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mercoledì 24 dicembre 2014

Letteratura inglese - Wordsworth - Daffodils (commentary + translation into Italian)

Vagavo solitario come una nuvola
che galleggia in alto nel cielo sopra le valli e le colline,
quando tutto di un tratto ho visto una folla,
una schiera di narcisi dorati:
accanto al lago, sotto gli alberi
che volteggiavano e danzavano nella brezza.
Continui come le stelle che brillano
e scintillano nella via lattea,
si estendevano in una linea interminabile 
lungo il margine di una baia:
dieci mila ne vidi in un colpo d’occhio,
che scuotevano il capo in una danza allegra.
Le onde accanto ad essi danzavano, ma loro
superavano le onde spumeggianti di gioia,
un poeta non poteva che essere allegro,
in una simile gioconda compagnia;
io osservavo - e osservavo - ma ben poco capivo
quale ricchezza la vista dei narcisi mi aveva recato:
poiché spesso, quando sono disteso sul mio divano
in uno stato d’animo ozioso e pensoso,
tornano d’un tratto in quell’occhio interiore
che è la felicità della solitudine;
e allora il mio cuore si riempie di piacere,
e danza con i narcisi.

The poem opens with a simile (comparison) in which the poet compares himself to a cloud that floats in the sky.  A cloud is empty, grey, dull and it cannot move by itself but it can only be driven by the wind. Through this simile, Wordsworth suggests that he is in a state of passivity and loneliness. He is disconnected from the world around him and is indifferent to the worries and anxieties of the world. He’s not thinking about anything.
This state of mind is interrupted by the sight of a field of daffodils along the side of a lake.
He first sees the daffodils as a “crowd”, but then he rearranges the pattern the daffodils form in his mind and sees them as a “host”.
A crowd is characterized by a certain shapelessness whereas the word “host” gives the idea of an orderly array as of soldiers or angels.
He sees them as golden flowers and he describes them with expressions of movement such as “fluttering” and “dancing”.
The transition from “crowd” to “host”, the heightening of the colour through the use of the adjective “golden” and the shift from “fluttering” to “dancing” indicate that the mind of the poet has been awakened by the sight of the flowers and his imagination is now at work and is finding order, cohererence and vividness in the objects he sees in the landscape.
The dominant literary device in this poem is personification. The flowers are personified, they are seen in terms of human beings.
The poem begins with a natural scene and then it becomes meditative.
In the 2nd stanza the poet compares the daffodils to the stars on the Milky Way.
Through this comparison Wordsworth highlights the bright colour of the daffodils and their large number.
(The daffodils are described through expressions of quantity and colour and also through expressions that evoke movement.)
By comparing the daffodils to the stars in our galaxy, he relates the local order of the daffodils along the side of the lake to the larger order of the universe.
The daffodils are described as being in joyful harmony with their environment.
In line 11 we find the inversion of the usual subject-verb order. Wordsworth uses this device in order to highlight the large number of the flowers.
In the 3rd stanza the poet compares the daffodils to the waves of the lake, which dance like them.
He says that the waves didn’t dance with the same joy and harmony as the flowers: the reason is that the daffodils are more delicate than the waves, they are a higher order of nature and can therefore respond with greater harmony of movement to the pressure of the wind.
The wind is correlated to a return to a sense of community after isolation, a  return of emotional vigour after apathy, an outburst of creative power after a period of imaginative sterility.
“inward eye” refers to the imagination: Wordsworth defines it as the bliss of solitude.
The imagination can change the poet’s sense of loneliness into a joyful solitude.
In the concluding stanza the poet himself will feel part of the universal order.
Very often, when he lies on his sofa, in his imagination he sees the daffodils again and he feels the same joy as he experienced when he first saw them.
There’s a difference between the first two lines of the poem and the last two.
In the first two lines the poet feels lonely, passive and detached from the world around him.
In the last two lines he has entered into the spirit of nature and participates in its joy.
What gives joy to the poet is a vision of the universal order of which nature and all human beings are part. It is a sense of the unity and harmony of the universe which causes the poet’s heart to fill with joy.
In the last stanza he demonstrates the beginning of a poetic process and it is from the remembrance of the flowers that the poetic process will start.
The rhyming scheme gives a sense of unity to the poem and a sense of completeness to each stanza because of the final couplet.
This highlights the fact that each stanza is complete in itself and has its own focal point, is centered on one specific idea.
The first stanza introduces the contrast between the poet and the daffodils. The poet is wandering aimlessly and without a sense of direction, while the daffodils are in harmony with their environment. The second stanza focuses on the comparison of the daffodils to the stars of our galaxy and  the third extends the comparison to the waves of the lake.

The fourth stanza shows the transformation of the mood of passivity into a sense of joy brought about by the recollection of the flowers. 

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