Both English Romantic Poets William Blake and William Wordsworth were living in the 18th century. Their poems are about the rapidly becoming, largest and most wealthy city in the world, London. Although, they wrote about the same city, their views are completely different. Blake lived in the city; therefore he was more familiar with the metropolis. Wordsworth, on the other hand, lived in the country. This made it somewhat astounding when he wrote about this particular subject. Wordsworth was known for his nature poems. So writing about London was not only suprising for his readers, but for him himself.
William Wordsworth wrote this spectacular poem to show how beautiful early morning London really is. He wants to express and share the magnificent view with the readers. He thinks that it is as elegant as anything made by nature, as he writes in the superb hyperbole “Earth has not anything to show more fair”. This tells you that Earth has nothing to show more wonderful than this.
Blake’s poem “London” is quite the opposite. Blake wrote the poem as though he was actually in the city, rather than just as a image like Wordsworth. He is disgusted by what he sees, and hears as he walks though the streets of London. William Blake considers the break down of moral values and writes about, in his opinion, the so-called evils of the city. For example, in the third verse Blake writes about war, poverty and tyranny. Blake thinks the chimney-sweeps, which were young boys, suffering should disgust the religious, but they just yet it go one. The palace that is talked about in the third verse symbolizes the tyrant, who for men needlessly die. The soldier represents all who have died in the service of the state. These are social evils, which Blake wishes to draw to the reader’s attention.
Wordsworth’s poem is in the form of a Petrarchan Sonnet. Sonnets are usually to do with love, so writing his poem as a sonnet helps him express his love for London in the morning. This also gives the effect of love and fairness to the reader. The first octave is one long sentence. This makes you believe that he couldn’t wait to get it all out and that he was eager to share this, what he claims, fair city.
Blake’s poem “London” consists of four stanzas, each only four lines long. This is a simple form of poem, but very effective. William Blake wanted to make the point of the poem stand out, so by using a straightforward form he could concentrate on the meaning. Also, the reader may find the meaning of the poem easier to understand.
Within both poems, several different styles and techniques are used. One of the most common techniques has to be metaphors; they’re used through out both poems. In Blake’s poem “London”, he uses the metaphor “mind forg’d manacles”. This is a metaphor because there aren’t really any manacles. What he is really trying to say is that he is trapped in a prison created by his own mind. In the fourth and fifth line of Wordsworths poem, “This City now doth, like a garment, wear the beauty of the morning; silent, bare” he uses personification. William Wordsworth compares the city to a beautiful woman and the morning sky to a silk dress. He is saying that the quiet city matches the morning sky like an elegant woman lady wearing a beautiful garment.
Poems, “London” by W. Blake and “Upon Westminster Bridge” by W. Wordsworth are two great poems and there aims are explained clearly within the text. Both poets have put forth their views in a unique way, using techniques such as metaphors, personification and hyperbole. Wordsworth was able to show his opinion of the metropolis, by comparing it to the beauty of nature, which he wrote about often.