A Comparison Between William Wordsworth's Upon Westminster Bridge and William Blake's London

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A Comparison Between William Wordsworth's Upon Westminster Bridge and William Blake's London

The English Romantic period spanned between 1789 and 1824. This period

was not so-called until the mid 19th century when readers began to see

six different poets as part of the same movement. These poets were

William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord

Byron, Percy Shelly and John Keats.

Some aspects of Romantic poetry were; there was an increasing interest

in nature; there was an increased interest in landscape and scenery;

human moods were connected to the moods of nature.

Although the six poets cohered to create the English Romantic movement

they were all extremely different with different styles.

Blake is described as an artist, a lyric poet, a mystic and visionary

and during the 19th century his works were not regarded as important

as they are now and many people questioned Blake's sanity. Today in

the 20th century he is regarded as an original and important poet.

Wordsworth is without a doubt one of the greatest sonneteers of all

time. Writing over 500 sonnets during his lifetime, he revived this

form back into widespread use.

Blake took more of a critical view of Wordsworth's poetry. Blake

commented that 'Wordsworth's pantheistic natural piety made him a

heathen philosopher at enmity against all true poetry' while

Wordsworth was rather intrigued with the poetry of Blake. He said that

'there is no doubt that this poor man was mad, but there is something

in his madness which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron

and Walter Scott."

Their differences in attitudes towards poetry and their differ...

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woe". He also uses cry a lot which is a sound of sadness, pain and


He also highlights the dinginess of London in the third verse:

"Every blackningChurchappals,

And the hapless Soldiers sigh

Runs in blood down Palace walls"

The poem was written shortly after the industrial revolution and at

that time there was a lot of pollution from the new industry and this

pollution is what caused the churches to blacken. This caused the

London to become as gloomy as William Blake describes it.

From reading the two poems, it is difficult to see that they are about

the same place. London is set in a scenario when all the people of the

city are out and about and Upon Westminster Bridge is set at dawn when

practically no one is out and about and there is no pollution in the

air from chimney smoke.
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