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Comparing Two Poems - Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth; In a London Drawing-room by George Elliot

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Introduction

Comparing Two Poems - Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth; In a London Drawing-room by George Elliot The two poems describe London, but "Upon Westminster Bridge" describes the city from a tourist's point of view whereas "In a London Drawing-room" talks about the city from a Londoners point of view. The title "Upon Westminster Bridge" gives the reader a first impression, which is that the poem is positive and written by an outsider who is experiencing London for the first time. The speaker uses the preposition "Upon" which conveys the idea that the speaker is describing the city from a birds eye view which would be amazing and beautiful however he misses all the small blemishes the city has which gives it a unnatural feeling. The poems subject is London and concentrates on the look and features of London and what someone would feel during their first visit. The poet makes a point by describing the sky very elaborately. "Never did the sun more beautifully steep" which gives the impression that London may be special because the sun has chosen London to shine upon. Central to the poem is the idea that London is particularly mellow and that its unfazed by what may be going on around it "Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep" which suggests that outside London this deep calmness ceases to exist. When reading the poem it appears that the speaker is describing the city in the morning although what strikes me as strange is the fact that the speaker describes the city as "morning, silent, bare" and also says that there is "smokeless air". ...read more.

Middle

I think the layout plays a key part in bringing the speakers message across as it provides structure to the poem. The rhyme in the poem further more creates this sense of everything going smoothly and flowing well. The poem's strength lies in its wealth of imagery. There are two types of imagery, which I can pinpoint. The first being direct images which are directly related to the words the speaker has chosen, "towers, domes, theatres and temples". The speaker also creates open imagery such as "Earth has not anything to show more fair" from which the reader can picture all kinds of things. The speaker bombards the reader with images by using short sentences, which are packed with powerful and descriptive words. However the speaker also uses longer sentences to convey messages such as how amazing London is. Unlike "Upon Westminster Bridge" the other poem "In a London Drawing-room" has a negative title, which gives the reader a negative impression. The preposition "In a" creates the sense of claustrophobia and entrapment which is very depressing. The title also immediately informs the reader that the speaker is someone who lives in London or at least has extensive knowledge of the city because it is written from a "Drawing-room" point of view writes the poem. The poem focuses around the speakers view from a drawing room from where she describes what she sees and her thoughts about it as well as the city and its people. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sentence "With lowest rate of colour, warmth and joy" forms the perfect closure for the poem as it emphasizes the idea that London is utter hell and that there is nothing there which is even remotely worth seeing or experiencing. This sentence sums up everything the poem has talked about and ends the poem as it started. Colours are very powerful in expressing feelings and emotions and if someone describes his/her feelings as being "lowest rate of colour" then they must be very depressed. Finally the speaker says that there is no warmth and joy, which is impossible as there is joy and warmth almost in every part of the world. The poems have a huge difference in opinion and content which seems very strange as both poems focus on the same topic. It is strange to think that two poets can interpret a place in such a different way and to think that there are so many perspectives on situations and settings. I don't feel that either poem has more to offer than the other as they are both completely different and both have different qualities. However several things in both poems struck me. In "Upon Westminster Bridge" I liked the image it created for me which was of a human being and that the author was using London to actually describe someone. In the second poem "In a London Drawing-room" I liked the way the speaker plucked out all the faults in London and the idea of "multiplied identities" as well as "one huge prison house" which I consider to be an impressive idea. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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