'I wandered lonely': 1807 and 1815 version

William Wordsworth composed his most famous poem ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ in 1804, two years after his sister Dorothy had written her journal entry of 15 April 1802 describing the ‘long belt’ of daffodils they had both seen.

Clearly Dorothy’s account of this experience in her Grasmere journal was the inspiration for William’s poem. William wrote two versions of this poem and you can hear both of them here in this step, read by Professor Keith Hanley.

Wordsworth published the first version of this poem, ‘I wandered lonely as a Cloud’, in 1807, in a collection called ‘Poems in Two Volumes’. He altered it several times, but the final version was published in his ‘Collected Poems’ in 1815.

In the next step, you will be asked to compare these two versions with each other and with Dorothy’s journal entry of 15 April 1802.

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This video is from the free online course:

William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place

Lancaster University