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Contrasting poems of LONDON

             Analysing two poems about the same place is very interesting especially when there are two contrasting attitudes to that place. William Wordsworth's Composed upon Westminster Bridge has a very positive outlook on the city of London whereas William Blake's London is in complete antithesis to this. Although the poems are about the same city, they do concentrate on two very different aspects of it. London is a melancholy poem concerning the plight of the city and its inhabitants and in contrast to this, the sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge deals more with the overall view of the city.
             There is a negative view of London from the outset of this poem:.
             'As I wander thro' each charter'd street'.
             The images of 'wander' are not of a pleasant stroll but rather of an aimless mission, and from this there is a feeling that the narrator is drifting around the streets of London with no where to go, without a purpose in life. These 'charter'd streets' are the primary functions of the city of London, showing it in its basic but most identifiable form. That London is the same as any other big city or organisation with rules to adhere to and not something to be acclaimed for its beauty, but to be looked on with desperation and regret. The perspective here is of a working class male, one of London's many residents - an unhappy lonely soul crying inside for want of escape. It is clear that the narrator has issues with the Dick Wittington theory that 'the streets of London are paved with gold' and is here showing that London is not prosperous for all who enter or reside there. Carefully selecting 'wander' as one of the first words creates strong idea of the tone for the rest of the poem. The connotations of this word are of a feeling of loneliness and isolation from the narrator, with the use of 'wander' it is also apparent that the narrator feels aimless and disappointed.
             In contrast to this is the opening to Composed upon Westminster Bridge:.

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