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comparing blake's london and wordsworths unpon west minster bridge

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Introduction

How do the poets use Structure, language and form in the two poems to help present their visions of London? William Blake's 'London' 1793 and William Wordsworth's 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' 1802 stage two contrasting views of London. Having both been written in the Romantic period, the two poets use their personal experience of London to illustrate the different visions of the city. Wordsworth adopted the Petrarchan pattern (abba abba cdcdcd) to create his flowing sonnet that describes the silent, undying beauty of London; the intimacy with his description could be inspired by classical poets such as Horaz, Virgil and Ovid. Blake however hardened to use a more harsh approach, delivering his dramatic reality of the dejected city. The two poems hold an expressive passion throughout and both have a deeper inner meaning than what's seen at surface value. At a first glance, these two poems seem the complete opposite. One compliments the natural beauty of London whilst the other only states the traumatic situations faced through a sinister, dark city. ...read more.

Middle

This reveals that the city is wearing the natural 'beauty of the morning' rather than being it. This structural technique continues in his next lines completing his paradoxical image. The fact that the city is 'bare' relates back to the first contradiction by suggesting that London wears 'the smokeless air' that is the 'fair' beauty. Wordsworth uses the petrarchan pattern to compliment the image of the uninterrupted London. The poets emotion filled description of a motionless London implies that he rather prefers a non-industrializing, natural capital compared to the 19th centuries bustling metropolis. In his sestet (cdcdcd) the poet emphasizes the connection of whole poem has and how it coheres well together. He does this by using the sestet- steep, deep, asleep- to draw attention to that fact that the city is invalid in the way that the commerce of London has not yet awaken but is asleep. He keeps this in mind whilst still stating that the fact of the matter is, the city is more alive through its natural presence. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus creating a more colloquial style of writing; however there is the fact that this poem was written in the 19th century where everyone would have believed in 'god'. This idea could be the underlining of the word 'sun'. I believe that Wordsworth's sole adopted style is smooth and poetic, he holds a passion for the topics he chooses to write about which flatter his nature inspired manner. Other poems by Wordsworth which support my supposition are 'I wander lonely as a cloud' and 'Three years she grew in Sun and Shower'. In the 4th stanza the tone of the poem suddenly changes into an ominous low mood with a lingering and menacing spell. The word 'most' has a lasting significance in the line as it institutes the fact that prostitution is causing this wild midnight rush. The changed tone of the poem and the imagery created in this stanza stands out as a dramatic close the blatantly sorrow-filled poem. Adding to the sharpness of the bitter ending, the tone that is usually poetic with a bouncy rhythm has stopped delivering the full force of what Blake calls 'reality'. ?? ?? ?? ?? 04-02-09 ...read more.

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