Many people see London in different perspectives, both positive and negative in both poetry and prose.William Wordsworth and William Blake are two poets which expressed their views and opinions in many contrasting ways about London through poems and prose.The two poets discovered London and valued it in assorted ways.
William Wordsworth was a tourist who went through London to get to France.
He saw London’s view from the top of Westminster Bridge; this is why he named the poem ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’. Whereas William Blake experienced and saw London’s ‘secrets’ through the streets of London, and his poem was called ‘London’. Wordsworth observes nature and the beauty lying over London; however Blake observes all the negatives occurring in London deep inside. Blake might of thought negatively about London because at that time London was in the industrial revolution.
The words he uses in his poem such as, ‘In every cry of every Man, In every infants cry of fear’ shows us the woe and sorrow people become because of helplessness while living in London, In contrast to this Wordsworth visualised London early in the morning over the top of Westminster Bridge, only seeing the beauty London’s wearing over itself, the words he uses to describe the things he saw is ‘ The beauty of the morning: silent, bare, ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie’. The most interesting example of personification used in Wordsworth’s poem is ‘Dear God!
The very houses seem asleep: And all that mighty heart lying still’. Wordsworth described London by using metaphors and personification, comparing it to a human. The word ‘heart’ proves that the poet imagines that London is the main part of the country. A heart is the most important part of a human body which has all the veins coming in and going out from it. Wordsworth compares this with London by displaying the fact that London is the capital city of England and it has other countries attached to. Wordsworth also uses the word ‘asleep’ to compare London with a human.
While Wordsworth was studying the beauty of London early in the morning, while everyone and everything was still and quiet, he used the word ‘asleep’ to describe the view of London, to show us that London was sleeping at that very moment of time. On the other hand, the poet Blake also used examples of personification and metaphors in his poem about London in the opposite way. This can be seen in the quotation ‘Runs in blood down palace walls’ shows me that the negatives occurring in London has brain washed Blake’s min.
A palace is somewhere rich and precious but maybe because in those times Blake wrote this poem, there was the industrial revolution where lots of people lost their lives, had Blake tried to signify that blood had covered all the glamour of London. One technique that id particularly effective here is that Blake uses very powerful metaphors to describe the violence and how antagonistic London is to become as you live your life throughout the UN- positives.
Also Wordsworth repeats the word beautiful in his poem over and over again to show the reader that he is not knowing he is using the same word over and over again. Both the poets use metaphors to describe the things they see and compares with a human. William Wordsworth and William Blake have some common themes between their poems. The poem ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ and the poem ‘London’ are both about London and both the poems where written in the same period of time whereas they both experience completely contrasting views.
In Wordsworth’s poem the theme was mostly based on nature and society. He described the positives and all the beauty of London for instance he describes the sun in the line ‘never did sun more beautifully steep’ Wordsworth uses hyperbole and exaggerates his views. He explains that he has never seen a sun in the morning this beautiful. The quote ‘ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples’ show that Wordsworth described man-made objects as well as nature for example ‘valley, rock or hill’. Also in Blake’s poem ‘London’; there are man-made parts of the city used as well, but in the negative way.
We can see this in the line ‘palace walls’. Description of buildings is also evident in Wordsworth’s poem in the line ‘the very houses seem asleep’. The reader is able to understand that both poets use man-made parts for example buildings from different perspectives, both negative and positive. Blake describes h corruption of the city and how blood is running down palace walls whereas Wordsworth compared the houses as humans sleeping. In Blake’s poem he talks about the darkness of London and the suffering people are in. the quote ‘but most thro’midnight streets I hear.
How the youthful harlots curse’, shows the reader the dark streets barking for help all the negatives and helplessness people are in and the suffering going on. Another quote, ‘marks of weakness marks of woe’ proves us the sorrow and how weak and depressed people have become. Wordsworth talks about the quietness and houses sleeping and the beauty of the nature, however Blake talks about the darkness, sorrow, suffering and the curruption of the society. Both the poets William Wordsworth and William Blake have contrasting ways of introducing structure.
The two poems are structured differently. ‘Upon Westminister Bridge’ is wriitten in the form of a sonnet; which has 14 lines in one stanza. This emphasises the fact that Wordsworth has written a poem which is the love of London this shows romantism. This shows how Wordsworth imagines of London as a ‘whole’ and togetherness. Another way in which Wordsworth introduces structure in an unfamilliar way is the fact that he compares London as the heart of the body; as London is the capital city of England.
Also this can be seen as traditional and however has an irregular rhyme scheme, for example when it says, ‘wear and bare’ and also each line begings with a capital letter. However on the other hand, the poem ‘London’ from William Blake has been introduced in a completley different way. The poem London has 4 stanzas which emphasises the fact that it is breaking down. It has a strict rhyme scheme for example, ‘man and ban/ fear and hear’. William Blake expresses the feeling that London is trapped and restricted as to why this is the reason why the stanzaz look like prison walls, bars or even like a cage.