Saturday, 25 May 2013

Poetry Reads: Upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802 by William Wordsworth


The poem encapsulates a description of London from Westminster Bridge in the wee hours of the morning. There is a highlight on the magnificence of the sights of London while only ‘Dull would he be of soul who could pass by’ without taking in the beauty of this place. The city wears the morning like a ‘garment’.

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear

The city is quiet and bare without the bustle otherwise. This stanza feels like a painting as it evokes  images of ‘ships, towers, theatres, and temples’.

The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

There is an element of tranquility during this hour of the day.

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The Thames is flowing at its pace while the houses appear asleep. The ‘mighty heart’ in the following stanza refers to the spirit of London that is yet to wake up.

The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Upon Westminster Bridge was written by Wordsworth in 1802.


(Article by Kabita Sonowal)

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