, Research Paper
NALYSIS OF COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 3, 1802
In Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802, by William
Wordsworth, the speaker, again, his sister, reflects upon a beautiful view
of the city by using such literary devices as rhyme, personification,
hyperbole, and imagery. The speaker manages to create a vision in the
reader’s mind that is so vivid, that one can picture oneself on that very
bridge. This poem is another example of Wordsworth’s desire to create
poetry using nature as inspiration.
Earth is personified in the first line as a being that has possessions that
he can show off, for example, its cities. The city is then personified in
line four, as a person wearing a fine robe. The sixth line contains the
breathtaking imagery of a primitive skyline in a clear, morning sky. The
imagery in line eight, “All bright and glittering in the smokeless air,”
calls to mind the image of endless clearness, endless purity. All
throughout the poem, Wordsworth uses his trademark references to nature,
painting the awesome picture in the reader’s mind. The river is personified
in line twelve: “The river glideth at his own sweet will,” showing a
relatedness in the view of the city. the houses are asleep in line
thirteen, a definite personification. “The mighty Heart is lying still” in
the last line is hyperbole;e as well as personification: it serves to show
that in the tranquility of the city, there cannot be a worry stirring in the
heart, only peace.
The speaker, again, is Wordsworth’s sister. She also experienced this
vision with him, and wrote about it in her journal. She wrote:
“It was a beautiful; morning. The city, St. Paul’s, with the river and a
multitude of little boats, made a most beautiful sight as we crossed
Westminster Bridge. The houses were not overhung by their cloud of smoke,
and they were spread out endlessly, yet the sun shone so brightly, with
such a fierce light, that there was even something like the purity of one
of nature’s own grand spectacles” (Parker 3).
This journal entry does not resemble its corresponding poem as much as the
one for I Walked Lonely as a Cloud, but there is still a lot of his sister’s
influence on his work. Again, their close relationship helped him to
capture her feelings in his poetry.
The poem depicts a vivid scene that is yet another fond memory shared
between Wordsworth and his sister. He uses beautiful language and clever
literary devices, especially imagery, to make the city come alive before the
reader’s eyes. The passionate picture that the poem paints is a memory that
calms and placates.
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