How London Is Portrayed by Nineteenth Century Poets.

February 2010
How London Is Portrayed By Nineteenth Century Poets
By Neil Henderson
In this following essay I will be comparing two poems written in the nineteenth century about London. One is called ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ by William Wordsworth, and the other is called ‘London’ by William Blake. Both of these poems are in complete contrast unit about everything in them such as, one is for London and the other is against it. I will be writing about the structure, content, mood, and ideas of each poem.

The poem ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’, written by William Wordsworth, is a nineteenth century sonnet about the poet standing on Westminster Bridge in the early morning describing everything that he can see. As this poem is written in 1802, the London that he can see is very different to the London of today. As he says, ‘open unto the fields, and to the sky.’ This means that he can see fields by standing on Westminster Bridge and that would be a very unusual this to see in the London of today. Wordsworth says, ‘This city now Doth like a garment, wear the beauty of the morning’ Wordsworth uses that simile to give the reader the impression that the buildings are cocooned in sunlight, like a caterpillar is cocooned.

Wordsworth describes the air as being smokeless as he says, ‘All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.’ So he is describing the air of London of being smokeless which must mean that he was looking as London in the early hours of the morning as in the nineteenth century during the day the air of London would be full of smog from fires in the houses and factories. Towards the end of the poem Wordsworth says, ‘the very houses seem asleep’ That would be personification as he is saying that the houses and streets of the city seem so quiet it is as if they were just sleeping getting ready to awake latter on in the day.

The mood of the poem is very calm as he doesn’t mention any noise throughout the poem at all because it is silent all the way...