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How do selected poets use language to create a sense of place? You should refer to all the poems you have studied.

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Introduction

How do selected poets use language to create a sense of place? You should refer to all the poems you have studied. We have studied a variety of poems all related to the Great Fire of London and London's surroundings and impact. These poems all tell of the poets' views of London from 1700 to 1850. The poems I studied were "The Fire of London" by John Dryden written some time between 1666 and 1700. "A City Fire" by John Gay written between 1685 and 1732, "London" and "Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd 1802" both written by William Wordsworth between 1770 and 1850, "January, 1795" by Mary Robinson written between 1758 and 1800, and finally "London" by William Blake written in 1794. Each of these poems are similar in content, with each poet giving their own individual opinion and impression of what life was like in London at the time. "London" by William Wordsworth tells of the buzzing atmosphere that epitomises the City around the time, "Thou endless stream of men and moving things!" This helps to give the reader the impression that London was swarming with people going about their everyday lives and full of business. Civil War had broken out in 1642 when the mercantile class demanded that some of the monarch's power be passed to Parliament. Puritans under Oliver Cromwell dominated the successful Commonwealth. The Puritans outlawed simple pleasures, such as dancing and theatre, so it was with no surprise that the return of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660 was welcomed and released many creative energies. The period was, however, also marked with two major tragedies: the Plague in 1665 and the Great Fire in 1666. Both "The Fire of London" and "A City Fire" are written about the Great Fire of London in 1666. Accidental fires were common in London around the time as open fires were used for all sorts of jobs, also in houses for warmth and in workshops to make tools and chains. ...read more.

Middle

"Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802" also by William Wordsworth shows us an alternative-Romantic impression of London at the time. It was written, as gathered from the title, on Westminster Bridge in the middle of London. From here, Wordsworth was able to look upon mainstream London and put his thoughts down on paper, which resulted in the existence of this very different poem. "Earth has not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty" The reader is told of how divine and stunning the sights are that Wordsworth can see. Although in the last poem we are told of the 'busyness' and crowded streets of London, in this poem the city is described more as a peaceful and beautiful place. It may normally be busy and full of industry but according to Wordsworth, when overlooking, London is seen as a place of wonder and opportunity: "This City now doth, like a garment, wear The beauty of the morning: silent, bare" Personification is used in the sentence above because the City is described as being human, "like a garment", that 'wears' the beauty of the morning. "Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will" Again personification is used to describe the way the river moves along at "his own sweet will" and is described as completely relaxed and calm. William Wordsworth shows how passionate his feelings are for London in this poem, however, in the earlier poem by Wordsworth, his views are completely different. This may be because he wants readers to understand that he understood London was a 2-sided place, a place of prosperity but also failure. In "January 1795" by Mary Robinson, each stanza consists of two lines rhyming in pairs, as in "deserted", "perverted", "soaring" and "deploring". We identify this rhyming pattern as AABB. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, although both of these poems seem to express a positive image of London, the disadvantages are not mentioned in either of the poems but, although not obvious disadvantages, the fact that London is described as busy and full of people in "London" could be taken as a disadvantage. The poems on the Great Fire of London offer very similar views. Each poem shows a different side to the events that took place during the fire but they each do support the other when describing what happened. The poems each have a main point that they explore and describe. "The Fire of London" depicts the events, in detail, that happened using many adjectives and onomatopoeia to support. "A City Fire" also tells of the events but in a more short and snappy form. Both of the poems are very similar in what they describe, for example: "And frighted mothers strike their breasts too late For helpless infants left amidst the fire." "The Fire of London" describes how mothers tried helplessly to save their children who were amongst the fire. A similar sentence can be found in "The City Fire": "Moved by the mother's streaming eyes and prayers, The helpless infant through the flame he bears" From this selection of poems, I have learned a great deal about the society of London at the time they were written, especially on the subject of The Great Fire of London. Before I studied these poems, I knew that London was a great place for opportunity but did not fully understand that there was another side to London, which did not offer much opportunity for the poorer people in the city. The poems I prefer that we have studied are the ones that rhyme, although they are all very complex and well written poems and I think that they are all of great merit to the author. I preferred the poems that rhymed because they were more interesting to read and study, and I like the lyrical balance. ...read more.

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