William Wordsworth’s The Daffodils, The Solitary Reaper (New Syllabus)

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Unit III – Romantic Period

 

S.No Title P. No
01 William Worsworth’s The Daffodils, The Solitary Reaper 3
02 Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads,

Biographia Literaria

18
03 P.B.Shelley’s Ode to the west wind 35
04 John Keats’s Ode to Autumn 49
05 Charles Lamb’s  The Essays of Elia

(1) Oxford in the Vacation

(2) New Year’s Eve

(3) Dream Children: A Reverie

(4) The Price of Chimney-sweeper

(5) My Relations

60
06 Byron’s Prometheus 114
07 Jane Austen’s Emma 125
08 Walter Scott’s The Talisman 155
09 William Hazlitt’s  Characters of Shakespeare’s plays 168
10 Emily Bronte’s  Wuthering Heights 211

 

 

  1. William Wordsworth’s The Daffodils, The Solitary Reaper

William Wordsworth

Life:

  • William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England.
  • He attended Hawkshead Grammar School, where his love of poetry was firmly established.
  • He studied at John’s College in Cambridge and before his final semester, he set out on a walking tour of Europe, an experience that influenced both his poetry and his political sensibilities.
  • He married a childhood friend, Mary Hutchinson in 1802.
  • In 1795, Wordsworth received an inheritance that allowed him to live with his younger sister, Dorothy.
  • He died on April 23, 1850 at Westmorland in England.
  • He was buried in St Oswald’s church

 

Career:

  • William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication Lyrical Ballads (1798).
  • He was the head of Romantic poets.
  • He was called as a nature poet, pantheist and aesthetic poet.
  • Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey are called as Lake Poets.
  • Wordsworth succeeded Robert Southey as England’s poet laureate in 1843; he was Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1843 to 1850.
  • He was an ardent supporter of the conservative Tories.
  • While touring Europe, he was influenced by French Revolution; this experience brought about Wordsworth’s interest and sympathy for the life, troubles, and speech of the “common man.”
  • In 1813, he received an appointment as Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland.

 

Works:

Poetry:

  • An Evening Walk (1793)
  • Descriptive Sketches (1793)
  • Borders (1795)
  • Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems (1798)
  • “Simon Lee”
  • “We are Seven”
  • “Lines Written in Early Spring”
  • “Expostulation and Reply”
  • “The Tables Turned”
  • “The Thorn”
  • “Lines Composed A Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”
  • Wordsworth worked with Samuel Taylor Coleridge on Lyrical Ballads (1798).
  • It opened with Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and ended with Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey”.
  • It consists of 23 poems; 19 poems were contributed by Wordsworth and 4 poems by Coleridge.
  • These poems were composed at Alfoxden, Quantock Hills.

 

  • Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems (1800)
  • Preface to the Lyrical Ballads
  • “Strange fits of passion have I known”
  • “She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways”
  • “Three years she grew”
  • “A Slumber Did my Spirit Seal”
  • “I travelled among unknown men”
  • “Lucy Gray”
  • “The Two April Mornings”
  • “Solitary Reaper”
  • “The Ruined Cottage”
  • “Michael”

 

  • Poems, in Two Volumes (1807)
  • “Resolution and Independence”
  • “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” also known as “Daffodils”
  • “My Heart Leaps Up”
  • “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”
  • “Ode to Duty”
  • “The Solitary Reaper”
  • “Elegiac Stanzas”
  • “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”
  • “London, 1802”
  • “The World Is Too Much with Us”

 

  • Guide to the Lakes (1810)
  • ” To the Cuckoo “
  • The Excursion (1814)
  • Laodamia (1815, 1845)
  • The White Doe of Rylstone (1815)
  • Peter Bell (1819)
  • The Prelude Or Growth of a Poet’s Mind (1850)
  • It is Wordsworth’s magnum opus which is autobiographical poem.
  • It was posthumously titled as ‘The Prelude’ and published by Mary, before which it was generally known as “the poem to Coleridge”.
  • Wordsworth coined the term ‘Spots of time’ in it.
  • It is a spiritual autobiography based on Wordsworth’s travels through Europe and his observations of life; it was dedicated to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

 

  • Wordsworth recognized as poet after publishing a sonnet in ‘The European Magazine’ in 1787.
  • His earliest poetry was published in 1793 in the collections An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches.
  • Wordsworth showed his affinity for nature with the famous poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.”
  • His poetry also takes inspiration from the beauty of nature, especially his native Lake District.
  • The magnificent landscape deeply affected Wordsworth’s imagination and gave him a love of nature.

