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Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and London by William Blake

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Introduction

Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and London by William Blake Upon Westminster Bridge was written by William Wordsworth on September 3rd 1802. William Blake wrote London between 1757 and 1827. Both poems are about London, but they have very different views of the city. Wordsworth sees the good about the city and doesn't pick up any negatives. Blake however expresses a negative feeling and shows how it is felt by all. Wordsworth was the son of a lawyer called John Wordsworth. His father was the personal attorney of the Earl of Lonsdale, the most powerful and hated man in the area. He had three brothers and one elder sister. He wrote this poem in the year that the Earl died when he and his siblings could finally receive the inheritance of their mother and fathers deaths. Little more than a month later after writing the poem he married his childhood sweetheart Mary Hutchinson. This could have had some effect in his views and prospects in life after all he had suffered when he was a teenager. Blake was the son of a successful hosier and was the third of five children. He only went to school long enough to read and write and then worked in his fathers shop until he was fourteen. At 25 Blake married Catherine Boucher. A follower of Emanuel Swedenborg, who offered a gentle and mystic interpretation of Christianity, Blake wrote poetry that largely reflects Swedenborgian views. ...read more.

Middle

"Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!" "Dear God! The very houses seem asleep" These indicate his happiness and exasperation at the beauty of London; so much he is lost for words. If you speak it aloud to yourself you sound really surprised and excited, even though the subject is something so peaceful and calm. The one below is emphasizing the same feelings of shock at how peaceful London is and he seems to be overwhelmed with what he can see. London has a very pessimistic view on London and how all the people that live in the city are upset and depressed. "In every cry of every man" He continues to speak of the children who are upset and how even the church has become black, with soldiers unhappiness running down palace walls in blood. He then speaks of the harlot who curses the child and marriage in a hearse. Blake wrote this poem around 1794, which is earlier than Wordsworth's.. I discovered that Blake was deeply angered by the rationalist approach and economic injustice of the Industrial Revolution. He was totally absorbed by passion for love and human imagination, and their relationship to the spirit. This was the year also of which he wrote the Songs of Experience (1794), which tells of a mature person's realization of pain and terror in the universe. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is the Iambic Pentameter. In Upon Westminster Bridge he refers to a lot of the objects as if they are humans. "This city now doth like a garment wear" "The river glideth at his own sweet will" "the very houses seem asleep" This is very effective as it gives you more of a feel of the city because we can relate to humans much easier than with non-living things. London also has an a, b rhythm pattern which continues throughout the whole poem. He doesn't seem to refer to anything as if it is human, even the people seem to be explained as just a sum or thing. To also use more collective terms gives the poem a very negative outlook, which is just what Blake was trying to achieve. Both poems have very different views on London. Wordsworth's was very positive and Blake's seemed to pick out everything unpleasant and depressing. I personally prefer Blake's poem as it seems to be more realistic and if you took a second to think deeper into your town or city you could probably highlight more bad than good points. However I feel that Blake was very harsh and a lot of the things that Wordsworth said are also very true and relevant but are a bit like living in a daydream. If I were to write my own poem I would write one more similar to Blake's because I found it more compelling to read and it was a lot more interesting and dramatic. Abby Jones 10S2 ...read more.

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