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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.....

"DAFFODILS" BY 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 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 Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

UK readers can click through this link

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

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
      Author

      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.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Very interesting and beautiful! Thank you for sharing...we hope to visit your area some day.

    • Fiorenza profile image

      Fiorenza 4 years ago from UK

      Fabulous. I visit the Lakes every year though I've never been in Spring.

    • profile image

      acneanswers 4 years ago

      you can't beat the lake district

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 5 years ago

      I still have all my college poetry books, which contain lots of Wordsworth, whose poetry I really came to love.

    • chinchilla-cages profile image

      chinchilla-cages 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading this lens! :)

    • MelanieMurphyMyer profile image

      MelanieMurphyMyer 5 years ago

      Beautiful. My daughter has a t-shirt with "I wandered lonely as a cloud" printed on it. :)

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      I've come back to bless this lovely lens. You've put so much information in this lens, with wonderful pictures...I learnt a lot here, and had a lovely break from my work!

    • profile image

      loudliger 5 years ago

      What a beautiful poem and a great poet. Thank you for this powerful lens.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      wordworth was my favorite poet at high school. his poem about the daffodils was like an earworm ringing in my ears. i love this poem and knew it by heart (years ago).

      angelblessings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very beautiful lens with great poem.

    • profile image

      BrandonCHFG 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing the poem. First time I've read it, and I agree about the "Bliss of Solitude". Wonderful line and one that I've unwittingly partaken in myself :).

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      I just don't know why you don't have a purple star for this...it is a brilliant lens. I came to it because I am doing a daffodil miscellany lens and looked your lens up. Of course I have put 'the' poem in, but have put a link to your lens for anything else Wordsworthian.

    • Michael100 LM profile image

      Michael100 LM 5 years ago

      Wonderful. I totally agree with you about the power of the last verse. Thank you.

    • QuiltFinger profile image

      QuiltFinger 5 years ago from Tennessee

      I'm very fond of this particular Wordsworth poem. It must be great to live amongst these amazing historical homes and landmarks. Thanks for sharing.

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 5 years ago

      Such beauty and tranquility in these pictures and words. ~Blessed~

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 5 years ago from Gloucester

      What a beautiful tribute to Wordsworth's "Daffodils"! Heartily blessed by a Squid Angel! :)

    • satto76 profile image

      satto76 5 years ago

      When I first read "Daffodils" I was 16 years old and I was already familiar with Wordsworth's poetry. "Lucy" was the first poem of his I read.

      I loved this lens as much as I loved Wordsworth's poetry.

    • peachplanet profile image

      peachplanet 5 years ago

      Beautiful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I do enjoy a good flower article, enjoyed this! *blessed!*

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      Great pics! Lovely! Blessed!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens!!!

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 5 years ago

      Ah, Father Tim of the Mitford Series loves Wordsworth. I need to find more time to read poetry...

    • cajkovska lm profile image

      cajkovska lm 5 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • allenwebstarme profile image

      allenwebstarme 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens with lovely pictures, I like pictures most.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 5 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      This lens is pure poetry!

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Love this lens. Blessed.

    • TenPoundTenor profile image

      TenPoundTenor 5 years ago

      Great lens. I love Wordsworth's poetry.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Love this lens...thanks for sharing. Blessed

    • profile image

      VinayVallabhaneni 5 years ago

      Well, That was an awesome lens and so much to learn about DaffodilS.. yeah i did enjoyed very much reading ... Thanks foe sharing.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • Glenn619 profile image

      Glenn619 5 years ago

      I learnt this poem first when i was in junior school and found it really full of life. Thanks for sharing it here and hey simply love the pics.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love this poem!! : )

    • profile image

      BeyondRoses 6 years ago

      The daffodil photos are lovely and inspiring ... love The Wordsworth Rose ...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The Lake District and daffodils - 2 of my favourite things! Nice photos too.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Oh for a field of daffodils! Thank you for the lovely respite of this lens. I'm feeling a new spring in my step. :-) To the bliss of solitude!

