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Wordsworth's "Daffodils"- what lies behind the world's most famous poem?

Updated on January 20, 2017

"I wandered lonely as a cloud"- Wordsworth's "Daffodils" poem.

William Wordsworth's poem, Daffodils, was written just half a mile from my home.

Often known by its first line "I wandered lonely as a Cloud" the poem Daffodils has been learnt by children for generations. Many only know the first verse of Daffodils, but the whole poem is beautiful and evocative. I live in a house owned by Wordsworth, just half a mile from Dove Cottage Grasmere where Wordsworth wrote this wonderful peom, so I feel a particular bond with "Daffodils" which I'd like to share with you.

Daffodils are a sign of hope that the winter is over and summer is coming.

The poem, Daffodils was composed in 1804, two years after Wordsworth saw the flowers while walking by Ullswater on a stormy day with Dorothy, his sister. Wordsworth's inspiration for the poem came from an account of the daffodils on Ullswater written by Dorothy.

Dorothy Wordsworth in her journal entry for 15 April 1802 describes how the daffodils 'tossed and reeled and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind, that blew upon them over the lake.' Wordsworth published his poem, " I wandered lonely as a Cloud,", Daffodils, in 1807.

Wordsworth later altered the poem Daffodils, and his second version, published in 1815, is the one widely known today.

The daffodils that William and Dorothy saw were the small, wild daffodils that grow in many places in the Lake District. There are lots of places where you can still see these beautiful little flowers- in fact I'm lucky enough to have a mass of little wild daffodils in my garden at White Moss House Grasmere.

Daffodils have become the symbol of the Lake District. In spring daffodils are found everywhere. Many daffodils have been planted on verges and roadsides for visitors to enjoy. There are many different varieties of daffodils to see. Visitors flock to Lake District at Easter to see the daffodils.

Let's look at Wordsworth's poem, and then see where we can look at the daffodils.

All photos are my own, or David Willis at Cumbria Tourism, and courtesy of flickr They are not for reuse. though you are very welcome to pin them on Pinterest.

Daffodils, by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud.....


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 a 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.

Do you feel inspired by Daffodils to read more William Wordsworth? - Should everyone have a book of William Wordsworth's Poetry?

The poems of William Wordsworth, including Daffodils.

Treat yourself to this book, and take time to browse at leisure through Wordsworth's Daffodils and other poems.

This excellent book can be bought now, from or

UK readers can click through this link

The Major Works: Including The Prelude (Oxford World's Classics) to buy from

William Wordsworth - The Major Works: including The Prelude (Oxford World's Classics)
William Wordsworth - The Major Works: including The Prelude (Oxford World's Classics)

Just about the best and most comprehensive book of Wordsworth's poetry, including Daffodils.


Wordsworth wrote Daffodils at Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Grasmere is where Wordsworth wrote Daffodils. Their website is a great resource of information about all things Wordsworth.

There is news about all their exhibitions and events as well.

Wordsworth's Lake District is also a good source of information on Wordsworth, his homes, and the area he lived in.It is all my own work- I live half a mile from Dove Cottage.

You can stay for a holiday or vacation in another Lake District cottage, but with modern facilities just half a mile up on the hillside from Dove Cottage . It's called Brockstone Grasmere Holiday Cottage . We own and rent his lovely cottage.

Here are more pages that I've written about my Lake District home

William Wordsworth's Daffodils
William Wordsworth's poem, Daffodils, was written just half a mile from my home. Often known by its first line "I wandered lonely as a Cloud" the p...

Wordsworth's Lake District.
I live in a house owned by William Wordsworth, close to Dove Cottage Grasmere where Wordsworth wrote his most famous poems, including "Daffodils" ....

My home, White Moss House, and our rental cottage, Brockstone, are in the heart of daffodil country. - White Moss House, owned by William Wordsworth, is in the

This is the Lake District, home of Wordsworth, famous for it's spring daffodils.You can stay at our wonderful rental cottage, Brockstone. The links are on this page.

