gay
In such 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.

William Wordsworth (1815)

Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” is written in the form of a lyric. There is a consistent rhyming scheme throughout the whole poem. The rhyming scheme for the first stanza is A,B,A,B and then ends with a rhyming couplet C,C which continues throughout the whole poem. The iambic pentameter rhythm varies slightly ranging from 7-9 syllables in each line. Enjambment is common throughout the poem to express longer ideas and enables us to see exactly how the poem should be read and understood.

Wordsworth commences with a description of the daffodils at first sight. “I wander’d lonely as a cloud” in line 1 is an example of a simile in which Wordsworth gives the impression that he is floating in the sky like a cloud looking down at the valleys and hills which also sets the scene. In the final line of the first stanza, Wordsworth describes the movement of the daffodils as “fluttering and dancing in the breeze” which is a personification in which the poet compares the waving of the daffodils to humans dancing.

Stanza two moves on from the first impression of the daffodils to focusing on the expanse of daffodils in that particular area. “Continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way” that appears in line 1-2 is a combination of hyperbole and a simile depicting how the daffodils are stretched to far distances like the stars on the Milky Way. This theme is further reinforced in the next line as a hyperbole- “they stretch’d in never ending line”. This is followed by the final line “tossing their heads in sprightly dance” which is a personification. The poet relates the motion of the flowers to the tossing of heads and sprightly dance of a person.

In stanza three, the theme is once again changed from illustrating the amount of daffodils to expressing the mood of the poet. “the waves beside them danced” in the first line is a personification that compares the floating of the waves to dancing. “I gazed – and gazed” in the fifth line are the first examples of repetition in this poem. This is used to show a period of time has passed away while the poet stared at the daffodils. “What wealth” in the last line is a lame attempt of alliteration that portrays the amount of happiness the daffodils had brought him which was undoubtedly one of Wordsworth’s intentions.

In the final stanza, Wordsworth reflects upon his observation in the past at an old age. He explains how he can feel and visualise the daffodils even when he is just lying on the couch with nothing on his mind or think deeply. The final line of the poem “and dances with the daffodils” is an alliteration in which Wordsworth shows that he can move freely with the daffodils in his daydream.

After analysing the poem extensively, it can be concluded that Wordsworth has intended to show the beauty of daffodils through his poem. I have found that there is an obvious link between this poem’s context and the visual text that I have chosen. The visual text is a photo of hundreds of daffodils that are situated between trees and a lake. It is clear that daffodils and the photo pose links in terms of specific subject matter and setting. Wordsworth’s poem focuses on the movement and pleasure of the daffodils as I explained earlier which is exactly what the photo is trying to emphasise. The visual text demonstrates how impressive and splendid the daffodils look all together in a group especially with the bright yellow colour because yellow is a happy colour and contrasts greatly amongst the green of the English countryside. In addition, the location of the daffodils in the photo is identical to the one in the poem which is undoubtedly the main link and is revealed in the first stanza- “Beside the lake, beneath the trees.”

In conclusion, the obvious intertextual link between the visual text and the poem is the subject matter which is shown through the location and beauty of the daffodils.

Article name: Daffodils by William Wordsworth Poetry Intertextual Oral Task essay, research paper, dissertation