Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 Poem by William Wordsworth

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Rating: 3.1

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

Andrew Hoellering 28 April 2009

The sonnet’s octave is a minute description of the early morning scene that unfolds before the poet’s eyes; the sestet his reflections on the impact of what is being described. Because of its graphic details the poem manages to be both objective and personal; meaning it is both visually vivid and true to Wordsworth’s feelings, which he enables us to share. As in all great poetry, the soundscape is vital and it is clearly written to be read aloud. The opening three and last two lines describe the impact of the scene; the rest picture in detail on what the poet’s feeling response is based. We are forced to stress ‘Open’(line seven) which is implicitly opposed to concealed; what you see is what you get, and the dancing vowel sounds in ‘ all bright and glittering in the smokeless air’ confirm Wordsworth’s delight in the scene he is silently witnessing. The simile ‘like a garment’ is likewise brilliant, suggesting the closeness of the beauty he describes both to the city and the morning. The repetition of ‘never’and ‘n’er’ again emphasises that impact, and the line, ‘Dear God, the very houses seem asleep’ is an exclamation that seems to escape the poet despite himself. The last line, ‘And all that mighty heart is lying still’ is again tremendous, for we know the city will be waking up shortly and pulsing into life. 8.6/10? You must be joking!

42 8 Reply
John Agandin 25 October 2019

Here is a poem worthy of attention and appreciation. The greatest of nature poets!

1 0 Reply
Kamau 05 September 2018


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Charlotte 22 August 2018

I don't know who is reading this but this person needs to learn how to read a poem and to vary her voice. Sadly it spoilt it for me.

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Calendary 07 September 2019

It's a robot, silly. A text-to-speech program.

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Amanda 13 June 2018

Type of a poem

1 1 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 17 March 2016

The beauty of the morning. Nice work.

7 0 Reply
William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

Cumberland / England
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