“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” Analyse this statement in the light of the poem Daffodils by William Wordsworth.
William Wordsworth in his Preface to the Lyrical Ballads has defined poetry as a ‘spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’ And his own poems have often been true to his statement. His poems have been the expressions of his feelings and emotions.
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. In his later life, when he spent some lonely moments on his couch, he recollected those beautiful flowers and the memory of those daffodils used to fill his heart with pleasure. That is why the poet wrote this poem. This poem was not a deliberate and artificial attempt of the poet, but a spontaneous expression of his feelings, the joy 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.
William Wordsworth’s idea of poetry is that it originates from “the overflow of feelings, recollected in tranquility”. This means that the poet observes an object, it sets off powerful emotions in his mind and lets them sink into his mind. At a later moment, he recollects those emotions in tranquility and produces a poem. The poem Daffodils clearly elucidates this definition of poetry. The poet saw a beautiful scene of dancing Daffodils, he was filled with joy and at a later moment, when he was in a pensive mood (tranquility) he recollected the scene. He felt bliss again and the result was this poem.