Andrew has actually a keen interest in all aspects of poetry and also writes broadly on the subject. His poems are published online and in print.

You are watching: Composed upon westminster bridge september 3 1802 analysis


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William Wordsworth and also A review of composed upon Westminster Bridge

Composed ~ above Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 is wilhelm Wordsworth's sonnet come the capital city the London, written before the full impacts of the industrial change had reached the metropolis.


Wordsworth and also his sisters Dorothy were on their way to the port of Dover in July 1802, en route for Paris. Imagine very early dawn, hardly anyone on the streets, once along comes a carriage and also horses, preventing temporarily to take it in the see over the river Thames. This can be the minute of inspiration for the romantic poet.

When he returned to England he perfect the sonnet and it was released a couple of years later on in 1807. There room variations on this story yet the simple idea is the Wordsworth to be enthralled by the smokeless vista before him, interpreting the city skyline as a organic landscape, beautiful and quiet, most people not however going about their business.


Some are an important of the poet for portraying London as some sort of sublime idyll, when the true nature the life in the resources was far much more brutal and also down to earth. This to be at a time when destitute youngsters scraped a life sifting v the mud of the Thames for pennies, once the flow itself was a stinking mess and many died from conditions such as cholera.

Poets such together William Blake to be well aware of the human suffering the city caused and wrote reflective poems.

Others argue the Wordsworth had no option, gift a romantic, see the civilization through rose-tinted glasses so to speak, having to express his feelings around what he observed at the time top top the bridge. And also in 1802 London would certainly be fairly small, the style modest, the countryside, with open up fields and woods, no that far from liven city roads.


The sonnet is still leading to debate in between realists and romantics. ~ above the one hand it's nothing much more than fourteen present of sentimental invention, through hyperbole; top top the other it's a new perspective, one enlightened vision that lifts the spirit.There is also a type of paradox in the idea the a city can be part of nature, or that an ugly, man-made city deserve to be viewed as being together beautiful as a natural landscape. I beg your pardon is it?

Somewhere in between the two lies poetic craft and also the concern of even if it is or no the poet has properly twinned type with content. No doubting despite the popularity of this renowned sonnet, that scanty plot of ground, and also its ability to separation opinion under the middle.

Composed ~ above Westminster leg is a Petrarchan or Italian sonnet, through the very first eight lines, the octave, gift observation, and also the last 6 lines, the sestet, the conclusion.

Composed top top Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Earth has actually not anything come show much more fair: Dull would certainly he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty: This City currently doth, prefer a garment, stay The beauty, beauty of the morning; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and also temples lie open unto the fields, and also to the sky; every bright and also glittering in the smokeless air. Never ever did sun much more beautifully steep In his an initial splendour, valley, rock, or hill; Ne'er observed I, never felt, a patience so deep! The flow glideth in ~ his very own sweet will: too ~ God! the very houses it seems ~ asleep; and also all the mighty love is lying still!


Analysis of created Upon Westminster Bridge

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 is Wordsworth's delicately wrought dedication come the funding of England, the city the London.

From that cool opening line, v its showy declaration, come the secure iambic win of the metropolitan heart, this sonnet aims to do one thing: romanticise what might be considered ugly.

This is a whole new view that a good city prior to it has properly woken up. The speaker is adamant the a person would have to be dull...of soul not to be influenced by such a vista, both moving and majestic.


The 4th line is interesting due to the fact that it sets the reader and also speaker in the pure present; the leader is looking with the eyes of the artist as it were, together dawn lights up the architecture and also the an excellent river.

And the metropolis comes alive in the adhering to line - it wears the morning, a calmed personified giant. Wordsworth bring in that most romantic the notions, beauty, and attaches it come what is potentially among the the very least beautiful that places, a growing, heaving city.

But this is a city the dream-like quality, as yet unpeopled, collection in fresh light, in ~ rest, in ~ ease through fields and sky, no yet subject to the exhilaration of the chimney stacks or the smog the industry.

The poet might be forgiven for reasoning that this is no London he's spring at yet some other herbal habitat, maybe a mountain or a series of lightly lit cliffs and also rocks.

In lines 9 and also 10 the feelings of the poet with a kind of heat pitch, an echo the the opened line sound - he has actually never checked out anything choose this dawn, this splendid sunlight.

He is clear in his heart and mind. He's never felt so calm. It's together if the city has him in a trance. Perhaps we've every experienced comparable feelings once waking increase really at an early stage in some great city, and also venturing the end to take in that special atmosphere, once there's no one about at all and the highways are deserted.


Wordsworth interprets this feelings the has about the summary from that bridge; he's do the efforts to capture the emotion created by the points he observes. From a ship to a dome, from the river to the houses, the totality suspended shabang.


As to the sonnet's inherent beauty, the is up to the reader, yet there room some complex rhythms involved in this lines, and also the speed is managed with clever syntax.

Certain currently stand out for their feeling of wonder - present 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 - and also overall words intimacy isn't shed to the differing rhythms.

One oddity is heat 13 the starts with Dear God! - you have the right to just photo Wordsworth top top the carriage peak exclaiming. He chosen to use such unit volume in several of his poetry, an effort to reflect the much more common human being response.

So, in conclusion, beyond reality lies the romantic, it is in it a city turned into a natural phenomenon together in this sonnet, coated, some can say, in as well sweet a layer of wonder.

Wordsworth's 'strongly felt emotions' come v loud and also clear and he absolutely created a timeless piece that beguiles, irritates and also puzzles together it take away the leader along into a shared metropolitan experience.

More analysis - Rhyme and Metre (Meter in American English) - created upon Westminster Bridge

Composed ~ above Westminster Bridge has actually the classic 14 lines separation into one octave and a sestet. The rhyme scheme is abbaabba cdcdcd. All the rhymes are full except for lines 2 and 3: by/majesty.

Full Metrical evaluation

A classic sonnet is made up of 14 lines with pure iambic pentameter. In Wordsworth's sonnet the iambic beat go dominate however only one line is composed of 5 iambic feet, there is no caesura or obstacle to flow, and also that is the critical line.


Lines 3, 4, 5 and 12 space iambic pentameter however the syntax and also caesura interrupt the stable beat, showing the uncertainty and also oddity the the scene. Wordsworth must have purposely built it this way to highlight the unexplained nature of his subject.


The last line is the only one v a consistent da-DUM beat, the mighty love beating, the city asleep.

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Earth has / not an / ything / to show / an ext fair: (note opened trochee)Dull would he be of soul who could pass by (same trochee first foot)A sight for this reason touching in its majesty: (caesura: emotional in)This City now doth, like a garment, wear (commas sluggish down line)The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, (semi-colon and commas)Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie (towers/theatres)Open unto the fields, and to the sky; (trochee very first foot)All bright and also glittering in the smokeless air. (2 rate glittering)Never go sun more beautifully steep (opening trochee)In his an initial splendour, valley, rock, or hill; (commas to slow line)Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! (opening trochee;spondee)The river glideth at his own sweet will: (caesura glideth at)Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; (opening spondee)And all the mighty heart is lying still! (pure iambic pentameter)

Further Analysis

Enjambment

Lines 2,4,6 and also 9 have no point to end them therefore the leader can bring on straight right into the next line, a have fun of the flow of emotion as the speaker defines the view.