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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

In: English and Literature

Submitted By akiesel1995
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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud is a poem about the relationship between nature and human beings: how nature can affect one’s emotion and behavior with emotion and sound. William Wordsworth uses simple, yet profound, words to convey his message of the connection between nature and the universe. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud tells the emotional life of William Wordsworth as it reflects his alienation, memory, and healing. Alienation is a terrible feeling of isolation which is healed by solitude or reflection. Solitude allows for floods of memories to remind us of our reason for living. Solitude is our saving grace which is essential for reflection, a time in which we discover things about our past which were previously unknown. Being in a state of solitude brings many memories from our past to the stage, allowing us to celebrate the joys of past experiences once more. Memory is an extremely powerful force which defines us and creates our identity, thus giving us a reason to live. Through a process of solitude and reflection the much needed power of healing can be achieved. Healing can be found in reflection on memories and in the beauty of nature. Nature allows the feelings of alienation and isolation to escape our tranquil minds and therefore rejoining us with society. Wordsworth was a poet of nature and his struggles made him develop a deep connection with the world around him. Healing from the sufferings of the world can be found in reflection, memories, and nature. Alienation, a terrible feeling of isolation, makes people aloof with the world and separates us from the harshness of society. Sometimes alienation is necessary because being separated from the pressures of the world allows for reflection which leads to solitude. Alienation evokes loneliness and depression which leads those who suffer down a dark path most people would never want to travel. You never know what it is like to experience feelings such as these until you are the one suffering through a life in which you constantly feel like you have no one to save you. William Wordsworth experienced these feelings which inspired the poem with loneliness in the title. The title itself presents a comparison to wandering through life lonely just as a cloud which wanders through the sky alone. Wordsworth experienced a period in his life where he was living from the outside looking in, looking down on the world, like a cloud, removed from secular society. Wordsworth can relate to the characters in Skunk Hour who were all alienated from the world as we know it. They chose this life because they felt the world could never understand them. Wordsworth did not choose the alienated life, the alienated life chose him, and he was determined to reverse its effects through entering a state of solitude. Solitude is the positive part of loneliness because sometimes it is good to be alone so that we can reflect on our lives. Solitude is not alienation because it is good and necessary for life. We need to take time to reflect and reenergize through solitude. Wordsworth says the key to happiness is the “bliss of solitude.” Though they are two adverse states of life, alienation and solitude work together cohesively to portray a way of balancing both loneliness and reflection. Memory is the extremely powerful force which allows us to dig deep into ourselves and create our true identity. Special memories with special people reminds us why we are living and to keep going strong on the road to recovering from alienation. Reflection through solitude gives us the power of memory; however memory is not reflection it is a way of reliving the past. Memories give us something to hold on to when it seems that all hope is lost. Wordsworth used the power of memories to gain healing and reconnect with society. He encourages us to cherish and appreciate our memories because one day they will be all we have left. Memories bring back swells of emotion which helps us get past the dark times. Memories evoke a positive feeling of joy and happiness much like the pleasure found in solitude. Memories are “the bliss of solitude” Wordsworth talks about in line 22 of the poem. Happiness from memories is achieved by going off alone for a time of reflection. Memories put us on the road to regain sanity. They are valuable to us because they accumulate and become so special over time. “What wealth the show to me had brought” is a line Wordsworth uses to portray the value of memories as wealth. Our mind is a bank which stores the wealth of memories accumulated over time. The power of memory is so strong that it can give new life and new hope to those who need it most, like Wordsworth. Healing from alienation can be made possible from the powers of the world around us. William Wordsworth is the living proof that healing from alienation is possible because he survived depression and rejoined society. Nature helped Wordsworth combat his battle with depression and heal his fragile mind. Nature creates the ideal atmosphere for solitude and reflection. Its calming and serene setting heals you by just being in the presence of the atmosphere. Nature’s calmness represents society as a whole. Wordsworth separated clouds from the rest of nature because they are in the sky alone, alienated from the rest of nature. We can reconnect with society just like when the clouds join together and float as one. Once we feel better about ourselves we can begin the healing process and reconnect with society. Wordsworth strategically wrote some lines in the past tense to show how the past is in the past and he is beginning his life with society once more. He also wrote the last line in future tense to show impending happiness in his life. The whole poem is about nature because it was something very dear to the heart of Wordsworth as it helped him heal. Many lines describe his healing through nature. “A host of golden daffodils” refers to society. It represents the happiness found in the “jocund company” of society. Wordsworth also emphasizes the word dance to evoke a sense of lightheartedness and joy. The first three stanzas of the poem use dance in the past tense to show that the daffodils were not alienated from society and therefore dances with joy, but Wordsworth was not like the daffodils because he was not yet healed. Wordsworth then switches to using dance in the future tense in the line “my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils.” Wordsworth was finally healed through the power of nature. He was finally happy and assimilated with the daffodils, also known as society. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud is a poem about the power of nature and the sub-powers within our great big world. Wordsworth leaves us with the message that time heals all, but the memories of that time are something we will hold on to forever.…...

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