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What different views of London do William Blake and William Wordsworth depict in their poetry?

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Pre-1914 Poems What different views of London do William Blake and William Wordsworth depict in their poetry? I have studied# two pre-1914 poems. They are named 'Upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth and 'London' by William Blake. Wordsworth writes about London in the morning when no one or nothing is around. The main setting of the poem is the scenery where everyone is still fast asleep and the factories have not started up. Wordsworth wrote about this to give people the impression London is the best place on Earth to be. The poet sees all this scenery from the famous Westminster Bridge. Blake however writes about the 'dirty streets' of London as he is walking along and how depressing London is. He also describes the people and workers of London. Blake writes about this because he wants people to get the impression that London is the worst and poorest place to be. William Wordsworth was a romantic poet. He always wrote about nature and the world at its best and most beautiful, perhaps because he lived in the Lake District. However, this poem was unusual in that he wrote about a city, especially London, because most people were used to him writing about nature, again because he lived in a natural place in the Lake District. On the opening line of 'Upon Westminster Bridge' the poet says, "Earth has not anything more beautiful to show more fair." The poet is describing the city and its view as beautiful and wonderful. ...read more.


I will now analyse the second poem 'London' written by William Blake. This poem unlike Wordsworth's is about the stricken and 'dirty' side of London, which has despair, poverty and depression. It is nothing like Wordsworth's vision of peace and tranquillity of London. William Blake wrote this poem in the middle of the night in 1794, which was around the same time as Wordsworth's, who wrote his 'Upon Westminster Bridge' in 1802. In this poem, Blake writes about the poverty and 'dirty streets' in London. The poet also mentions prostitution in London and how bad it is. This quote supports my idea, "how the youthful Harlots curse." This tells me that Blake did not think very highly of London and he doesn't like the disadvantages of it at all. He also makes out that there are hardly any advantages to be living in London at all. It also tells me he is angry and hurt that nothing has been done to stop or help the poverty. The poem has a scattered syllable count, unlike Wordsworth's, that had 10 on each line. Blake however sticks to a strict rhyme scheme. Blake's rhyme scheme is A, B, A, B, C, D, C, D, E, F, E, F, G, H, G, H. I would also say that Blake is writing a traditional poem that describes all the horrors that London have. I think the form does not relate to the title as the title is just 'London' and even though Blake does describe London, he doesn't actually relate to it all the time. ...read more.


Even though I feel angry, I cant help but feel sorry for the people in poverty as no one ever likes to see people in harm, poverty or homelessness. To conclude, I would like to point out a few similarities and differences between the two poems. Firstly, both of the poems are written around about the same time period (Blake - 1794, Wordsworth - 1802.) Both poems are also set in the same city - London. 'Upon Westminster Bridge' is set in the morning, at the break of dawn, 'London' however is set at night, in the pitch black. However, Wordsworth describes London as a place of beauty and peacefulness, whereas Blake writes about the stricken side of London and he writes about the poverty and hurt/pain that has been caused by unemployment etc. Wordsworth's London is deserted, whereas Blake gives the impression that his side of London is crowded. Both of these poems are formally written and are very traditional, both with a strict rhyme scheme and a very well worked syllable count. Finally, I would like to point out that Blake is more critical about the people in London as he is walking along, seeing all the beggars and prostitutes etc. sat there. The poet also blames the poverty he sees which is caused by the businesses that own parts of London and the poor themselves. Wordsworth however, I think is just amazed that he is seeing this view, as not many people get to see London deserted with no people there. This gave me the impression that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. ## ?? ?? ?? ?? Adam Binns ...read more.

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