Karen Welberry


This paper is about Wordsworth's 'daffodil poem' and what has been made of it since it was published as 'I wandered lonely as a cloud' in 1807. In this paper I take issue with postcolonial writers like Jamaica Kincaid and Michelle Cliff who position Wordsworth's 'daffodil poem' at the centre of British imperialism. I also take issue with J. Edward Chamberlin who has recently repositioned the poem as marginalized and radical. My position, as my title indicates, is that 'Daffodils' has been deployed in both colonial and postcolonial contexts: that it is neither central nor marginal to British imperialism in itself, but has been found very useful at certain historical moments. My interest in this idea of 'deployment', probably quite reactionary and not all that exciting in itself, is in what is also swept up by implication when 'Daffodils' is deployed and redeployed.



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