Sometimes when we study poetry in school, it can be easy to focus on analyzing the literary aspects of a poem. We can forget to simply delight in how a poem makes us feel.
In some of my English classes over the years, I have talked so much about rhyme schemes, metaphors, and meanings that I forget to think about the ways particular words and phrases, lines and stanzas speak to me or help me pause and notice.
One strategy I’ve found helpful when I read poetry is to focus on my mood while I’m reading a poem. Some poems make me feel joyful and whimsical. Others make me feel sad, tired, or confused.
“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth is a poem that made me feel nostalgic and at peace.
I spent a lot of time as a kid wandering around my home in the Appalachian Mountains and running past fields of wildflowers and this poem reminds me of this.
My favorite lines are, “I gazed—and gazed—but little thought/What wealth the show to me had brought.”
These lines summarize exactly what I felt as I read the poem. I became lost in the beautiful words and just felt like I was back in the words as I was reading.
I also love the final lines of the poem, “And then my heart with pleasure fills,/And dances with the daffodils.”
After being outside in nature, I can take the photos or memories of trees or flowers with me in my mind. This poem reminded me that I can reflect back on the beauty of nature, even if I’m not physically there.
How did it make you feel? Why? Which lines or phrases stood out? Share in the comments below!