 

Quotes:

  • In the ‘Preface to Lyrical Ballads’, Wordsworth writes of poetry: “The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”
  • “She gave eyes, she gave me ears; And humble cares and delicate fears”Wordsworth
  • “Wordsworth is the high priest of nature” –
  • “Wordsworth uttered nothing base” – Tennyson.
  • “Wordsworth is called as a moral eunuch” – Shelley.
  • “Mr. Wordsworth ceases to please, … clothing in language not simple, but puerile”– Byron.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daffodils

Text

I

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. 

 

II

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. 

 

III

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: 

 

IV

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. 

  • “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (also commonly known as “Daffodils”) is a lyric poemby William Wordsworth.
  • The poem was inspired by an event on 15 April1802, in which Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came across a “long belt” of
  • It was written sometime between 1804 and 1807.
  • It was first published in 1807 inPoems in Two Volumes, and a revised version was published in 1815.
  • The four six-line stanzas of this poem follow a quatrain-couplet rhyme scheme: Each line is metered in iambic tetrameter.

 

Stanza-I:

  • In the first stanza the speaker describes a time when he meandered over the valleys and hills, “lonely as a cloud.”
  • Finally, he came across a crowd of daffodils stretching out over almost everything he could see, “fluttering and dancing in the breeze”.
  • The speaker says that, wandering like a cloud floating above hills and valleys, he encountered a field of daffodils beside a lake.

 

Stanza-II:

  • In the second stanza the speaker goes into more detail about the daffodils.
  • They reminded him of the Milky Way, because there were so many flowers packed together that they seemed to be never ending.
  • The dancing, fluttering flowers stretched endlessly along the shore.
  • The speakerguesses that there were ten thousand daffodils, which were “Tossing their heads in sprightly dance”

 

Stanza-III:

  • In the third stanza the speaker compares the waves of the lake to the waves of daffodils and decides that even though the lake is “sparkling,” the daffodils win because they have more “glee.” He then comments that he, like any other poet, could not help but be happy “in such a jocund company.” He looked at the scene for a long time, but while he was there he was unable to understand what he had gained from the experience.

 

Stanza-IV:

  • In the fourth and final stanza the poet describes what he gained from the experience. For now, whenever he feels “vacant” or “pensive,” the memory flashes upon “that inward eye, That is the bliss of solitude,” and his heart fills with pleasure, “and dances with the daffodils.”

 

 

The Solitary Reaper

Text

I

Behold her, single in the field, 

Yon solitary Highland Lass! 

Reaping and singing by herself; 

Stop here, or gently pass! 

Alone she cuts and binds the grain, 

And sings a melancholy strain; 

O listen! for the Vale profound 

Is overflowing with the sound. 

 

                        II

No Nightingale did ever chaunt 

More welcome notes to weary bands 

Of travellers in some shady haunt, 

Among Arabian sands: 

A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard 

In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird, 

Breaking the silence of the seas 

Among the farthest Hebrides. 

                        III

Will no one tell me what she sings?— 

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow 

For old, unhappy, far-off things, 

And battles long ago: 

Or is it some more humble lay, 

Familiar matter of to-day? 

Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, 

That has been, and may be again? 

 

                        IV

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang 

As if her song could have no ending; 

I saw her singing at her work, 

And o’er the sickle bending;— 

I listened, motionless and still; 

And, as I mounted up the hill, 

The music in my heart I bore, 

Long after it was heard no more. 

