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Personification in Poetry: Critical Analysis of I Wandered Lonely as A Cloud

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Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Poetry is a written literary work in which its contents are expressions of the writer’s feeling by using semantically language, meaningful and contains rhythm and rhyme in the arrays and stanzas.

Poetry is formed by several elements, includes figurative language. Figurative language is a kind of parable metaphor that is usually used to strengthen the impression of a sentence both written and spoken and trigger an imaginative sense for the audience.

According to Pradopo (2000:61), figurative language is a language to describe the comparison, equation, and imagery. There are various kinds of figurative language, simile, metaphor, personification, allegory, metonymy, etc.

The term ‘personification’ is from Greek prosopopoeia means to humanize. This form of figurative language use in various literary works such as poetry, short stories, novels, and so on.

The characteristic of personification is the choice of words which impose human nature on the inanimate object. It has a comparative style of language that compares inanimate or immovable objects so that they appear to be lifeless and behave like humans.

Personification is used in many types of writing, include poetry. Poets use figurative language and rely on it to create powerful images in the readers’ minds. Personification in poetry not only makes it more interesting and visually appealing to the readers but also contributes to the central idea or mood of the poem.

Examples of personification:

  • The sun smiles at me
  • My pen is dancing on the white paper
  • The wind touched me softly
  • The fire swallowed my spirit

‘Daffodils’ is one of William Wordsworth’s most popular poem. This poem tells the fantasy of being a cloud that enjoys the beauty of nature. When talking about nature admiration, romanticism cannot be forgotten. This understanding greatly influenced William Wordsworth in making his works. Works created during the industrial revolution in Europe in the mid 18th century. It is not only the industry that is evolving but also other aspects o f life. A side of life that is ignored capitalists. Sides such as labor life, child welfare, destruction of nature, and health standards. The sides that only became a shadow of that era and became the main focus of the romance to express it to the world.

His works and William Wordsworth himself are inseparable from romanticism. Collaborated with Samuel Taylor, they published Lyrical Ballads which became the point of awakening in the romantic period. A period in which a critical view of things that happened at that tome and try to take the fight. In literature, romanticism expresses criticism of the comparison of the present with past, expresses concern for women and children, heroism from the separation of artists or narrators from the outside world, and respect for fresh, clay, virgin, and pure nature.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The poem Daffodils from William Wordsworth contain personification in some of the lines that refer to daffodils, star, and wave. We must first understand what is personification mean to understand what the poet’s point in his poem and the true meaning of the personification used.

1.3 Purpose of the study

  • To find out about personification
  • To analyze the meaning of personification in poem Daffodils

Chapter II. Review of related literature

2.1 Personification

According to Gorys Keraf theory in the book entitled diction and style (2001: 140), “personification is a kind of style of figurative language that describes inanimate objects or goods lifeless as if it has characteristicshumanity.” Personification is a special feature of metaphor, which make an analogy of inanimate objects act, talk, like humans.

Example of personification in literary work, ‘Mirror’, a poem by Sylvia Plath is an excellent representation of a poem told entirely from the point of view of a non-human object: a mirror. While we understand that a mirror does not have emotions or complete actions, in this poem it does. Take a look at these lines taken from different parts of the poem:

‘I am silver and exact.’

‘I have no preconceptions.’

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‘Whatever you see I swallow immediately.’

‘I am not cruel, only truthful – ‘

‘Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.’

‘I see her back and reflect it faithfully.’

‘She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.’

As we read these lines, we can see that because the poet chose to personify the mirror, the central idea behind the poem is what a mirror conveys to the one who looks into it. Additionally, the mirror uses words such as ‘exact,’ ‘truthful,’ and ‘faithful,’ which gives the poem a neutral and detached mood. Personification aids the poet in conveying these elements in an artful and expressive way.

2.2 Daffodils

‘Daffodils’ also commonly known as “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is one of William Wordsworth’s most famous poem.

Inspired by an event on 15 April 1802 in which Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came across a ‘Long Belt’ of daffodils around Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater, in the lake district. It was first published in 1807 in Poems, in Two Volumes, and a revised version was published in 1815.

“ When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the waterside, we fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up – But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway – We rested again and again. The Bays were stormy and we heard the waves at different distances and in the middle of the water like the Sea” — Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journal Thursday, 15 April 1802

Daffodils became top fifth nation’s favourite poem based on a poll conducted in 1995 by BBC Radio.

Chapter III. Methodology

3.1 Research design

This research design used qualitative research. (1985:30) The writer uses two kinds of sources in collecting the data. The data collected are in the form of words or pictures rather than numbers. The written result of the research contains quotation from data illustrate and substantiate presentation.

3.2 Source of data

Data collection is obtained through various sources such as books, journals, the internet, and through the writer’s observation.

3.3 Technique for collecting data

They are primary source and secondary source. The primary source is the literary work itself, in this case, the poem Daffodils. The secondary source include the article, the data from encyclopedia, and some other references that related with the poem and title to support this research.

3.4 Technique of data analysis

In data analysis, the writer will use objective approach, which is only focused in analyzing the personification based on the poem itself without concerned the external aspects.


  1. Arbie, D. (2015). Kesatuan Pemikiran dan Perasaan dalam 20 Puisi Romantik Karya William Wordsworth. Jurnal Fakultas Sastra Universitas Sam Ratulangi, Vol. 2. No. 1.
  2. Long, D. (2018). Meaning Construction of Personification in Discourse Based on Conceptual Integration Theory.
  3. Nugroho, H. (2009). Impression in ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud’.
  4. Raisa, M. (2017). A Study of Figurative Language Covering Simile, Metaphore, Personification and Symbol in Poem.
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Personification in Poetry: Critical Analysis of I Wandered Lonely as A Cloud. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from
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