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FBernardini - Analysis of "I wandered lonely as a cloud" by William Wordsworth
[author: Francesco Bernardini - postdate: 2008-03-06]

Starting from the title the reader can immediately notice that the first word is "I" . Its key position makes easily evident one of the most typical features of Romanticism: the importance of the subject and his/her emotions.

Such feature will be also foundable in line 11 where the word "I" is in central position in the line. Looking at the visual lay out the intelligent reader immediately notices that the text is a poetry and that it is made up of 4 stanzas of 6 lines each (sestets). Stanzas are organized into a quartet (ABAB) and a rhyming couplet.

Wordsworth chose as the setting of the poetry a country landscape that become an emotional scenary following the poet's imagination.

According to the second edition of the preface to the Lyrical Ballads, generally considered the manifesto of Romantic poetry, the ultimate goal of poetry is pleasure. In stanza 2 there are some words ("twinkle", "milky") that, creating a particular, convey the reader's mind to the idea of shining. Personification is also present in the poetry, when the poet associates human qualities ("dancing", "heads", "crowd", "host"), conjuring up absent things as if they were present. This is another relevant element of Romantic poetry, that also implies a huge use of sensation and perception verbs, for example sight (motion, colours, description of natural elements), to confirm that experience is valid only after have been filtered by the poet's mind.

Stanza 4 presents the figure of the poet, that is a man more sensible than the others, that writes according to Romantic poetry conception, explained in the last sextet: the description of an emotion recollected in tranquillity.

 As for sematic fields, the most present is the one regarding nature, but also words referring to the human body are very numerous.