           

  • “The Solitary Reaper” is a ballad by English Romantic poet William Wordsworth.
  • The poem was inspired by his and his sister Dorothy’s stay at the village of Strathyre in the parish of Balquhidder in Scotland in September 1803.
  • The poem functions to ‘praise the beauty of music and its fluid expressive beauty, the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” that Wordsworth identified at the heart of poetry.
  • The four eight-line stanzas of this poem are written in a tight iambic tetrameter. Each follows a rhyme scheme of

 

 

Stanza-I:

In the first stanza the speaker comes across a beautiful girl working alone in the fields of Scotland (the Highland). She is “Reaping and singing by herself.” He tells the reader not to interrupt her, and then mentions that the valley is full of song.  She sung in Erse [the Gaelic language of Scotland]. As she “cuts and binds the grain” she “sings a melancholy strain,” and the valley overflows with the beautiful, sad sound.

 

Stanza-II:

The second stanza is a list of things that cannot equal the beauty of the girl’s singing. The speaker says that the sound is more welcome than any chant of the nightingale to weary travelers in the desert, and that the cuckoo-bird in spring never sang with a voice so thrilling.

 

Stanza-III:

Impatient, the poet asks, “Will no one tell me what she sings?” He speculates that her song might be about “old, unhappy, far-off things, / and battles long ago,” or that it might be humbler, a simple song about “matter of today.”

 

Stanza-IV:

In the fourth and final stanza the speaker tells the reader that even though he did not know what she was singing about, the music stayed in his heart as he continued up the hill: Whatever she sings about, he says, he listened “motionless and still,” and as he traveled up the hill, he carried her song with him in his heart long after he could no longer hear it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. William Wordsworth’s The Daffodils, The Solitary Reaper
  2. What type of language is used in the line “I wandered lonely as a cloud”?
  3. a) Simile b) Personification
  4. c) Metaphor d) Emotive Language

 

  1. What view of nature is presented in the poem “Daffodils”?
  2. a) Nature can bring hatred; it can do things to the mind b) Nature is powerful
  3. c) Nature is relied on to make people feel better d) Nature is unsettling

 

  1. What does the phrase “Sprightly dance” mean in the poem “Daffodils”?
  2. a) Depressing b) Lively and full of energy
  3. c) Jumping up and down d) Slow and cautious

 

  1. In the poem ‘The Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth, where were the daffodils?
  2. a) Across the fields b) Beside the pond, beneath the trees
  3. c) Along the roadside d) Beside the lake, beneath the trees

 

  1. What is Romantic poetry?
  2. a) Poetry written for someone you love romantically
  3. b) Poetry that is written about the greater meaning to be found in nature
  4. c) Poetry written about a bad breakup
  5. d) Poetry about a reality show gone wrong

 

  1. In the poem “Daffodils” the speaker compares the waves of the daffodils to the waves ________
  2. a) Of the lake b) Of the Sea
  3. c) Of the other flowers d) Of the leaves

 

  1. The Romantic Movement is popularly known as?
  2. a) The romantic revolt b) Return to renaissance
  3. c) Renaissance d) Return to neo classical age
  4. Wordsworth’s Prelude is a__________.
  5. a) Philosophical poem b) Metaphysical poem
  6. c) Autobiographical poem d) Biographical poem

 

  1. After whom did Wordsworth became the poet laureate of England?
  2. a) Coleridge b) Walter Scott
  3. c) Robert Southey d) John Dryden

 

  1. In Which year Wordsworth’s “Poem in two volumes” was published?
  2. a) 1807 b) 1808
  3. c) 1810 d) 1813

 

  1. 11. “Daffodils” by Wordsworth is _______.
  2. a) A Lyric poem b) A Sonnet
  3. c) An Elegy d) An Epic poem

 

  1. A Crowd of Daffodils reminded the poet of_________.
  2. a) The Milky Way b) The love for his sister
  3. c) The power of nature d) His childhood

 

  1. In the poem Daffodils the poet guesses that there are ____.
  2. a) Six thousand Daffodils b) Ten thousand Daffodils
  3. c) Twenty thousand Daffodils d) Five thousand Daffodils

 

  1. The waves beside the Daffodils danced, but they outdid the sparkling waves in ________.
  2. a) Glow b) Glee
  3. c) Dancing d) Giving pleasure to the poet

 

 

 

 

  1. Why is the year 1798 taken to be the year of the beginning of the Romantic Movement?
  2. a) Because it was the year of Wordsworth’s birth
  3. b) Because it was the year in which James Thomson’s “Seasons” was published
  4. c) Because it was the year in which Wordsworth’s “Lyrical Ballads” was published
  5. d) It was the year of the beginning of the French revolution

