Daffodils Questions and Answers ICSE Class 9 and Class 10

Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow.

Extract – 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.

Question 1 : Who wanders like a lonely cloud? What does he come across while wandering?

Answer : The poet ‘William Wordsworth’ wanders like a lonely cloud over the valleys and hills. While wandering among the valleys and hills the poet comes across the host of golden daffodil flowers near the lake and under the branches of the trees.

Question 2 : What does the phrase ‘lonely as a cloud’ suggest here in the above lines?

Answer : In the above lines, the poet describes himself as a cloud to express his loneliness despite the fact that clouds are not supposed to be lonely. It is known that clouds usually float in groups. Perhaps a cloud is lonely because it has been driven apart from its group by the strong wind and is floating in the sky without any company. In the same way, the poet wanders through the vales and hills.

Question 3 : Where are the daffodils and what are they doing?

Answer : The daffodils flowers are by the side of the lake and under the trees. The poet calls them a ‘crowd’ because they are packed tightly together. They are fluttering in the breeze as if they were dancing like human beings expressing their joy and energy.

Question 4 : Why does the poet call the daffodils golden?

Answer : Having spotted the valley covered with the daffodils flowers the poet is enchanted. He has been attracted by the colour of the flowers, which are of yellow but seem to him golden in the rays of the sun. It shows his love towards nature and mastery to relate things to nature.

Question 5 : Describe in your own words the poet’s feelings when he saw the host of the golden daffodils.

Answer : The poet was thrilled to see a host of golden daffodils by the side of the lake under the trees moving their head in a joyful manner. They seemed to be dancing like human beings expressing their energy and joy. When the poet saw the flowers, his imagination travelled to other world to find a comparison. He was reminded of the stars twinkling in the milky way at night. The long line of the daffodil flowers bore comparison with the bright stars seen across the night sky.

Extract – 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 a a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

Question 1 : What have been compared to the stars and why?

Answer : The host of the golden daffodils by the side of the lake under the trees have been compared to the stars. A milky way is a cluster of stars which shine brightly across a huge stretch of space similarly like the stars in the milky way the poet feels that the daffodils are not only uncountable but also dancing with full energy and joy in never ending line along the margin of the lake.

Question 2 : What does the poet say about ‘the margin of the bay’?

Answer : When the poet sees a group of waving golden daffodils, he gets enchanted by the beauty. He watches them very carefully. He observes that the flowers are concentrated in a line along the margin of the bay that seems endless. Here in the stanza, the margin of the bay is the centre of his attention.

Question 3 : What does the poet mean by ‘Ten thousand saw I at a glance’?

Answer : The poet is walking through a valley that is full of daffodils that have covered it so wherever he moves his sight he sees only daffodils. They are so dense that at a glance thousands of them can be seen thus to add charm in his expression he says ‘Ten thousand saw I at a glance’.

Question 4 : Describe the whole stanza in your own words.

Answer : In the stanza, the poet says the daffodils are shining and stretching continuously without a break, like the stars in the milky way galaxy. There are a lot of daffodils which can be counted in thousands. The yellow flowers tossed their heads beautifully in the soft breeze and it seems that they are dancing.

Question 5 : What literary device is used in ‘Ten thousand saw I at a glance’ and why?

Answer : The sight of the golden daffodils near the lake fascinates the poet and he guesses them to be ‘ten thousand’ in a glance. The poet has used the literary device ‘hyperbole’ here. He has used this literary device to stress the number of daffodils in more expressive manner so as to reveal the impact it has laid on him and to express the scene for a better appeal. His attempt does not go in vain as he becomes successful to draw the same feeling in the readers’ mind as he had when he was glancing at the daffodils.

Extract – III

The waves beside them dances; 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:

Question 1 : Whom did the daffodils outdo and how?

Answer : The daffodils outdid the waves in the lake. The daffodils seemed to be dancing like human beings expressing their joy and energy when the breeze blew over them. The waves too were dancing but in front of daffodils they were not looking bright so could not compete with them. Both the flowers and waves seemed to have competition to show their feelings and expressions.

Question 2 : About which jocund company is the poet referring to?

Answer : The poet is referring to the jocund company of the host of golden daffodils dancing in joy by the side of the lake under the trees. Along with them the waves in the lake too were dancing by the side of the daffodils. The poet was bound to be happy in such a joyful company of the daffodils and the waves.

Question 3 : How does the poet make difference between the natural surroundings and daffodils?

Answer : In the above stanza, the poet has shown difference between the daffodils and the natural surroundings. He says that there are other things like the trees , lake and waves that are enchanting the beauty of the surroundings but the golden daffodil flowers are making it more beautiful. Their dancing movements and brightness are making a deeper impact on him than the other things in surroundings.

Question 4 : Which wealth is referred to here by the poet?

Answer : The wealth which is referred to here by the poet means wealth of joy and happiness; which actually comes from happy and fond memories. The poet sees a host of golden daffodils by the side of the lake, beneath the trees. Thus the poet has come to know the worth of the flowers.

Question 5 : “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotional recollected in tranquility.” Analyse this statement in the light of the poem Daffodils by William Wordsworth.

Answer : In the present poem ‘Daffodils’, Wordsworth has depicted a host of beautiful golden daffodil flowers that he came across in the valley of Scotland. The beauty of those flowers had left an everlasting impression upon his mind. He recollected the memory of those daffodils which used to fill his heart with pleasure, that is why the poet wrote this poem. This poem was not an intentionally and artificial attempt of the poet, but a spontaneous expression of his feelings, the joy of the flowers had brought to his life. This originates from the ’emotion’ recollected in tranquility’. Thus the poem ‘Daffodils’ holds true to his own statement about what poetry should be.

Extract – 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.

Question 1 : Describe the feelings of the poet when he lies on his couch.

Answer : The poet imagines the scene of the valley and the hills covered with daffodils while lying on his couch in two cases either he is unoccupied or he is in sad mood. By ‘In vacant’ he means that he has nothing to do or think and his mind is without any thought. ‘In pensive mood’ draws the attention of the readers toward his sorrow that makes him feel dejected.

Question 2 : What happens to the poet when he is sometimes in a pensive mood?

Answer : Whenever the poet is in a an unoccupied and sad mood, the happy memory of the daffodil flowers flushes upon his eyes of imagination which is a source of joy and inspiration to him. He feels the same pleasure that he felt when he had first seen them.

Question 3 : What is the phrase ‘inward eye’ referred to in the extract?

Answer : The phrase ‘inward eye’ is referred to the imagination of the poet about the picture of dancing daffodils and shining waves which became a part of his life. He uses the phrase as a metaphor in the poem as he imagines the golden daffodils in his spiritual vision. The poet seems to have connected to the spiritual beauty of these flowers forever.

Question 4 : Explain the phrase the ‘bliss of solitude’ in the context in which it has been used.

Answer : The poet uses the phrase ‘bliss of solitude’ to highlight his idea about the daffodils. The memory of the flowers is so everlasting that it seems to entertain him even when he is all alone and has no one to accompany him or no work to do. It has become an integral part of his life and is best realised when he is left in solitude.

Question 5 : What does the poet say in the last two lines of the stanza?

Answer : William Wordsworth says that when he gets alone, the scene of the valley and the hills that were covered with beautiful daffodil flowers looking golden in the sun comes in his mind and gives him the same pleasure as if he were among the flowers. His heart fills with happiness and even dances with excitement with daffodil flowers. Through these lines he tries to show the extent to which this experience has touched his heart and conscience.