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Pre-1914 Poetry: Coursework Essay This essay will analyse, compare and contrast London by William Blake and Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth. I will be looking at how both poets use language, structure and form to create effects..

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Introduction

Pre-1914 Poetry: Coursework Essay This essay will analyse, compare and contrast London by William Blake and Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth. I will be looking at how both poets use language, structure and form to create effects. All of these aspects of creative writing are greatly influenced by the writer's environment, background, and the way that they were living at the time they were writing. In the late 18th century the world was changing and developing fast, the invention of the steam engine, the burning of fossil fuels and coal being burned in houses, giving London the classic 1800's picturesque postcard image, of a very cloudy, smoggy city to be living in. However, William Wordsworth was born on April 17, 1770 in the not so polluted area of Cockermouth, Cumberland, in the Lake District. The magnificent landscape that William grew up in I would imagine would deeply affect his imagination and love of nature. This is shown many times in Composed upon Westminster Bridge as he constantly comments on the way London looks, creating a snap shot image on the view he sees London to be. ...read more.

Middle

With this poem the author wants to show the poverty and the bad circumstances, the poor people are living in. The poem creates a very depressing atmosphere. On the one hand it is not far fetched but on the other hand the poem is written with a very negative view on London. In contrast Composed upon Westminster Bridge is a more positively looking detailed account of London. For example, Wordsworth describes London as "all bright and glittering in the smokeless air'', trying to depict its beauty at a time where London was very foggy and dirty from the recent industrial revolution. Blake's poem is full of striking images. One image is " And mark in every face I meet, marks of weakness, marks of woe". Here Blake wants the reader to have an image of the civilians of London, how their lives must be so miserable, that it shows in their faces. He uses the word 'every', to suggest that these faces of sadness and woe, are shared by every civilian of London. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wordsworth does not use repetition in his poem, he concentrates on clearer use of language, comparing the depth and calm of London streets, to the depth and calm of a river, "..never felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own street will". It is clear to me that these two poets have very different opinions of London. Blake's grim descriptions of the people and life of London, the screams of the babies of prostitutes in the streets in the night, create very dark images in my mind, whereas Wordsworth makes London look the total opposite. Wordsworth picks up on London's appealing ness, the rocks and hills, using words such as 'glittering', 'beauty' and 'splendour'. He says "even the very houses seem asleep; and all that mighty heart is lying still", implying that London itself is a living thing. To me I find Wordsworth's poem the more appealing; because of the easier to understand words and structure of his poem. Blake for me is too cryptic in the way that he writes his poetry, this leaves my understanding of the poem very hard to grasp, and for this reason I prefer Wordsworth's more colourful, clearer, simple depiction of London. ...read more.

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