    • Joanna14 profile image

      Christine Hulme 6 years ago from SE Kent, England

      I certainly did! A beautiful lens and a place I would love to visit again. I live way down south at present, but can see how it must be so inspiring for poetry.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      "Bliss of Solitude", yup, my favorite too! When I saw your lens title, I felt fresh air and swooshed right over to lay in field of daffodils and smile, this has always been a favorite and what wonderful morning refreshement.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      My favorite poem of all times in English language. Thank you for the beautiful lens and images about it!! :)

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      What a wonderful lens on Daffodils.They are such a happy yellow bulb that they do inspire poetry.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Awesome lens,beautiful poem! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 12/14/2010. Have a great day!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I love daffodils too. They also grow wild all over west Cornwall, they are a wonderful sight. Lovely lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a beautiful lens. Many thanks.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      Beautiful! With the days getting shorter and the weather getting worse, I needed some of these cheerful daffs to brighten my day!

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 6 years ago

      Love Wordsworth's poetry... and your pictures bring the "daffodil" poem even more alive.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image
      Author

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @RebeccaE: Thank you for your visit and comments.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image
      Author

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @LisaMarieGabriel: Thank you so much - the blessing is greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      RebeccaE 7 years ago

      oh what a lovely poem, I wasn't exposed to this in school, but I am overjoyed to read, it, certainly lovely!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I had to learn that poem when I was 10 years old - it was a forlorn effort, but it is beautiful and so is the lens. The photos here are lovely! Blessed by an angel today :)

    • Grasmere Sue profile image
      Author

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      White Moss is my house, which we run as a guest house, and also the area between Rydal and Grasmere. We don't have a shop, so I guess you got the paper at Dove Cottage. Glad you like the place!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Looking at the pictures I believe I visited White Moss house not Dove Cottage. Hey, is White Moss your namesake?

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Bought daffodil paper at the little cottage to fold. It made some beautiful cards. This is the first time I read the poem. It is charming.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image
      Author

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @SusannaDuffy: Thank you all for your visits, and thanks you susanna for the blessing.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      That poem always fascinated me in school - a hymn to an exotic flower in an exotic place and I had chills down my back listening to Jeremy Irons just now. Beautiful flower, beautiful Grasmere, beautiful lens. Blessed by an angel today

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      OMG you live in Wordsworth's house!!! Amazing! Wonderful poet and wonderful lens. 5 stars!

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 7 years ago

      Another beautiful lens featuring Wordsworth and the beautiful Lake District. The Daffodil is such a beautiful springtime flower.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Fantastic lens. Loved the poem and all the excellent pictures.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image
      Author

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @Ram Ramakrishnan: Thanks you for your poem! I'm off to see your lenses!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image
      Author

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @KarenTBTEN: Mending wall is also one of my favourite poems. We have dry stone walls here and it hits a chord in many ways.

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 7 years ago

      With an exhilarating certainty I can say;

      It is this poem that always lights my way.

      Shapes; nurtures; my writing style it fills,

      With the elegance and beauty of the daffodils.

      Wonderful lens! Lensrolled to "Verse-a-tales" and "Conjugal Conspiracy".

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 7 years ago

      Very nice how you connected the poem with the actual place. The daffodils are blooming now in Seattle... but I'm lensrolling this to "Robert Frost's 'Mending Wall' ".

    • Grasmere Sue profile image
      Author

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @Parleo: Thank you- I might make it an Amazon Spotlight suggestion- you're right- its very comprehensive

    • Parleo profile image

      Parleo 7 years ago

      I am a huge Wordsworth fan and can totally recommend the first book on your Amazon list below. Its hundred's of pages thick and worth every penny.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      OH!!!!! The photos you have here are amazing! I would dearly LOVE to see one of those fields of daffodils myself, sit and breathe in their beauty and fragrance, and of course run the battery down on my camera :) I LOVE this lens!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image
      Author

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @ulla_hennig: Thanks Ulla for your visit.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image
      Author

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @Sylvestermouse: Thank you Cynthia- so glad you think it's worth a blessing- glad youe njoyed it.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Well, yes I did enjoy my visit as just thinking of daffodils brings a huge smile to my being.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      How cool to know the real story behind the poem!

    • profile image

      ulla_hennig 7 years ago

      I love this poem written by Wordworth, and your pictures are beautiful. And I also love the expression "bliss of solitude" - Just sit there and look at the sky, feel the sun on your face and listen to the birds.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      I believe you wrote this lens for me :) I know, everyone who loves Wordsworth will feel that way when they stop by. Angel Blessed and added to my Squid Angel Mouse Tracks