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Compare and contrast Blake's 'London', Wordsworth's 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd 1802 and Johnson's 'Inglan is a Bitch'. Which do you think is the most effective and why?

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Introduction

Compare and contrast Blake's 'London', Wordsworth's 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd 1802 and Johnson's 'Inglan is a Bitch'. Which do you think is the most effective and why? Blake's disapproval of changes that happened in his time comes in his poem "London". For instance, the narrator in "London" describes both the Thames and the city streets as "chartered," or controlled by people only interested in making money. He also refers to "mind-forged manacles" whereby he comments on how the authorities try to stop pioneers in such thoughts like Blake. He relates that every man's face contains "Marks of weakness, marks of woe"; and he discusses the "every cry of every Man" and "every Infant's cry of fear." This alliteration helps the poem flow along and really sticks in your mind when you read it. This could be due to the fact that everywhere they go they are under pressure from people for money, with money becoming even more important with the introduction of the industrial revolution. He shows his disapproval for marriage in the church by connecting marriage and death together by referring to a "marriage hearse" and describes it as "blighted with plague." ...read more.

Middle

sees in the morning free from the hustle bustle of the day "Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky" In 1803 you would have seen all these things, but now there would be no fields surrounding that could be seen, Wordsworth saw London in it's unspoiled atmosphere, before the smoke and smog of the city rises, "All bright and glittering in the smokeless air". He also uses personification again in this poem where he refers to the city as 'he', "In his first splendour" and he also uses this on the river Thames when he says "The river glideth at his own sweet will". In the last line he calls London "that mighty heart" as if it is the heart of the whole world to him. Both Blake and Wordsworth both see basically the same London, however it seems as if Wordsworth is just glancing over it in his writing, he is looking down on it, he is not down in it witnessing it ALL whereas Blake is writing from in London viewing its people and ways. ...read more.

Conclusion

Johnsons way of reciting his poems was to speak them over a reggae bass line and occasionally a reggae band, he uses "dub" poetry as he calls it. The fact in this poem that there is no repetition and no way of separation lines adds to the tone that Johnson is trying to convey, it builds in anger and despair throughout the whole poem and the fact that it runs on adds to it. Johnson's poem echoes Blake's but in a more personal way since it is about one person not the denizens of a whole city as Blake's is. "Inglan is a bitch" was also written by a non-British person who was wronged by people, it is not a description more of a biography and timeline of a mans life. Not a depiction of what life is like in London in general but just for one person. In conclusion I think that Blake and Johnson's poems are similar but from a different perspective. And I found Blake's to be most effective because of the bleak imagery that it conjures up. I think that Wordsworth's is the least effective because he is not witnessing life in the city he is just looking at it from above. ...read more.

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