“Calypso Borealis” and “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”: Comparative Analysis

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Updated: Aug 12, 2023
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The tone is a way that authors can give a story its feeling or mood that a reader can sense as they read through the text. Every good story that has ever been written has a tone to it that the author created. ‘Calypso Borealis’ is an essay written by John Muir, and ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ is an essay written by William Wordsworth. Both authors write about the experience they had walking through nature alone. However, the tone that each author uses in their essay is very different.

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John Muir and William Wordsworth express their relationship with nature by using adjectives and rhythm to create a tone.

A Window to the Authors’ Relationships with Nature

To start, John Muir and William Wordsworth used adjectives to express their relationships with nature. John Muir says, ‘I found a beautiful Calypso on the mossy bank of a stream, growing not on the ground but on a bed of yellow moss in which its small white bulb had found a soft nest and from which one leaf and one flower sprung.’ In this quotation, adjectives like ‘beautiful,’ ‘yellow,’ ‘soft,’ and ‘sprung.’ When a reader comes across a text with many adjectives like this one, they are able to create a vivid image in their mind, and it makes it much easier for a reader to identify a tone or relationship. Wordsworth said in his essay, ‘When all at once I saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze.’ Wordsworth uses words like ‘golden,’ ‘Fluttering,’ and ‘Dancing.’ By Wordsworth using these words, readers can quickly discover the tone in the story by the context that they already have for words, as the word ‘Dancing’ is usually a term that is used in a positive way.

Additionally, William Wordsworth and John Muir use tone to express their relationships with nature. Wordsworth wrote, ‘For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.’ Wordsworth’s poem clearly has a pleasant tone, and the tone is seen when Wordsworth starts describing the daffodils that he sees on his journey.


Therefore, Wordsworth must have a happy relationship with nature due to the tone that he presents in his story. John Muir stated in his essay, ‘The rarest and most beautiful of the flowering plants I discovered on this first grand excursion was Calypso borealis…’ Muir has created a positive tone with his word choice. For example, he used the phrase, ‘Most rarest and most beautiful,’ this created a positive tone for the reader to spot, and it created a perspective that Muir has a good relationship with nature.


  1. “Calypso Borealis” by John Muir
  2. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth
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"Calypso Borealis" and "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud": Comparative Analysis. (2023, Aug 12). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/calypso-borealis-and-i-wandered-lonely-as-a-cloud-comparative-analysis/