Photography by Courtney Fox
What sweeter balm than nature to soothe the lonely soul? In this poem, Wordsworth gives his readers a Romantic description of nature’s beauty through the point of view of a “lonely cloud.” I know that in this day and age, we have many resources at our fingertips to keep us busy, but we can all still feel lonely at times. I find that when I’m feeling restless or lonesome, retreating into nature or merely recalling a happy memory of time spent among it never fails to enliven my spirit.
Wordsworth’s poem calls to mind the beautiful things that entwine humankind’s relationship with nature, that prove nature itself is visual poetry to the human soul, and that provide us an inexplicable comfort. For me, these simple pleasures include train rides across the countryside, birdsong at dawn on a foggy morning, a picnic in a meadow of wildflowers, the smell of lilacs in the garden, swans on a pond surrounded by weeping willows blowing in a mild summer breeze, the beams of sunlight that seem to sparkle as they stream through the forest canopy, the smell of the salty sea mist of the Atlantic, listening to a summer thunderstorm outside my bedroom window.
All these things and more are what it means to be human. They encompass what it feels like to be alive, to be taking up space in this world, and somehow they instill a sense of intimacy with the world around us when we are otherwise feeling alone.
Visit Courtney Fox on Instagram @thefoxandtheivy.
I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
by William Wordsworth
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.