I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

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Nature is often a focal point for many author’s works, whether it is expressed through lyrics, short stories, or poetry. Authors are given a cornucopia of pictures and descriptions of nature’s splendor that they can reproduce through words. It is because of this that more often than not a reader is faced with multiple approaches and descriptions to the way nature is portrayed. Some authors tend to look at nature from a deeper and personal observation as in William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, while other authors tend to focus on a more religious beauty within nature as show in Gerard Manley Hopkins “Pied Beauty”, suggesting to the reader that while to each their own there is always a beauty to be found in nature and nature’s beauty can be uplifting for the human spirit both on a visual and spiritual level.
Wordsworth and Hopkins both present the reader with a poem conveying the theme of nature. Nature in its variety be it from something as simple as streaked or multicolored skies, long fields and valleys, to things more complex like animals, are all gifts we take for granted. Some never realize the truth of what they are missing by keeping themselves indoors fixating on the loneliness and vacancy of their lives and not on what beauty currently surrounds them. Others tend to relate themselves more to the fact that these lovely gifts are from God and should be praised because of the way his gifts have uplifted our human spirit. Each writer gives us their own ideals as how to find and appreciate nature’s true gifts.
In “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” William Wordsworth accomplishes his ideal of nature by using personification, alliteration, and simile within his poem to convey to the reader how nature’s beauty uplifts his spirits and takes him away from his boring daily routine. Wordsworth relates himself in solidarity to that of a cloud wandering alone, “I wandered lonely as a cloud” (line 1). Comparing the cloud and himself to that of a lonely human in low spirits of isolation, simultaneously the author compares the daffodils he comes across as he “floats on high o’er vales and hills” (line 2) to that of a crowd of people dancing (lines 3-6 and again in 12). Watching and admiring the dancing daffodils as he floats on by relating them to various beauties of

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Likewise, Gerard Hopkins uses alliteration, metaphor, paradox and simile in “Pied Beauty” in the same manner as Wordsworth subsequently praising God for the beauty he or she has given the author and the readers. However, unlike Wordsworth who placed himself within the beauty of nature giving us a more personal experience with it, Hopkins has the readers give praise to God for the beauties he or she has bestowed upon us. Using metaphor and paradox, Hopkins choices give the reader a sense of duplicity within the poem as well. This creates a dynamic that leads readers to believe that there is not only beauty but complexity: each object having an opposite quality, between things that are “sweet, sour; adazzle, dim”(line 9) or things that have double meaning within the imagery of beauty like “skies of a couple-colour “(line 2) and “rose-moles” (line 3). This gives the idea that everything God created is “dappled” (line 1), multifaceted.
Through their use of figures of speech and themes, Hopkins and Wordsworth use poetry to portray an accurate tone and description of all the wonders and beauty of nature, both in their own way giving us an example of how nature uplifts the human spirit. Wordsworth and Hopkins do an accurate job at depicting multiple facets of nature. Wordsworth relates more to the whole and how just something as simple as clouds and daffodils can make us feel rejuvenated and full of wonder outside of our monotonous lives. Hopkins relates more towards the religious, the beauty in which God has given us, the bright, the vibrant, the slow and the dim. He gives us choices within our forms of beauty.

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