“I wandered lonely as a cloud”

Great poems croppedThis is the opening line of a poem written by the revolutionary William Wordsworth in 1804.  He shook things up by experimenting with “real language” (as opposed to the formal style found in serious writing), and he wrote about feelings (as opposed to intellectual matters). This line has stuck with me for decades… In fact, it’s hard for me to not think of it whenever I see clouds.  I love clouds as a metaphor for loneliness because both have a range of depth and nuance.  In a way, they are “equalizers”  because they touch everyone, everywhere, now
and forever more.

Louis Untermeyer, A Concise Treasury of Great Poems English and American, rev. ed. (New York: Pocket Books, Inc., Permabook edition, 1962), 209.

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