Composed Upon Westminster Bridge Essay, Research Paper
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 The sonnet, “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802,” shows Wordsworth’s appreciating the beauty of London and demonstrating it as “emotion recollected in tranquility.” It’s characteristic of his love for solitude that it is set in the early morning when there is no bustle and noise. He is in awe at the scenic beauty of the morning sun radiating from London’s great architectural marvels. However, there are numerous religious connotations throughout this poem. Notice his choice of the words: “dull,” “soul,” and “majesty” in the following lines, “Dull would he be of soul who could not pass by A sight so touching in its majesty; This City…” The word “majesty” portrays “This City” as anointed by God to represent his kingdom on Earth. Dead in spirit would one be if he of she was not moved or appreciated its beauty. Also, why does he use the word “temple” a few lines down? Wordsworth could have written church. This was so, to enhance the belief that the city was chosen by God. A church represents Christianity, which was founded upon the death of Christ. However, Christ along with God’s chosen people were Jewish and worshiped in temples not churches. Therefore, the word “temple” brings a closer relation to God. Wordsworth, appeals to his reader’s senses of sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing. Again from the line, “….A sight so touching in its majesty;…” He makes one visualize that mighty scene so perfect, that it encompasses you. “….All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Never did sun more beautiful steep In his first splendor,…” An assault of colour hits the eyes and a feeling of warmth and security runs down the spine. Notice how the word “steep” intensifies the reader’s sense of touch. Wordsworth not only wants one to take notice of the sunrise, he wants one to be absorbed by its warm rays and feel relaxed – taking a breathe of fresh clean air. From reading this poem, one can feel nothing but tranquil, picturing yourself there, looking at “the beauty of the morning” quiet, “asleep,” and “bare.” The word “lie” at the end of the sixth line conveys that the “ships, towers, domes, theaters, and temples” seem to recline and are conscious of their marvel. He incorporates nature into the scene with the line, “….Open unto the fields, and the sky;…” In a cityscape, one of the last things a reader would think about would be trees, plants and brush. He sets a very peaceful tone demonstrating nature co-existing with man. Wordsworth is so overcome by this perfection, that he cries out to God – thanking and praising Him for allowing him to be a witness to such a sight. The river is moving at its own pace – not being forced nor stopped. The “houses,” where the inhabitants live, the life of the city, seem to be suspended in time. Wordsworth’s ending simply reinforces the stillness, silence and angelic perfection of London at a morning sunrise.