 

  1. Romantic poets focused on ____________ (Engg – 2016)

(A) People                   (B) Politics                  (C) Nature                   (D) Love

 

  1. “The Solitary Reaper” by Wordsworth is a/an ___________.
  2. a) Ballad b) Elegy
  3. c) Sonnet d) Ode

 

  1. 18. The Poem The Solitary Reaper functions to praise the beauty of____________?
  2. a) Agriculture b) The song
  3. c) Music d) The act of reaping

 

  1. In the poem The Solitary Reaper, the beautiful girl is reaping in the fields of___________.
  2. a) Ireland b) England
  3. c) Scotland d) Spain

 

  1. In Which language did the Reaper sing in the poem The Solitary Reaper?
  2. a) German b) Greek
  3. c) English d) Erse

 

  1. 21. Alone she cuts and binds the grain,

And sings  __________; Identify the right phrase from the options given below to fill in the blanks.

  1. a) In the rain b) a melancholy strain
  2. c) About her pain d) alone in vain

 

  1. The Poet in the poem The Solitary Reaper speculates that the song of the Reaper might be about ________.
  2. a) Reaping b) Her village
  3. c) Old, unhappy, far-off things, / and battles long ago d) Her family

 

  1. At the end of the poem The Solitary Reaper the Poet started………..
  2. a) Travelling up the hill carrying the song in his heart
  3. b) Going back home
  4. c) Following the Reaper till she reaches her home
  5. d) Singing like the Reaper

 

  1. Which among the following statements about the poem The Solitary Reaper is true?
  2. a) The Poet did not know what she was singing about till the end of the poem
  3. b) The Poet however came to know the meaning of her song at last
  4. c) The Poet was patient enough even though he did not know what she was singing
  5. d) The Poet also joined her in the act of Reaping

 

  1. Which of the comparison does the poet not make in the poem The Solitary Reaper?
  2. a) The beauty of her singing is compared to the chant of the Nightingale
  3. b) The beauty of her singing is compared to the cuckoo’s song
  4. c) The beauty of her singing is compared to the Song of the Nightingale that comforts the travelers in desert
  5. d) The beauty of her singing is compared to the skylark’s song

 

  1. 26. The poem The Solitary Reaper was inspired by the poet and his sister Dorothy’s stay at the village of________.
  2. a) Moorland
  3. b) Strathyre
  4. c) Cumberland
  5. d) Quantock Hills

 

  1. Who among the following poet is not called as are called as Lake Poets?
  2. Wordsworth
  3. Coleridge
  4. Southey
  5. Byron

 

  1. Wordsworth worked with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and published Lyrical Ballads in ____________
  2. 1788
  3. 1798
  4. 1792
  5. 1802

 

  1. What is the subtitle of the poem ‘The Prelude’?
  2. Lyrical Ballads
  3. Growth of a Poet’s Mind
  4. Growth of a Mary’s Mind
  5. To the Cuckoo

 

  1. “The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” These lines are quoted from Wordsworth’s _________
  2. Preface to Lyrical Ballads
  3. Lyrical Ballads
  4. Lines Composed A Few Miles above Tintern Abbey
  5. Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

 

31.Wordsworth considers poetry superior to ____________ (DIET – 2009)

(A) philosophy             (B) history                   (C) science                  (D) all of these

 

  1. “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of feelings recollected in _________ (DIET – 2009)

(A) tranquility              (B) agitation                (C) sorrow                   (D) anxiety

 

 

  1. According to Wordsworth, poetry takes its origin from _________ (DIET – 2016)

(A) unification of sense and sensibility            (B) sensuous apprehension of thought

            (C) combination of wit and moral                   (D) emotion recollected in tranquility

 

  1. Romantic poets focused on ____________ (Engg – 2016)

            (A) People                   (B) Politics                  (C) Nature                   (D) Love

 

  1. The ‘dear friend’ whom Wordsworth addresses in ‘Tintern Abbey’ is ______ (PT – 2006)

            (A) Coleridge              (B) Southey                  (C) Mary Hutchinson (D) Dorothy  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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