A markerWhite Moss House Guest accomodation -
LA22 9SE
get directions

Want to know more about William Wordsworth after reading Daffodils? - Here are some books that would make good Christmas gifts.

I've chosen a variety of books including poems and biographies.

The biographies of both William and Dorothy are well written and easy to read.

I've also suggested Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal- it's a fascinating insight about William Wordsworth, and their friends, including Coleridge and De Quincy.- so down to earth.

Dorothy's journal is fascinating.

The everyday life of the great poet, as chronicled by his sister. Fascinating.

Let's get back to William Wordsworth's poem, Daffodils.

My favourite verse is the last verse.

Many people only know the first verse of the poem, but the last is my favourite-

"When oft upon my couch I lie,

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye,which is the Bliss of Solitude....."

I love the expression, "Bliss of Solitude. "

Buy your daffodils from ebay . - Be inspired by daffodils!

There are lots of daffodils on ebay right now. Time to plant your daffodils bulbs.

Walk round Rydal Water and go past Wordsworth's home, Rydal Mount

Rydal Water Walk.
This walk round the lovely lake of Rydal Water, in England's Lake District, takes most people about 2 hours. It takes in some of the most beautiful scenery i...

Find out about the local Lake District sheep, the unique Herdwicks

Herdwick sheep , the Lake District sheep.
Herdwick sheep are the sheep of Cumbria, in the Northwest corner of England. The Lake District is the most famous part of Cumbria, loved by visitors for its ...

For more information about Daffodils and William Wordsworth , here are some useful links. - Wordsworth and daffodils

Here are more links to sites that wil tell you more about the Wordsworths and Daffodils.

Analysis of the poem, "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth - !I wandered lonely as a cloud" , Wiiliam Wordsworth

We can read a poem such as Wordsworth's "Daffodils" and simply enjoy it, bit, as we remember from school, sometime it's good to hear what other think and discuss the poem.

HJere are some good link to read analaysis of "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth

Is the Wordsworth Daffodil under threat?

It has been suggested that this beautiful little flower is under threat from more modern varieties.

The Wordsworth Daffodil is the species "narcissus pseudonarcissus".

Here is an article from The Daily Telepgraph 2002 which spelled out the threat to this native variety.

In 2013, there is still this concern- we must be vigilant!

The Friends of Grasmere Daffodil Garden

In the middle of Wordsworth's home village of Grasmere, a peaceful memorial garden

The Friends of Grasmere founded this lovely little garden in Grasmere, where people who want to leave a memory of themselves or a friend can sponsor planting daffodils.

It is a charity, and the money raised supports local causes.

It's a lovely idea, that may interest you.

Daffodils everywhere- I hope you enjoyed you visit. - Please leave a message. If you know of any great sites for daffodils please let me know.

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    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 3 years ago

      Daffodils are a treasure in the early Spring. I love reading poetry by Wordworth. Thank you for this lens

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 3 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @GeorgeneMBramlage: Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I know, I'm very lucky- I must not take my home environment for granted.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      To me, daffodils mean springtime. When I lived in colder climes, I always looked for the first little green noses of the daffodil plant sticking up through the snow. Then, along about now, we'd begin to see the buds ascending on their spikes and not long after the big yellow cups and saucers. My mom loved this poem and quoted it every spring, passing along the lilting joy of it to all her children. Thank you for sharing this page. How fascinating it must be to live and work in the home where Wordsworth and his family played and worked and cooked and ate and gazed on daffodils in the vase.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      Did you receive the comment I posted on March 1?

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      "Daffodils are a sign of hope that the winter is over and summer is coming." This phrase taken from your introduction beckons the sort of thoughts I think whenever I see daffodils coming up, in bud and definitely in bloom. I do envy you living in such an enchanted area of the UK...but what a personal bonus to realize that a fellow Squidoo lens master is sharing her environment with us.

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