Compare and contrast the presentation of London in Composed upon London Bridge and London

London is the capital city ok the England and it symbolises all of the different cultures there are in this country. London is a poem about life in London around the time of 1792 it is a poem with the theme of revolution and by chance the French revolution. The poem is written by William Blake. Where as Composed upon London Bridge this poem is a celebration written in sonnet form. Both poems are talking about how London is changing.

London written by William Blake is written in the first person view “I wander”, so you get personal thoughts and opinions, he writes about how London is a controlled area and a feeling of regulation. The first verse of London makes you feel like you are under control because with “charted” implies that every thing has been mapped out which over all causes you to feel trapped and without freedom he also uses repetition and already there is a negative theme.

Whereas in the poem written by William Wordsworth the first three lines describe London as “a sight so touching in its majesty”, so clearly his view of London is one of wonder as is shown in his first line “Earth has not anything to show more fair” here you can see that he really does see his capital city as something beautiful. Wordsworth describes the river as though it is a person by saying that “the river glideth at his own sweet will” if you compare this to the other poem then it would seem that the river has more freedom than the people of London in William Blake’s view.

The second verse of London there is again repetition as there was in the first paragraph. The line “the mind-forged manacles” this could refer to the way in which the public live their lives every day as they are not free to do what they really want to, they could be under restraint from the people higher up on society. The next three lines of Wordsworth’s poem are a complete contrast; here he has presented London with an image of freedom and openness. The two poets now describe the sounds that they can here, for William Blake they are cries of pain “In every cry of every man” this implies that there is hardship, this is also a strong image because you would usually not expect a man to cry. However the sounds that William Wordsworth describes in his poem are ones of stillness and quietness, this is shown in the quote “the beauty of the morning; silent, bare”.

The third verse of Blake’s poem London he presents his vision of London with very dramatic language “how the chimney-sweeper’s cry” this is particularly astounding because it was usually young boys who were sent up to clean them, what is amazing about this is that he is just describing what their average day at work is like. William Wordsworth describes London with completely different attitude “all bright and glittering in the smokeless air” this is another direct contrast to William Blake’s poem “every blackened church appals” this image given by Blake is one of dirtiness and it talks about how even some of the biggest building are filthy with soot from the factories. There is a different tone being used by these two poets Blake is using rather violent language “Runs in blood..” this is used to grate affect as it dose paint London in a bad way, of being this dirty place where there is not much happiness. On the other hand Wordsworth, throughout, his poem has been using attractive language “never did the sun mare beautifully steep” this gives us the image of the sun rising up over London on what is described as a gorgeous morning.

At the end of William Blake’s poem he describes the inhabitants of London and the noises he hears about the city “how the youthful harlot’s curse” this implies that young people are forced in to prostitution, Blake also depicts them in a vulgar image about them he shows his distaste and dislike for them, his depiction of the people of London is that they are rough, noisy and unclean. William Wordsworth’s portrayal of his London is a lot nicer “Ne’er saw I, felt, a calm so deep!” and “sear God! The very houses seem asleep” this could be due to the fact that Wordswoth’s poem was written ten years after William Blake wrote his, a lot could have changed in ten years for there to be such different attitudes towards London.

William Blake shows us the side of London we would not usually like to see or by told about, he seems very unenthusiastic about London. This poem has a very religious view about it “every blackening church calls”; this gives us the image of actuarial soot, which there would have been lots of at the time, covering the churches from their actual beauty. The repetition of “every” at the beginning of the second stanza shows us that everyone, from men to infants are suffering. “In every infants cry”, this tells us that not even the little children are safe from the harm and suffering that is going on.

The use of the oxymoron “plagues the marriage hearse”, this is a direct contrast because you would not normally expect those two to be seen together because marriages are for a life time and death marks the end of a life. “Hapless soldier’s sigh”, this is telling us that soldiers are dying in wars victoriously and but back home they are not getting any recognition for their efforts. “Youthful harlots curse”, here we are being told that young people are resorting to prostitution. The whole poem has a ‘cycle of life’ theme to it because the poem talks about all of the different stages in life. There is no sense of an end here it stops as abruptly as it began.

With William Wordsworth his poem is set ten years later and from his perspective he is some where high up to be able to get the beautiful view that he describes. This allow him to marvel at London’s beauty he is at a distance so maybe he can not hear the noises from the city, but he does say “the beauty of the morning; silent, bare” this also tells us that it was morning when he was watching London, know this may have been the reason for the quietness. Wordsworth’s poem seems to have more aspects of freedom in “Open unto the fields, and to the sky;” here he seems to be unrestricted by walls of the city whereas in William Blake’s poem you feel trapped. His poem is only split into two sentences which causes you to become breathless, this makes the sound of the poem seem like you are helplessly in love.

These two poets have London as their subject in their poems but they describe London with completely different attitudes, William Blake having a rather depressed view of London, which comes across strongly with the language that he uses. The poem I that I prefer is William Wordsworth’s “composed upon Westminster bridge” because the language he uses has a sense of sincerity about it this makes me fell as though he really does have these deep feelings about London, which William Blake dose the opposite by extravagating what he sees. I learnt that there are two totally different views of London and that at different times of the day you will see those two sides of London. While in the morning you get the tranquil peace you would love, in the evening you get an insight to the ugly side to what is going on with all of the cries and corruption happening.