ARLT 100

ARLT 100 - Andrew Soliman ID# 3189229159 ARLT 100 The term...

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Andrew Soliman ID# 3189229159 ARLT 100 The term romanticism was dryly defined to me during my sophomore year of high school as an artistic and intellectual movement in response to the Industrial Revolution that emphasized the importance of emotion and aesthetic value in relation to nature. Little did I know that I was being exposed to this “intellectual movement” for the first time in a cluttered little living room in San Mateo, California ten years prior, in a much more natural and intimate way. I was on a road trip up the California coast with my family, on my way to see the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time when my parents stopped off to visit an old friend named Clarice. As I sat in this elderly woman’s living room, I picked up a little orange book with a sickly peach floral pattern on the cover, opened to a random page, and began to read. At the top, in thin, curly lettering was the title “The Daffodils”, and under it began the poem. On my first read through, I understood little, and though the rhythmic pattern is simple and regular, I was too young to pick up on it. Only when Clarice rescued the anthology from my hands and began to read it in a lulling, musical voice did I truly connect with the poem. The methodical stresses and the sounds of the words were calming to me as a child, but the playful rhyme scheme kept me engaged and entertained. When she finished her recitation, Clarice explained that this poem, entitled “Daffodils”, was written by a famous poet named William Wordsworth, and that it was her favorite poem in the entire world. With this information in mind, I set off reading it again and again, as though it was a litany I was charged to memorize. In many ways it was a litany, for the nature lover, the romantic, and the poet. I memorized it nonetheless.
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The use of first person in the poem thrust me directly into a different setting altogether. Despite my physically being in that dimly lit parlor, my mind was soaring over the old English countryside, with a vivid bird’s eye view of the landscape. I saw the shimmer of the lake, the swaying of the daffodils like grain, and enormity of the surrounding hills. As I read the second stanza to myself again, I grasped the sheer number and magnificence of the daffodils by means of Wordsworth’s simile, comparing them to the Milky Way itself, the most outstanding tangible object one can perceive. I saw the thousands upon thousands of daffodils stretched out in front of me in my mind’s eye, and I felt humbled in their presence. The scene called to mind a large group of beautiful women performing a dance number in impeccable unison. The third stanza of the poem made me to feel as though I was the auspicious spectator of
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This note was uploaded on 12/06/2011 for the course ARLT 100g taught by Professor 02:00-03:20pm during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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ARLT 100 - Andrew Soliman ID# 3189229159 ARLT 100 The term...

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