N°. 028

Solitude

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.

— Williams Wordsworth

Solitude

Definition: /Noun/

Origin Old France & mod. French, or Latin solitudo, solitudin- from solus sole, alone.

1)
 the state of being or living alone, solitariness.  Later also, absence of life or disturbance.

2) a lonely, unfrequented, or uninhabited place.

3) a complete absence or lack.

Extra Elements of Interest ::
CITATION

This is from his most famous poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” but is mostly referred to as Daffodils written in 1804.  It’s a classic of English romantic poetry.

The full poem is ::

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 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.

LITERARY

Author’s Dates ::

William Wordsworth lived from 1770-1850
in Great Britain.

Background ::

More on Wordsworth from The Poetry Foundation

And the Academy of American Poets on Wordsworth

From BBC History, an essay called, The Wordsworths and the Cult of Nature by Pamela Woof.

Background on the writing of this poem from Wordsworth.org.uk

CONTEMPORARY PARALLELS

Here is a short video about the poem, and about Dove Cottage and the landscape of the lake district of Grasmere where Wordsworth lived when he wrote Daffodils ::

 

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