The figure of the poet as it pertains to William Blake and William
Wordsworth is different according to the perception of most analysts.
Blake addresses a universal audience in a prophetic voice, taking the
role of the poet upon himself often using a mystical tone. In contrast
Wordsworth uses language specific to all and directs his writing to
ordinary people writing as an ordinary person reacting to his own
personal experiences. It is notable that these two poets who write
from such different perspectives both ably and similarly portray the
dark side of human existence ensuing from the drastic changes
attending the transformation of an agrarian economy to an industrial
one and the French Revolution in "London" and "London, 1802". Both
Blake's "London" and Wordsworth's "London, 1802" paint a picture of a
society that is in decline and in need of desperate need of rescue if
a cherished quality of life for all is to be accessible again. Blake's
"London" is a biting commentary on the state of the city as a result
of the effects of the Industrial Revolution and while Wordsworth's
"London, 1802" is more contemplative in form it too criticizes the
current state of London and England following industrialization and
the French Revolution.
My English 354 notes refer to William Blake's "London" as one of the
one of the most powerful descriptions ever written of an
industrialized town and a close examination with this in mind reveals
the statement to be very true. From the onset we understand Blake is
the "estranged" (Freedman, 3) wanderer making his way through London.
... middle of paper ...
...0-1830. Ed. Anne McWhir. Calgary: University of Calgary, 2004. p.
Behrendt, Stephen C. "Placing the Places in Wordsworth's 1802
Sonnets". Studies In English Literature, 1500 - 1900. (Rice Univ., Houston , TX) (35.4 ) [Autumn 1995] p. 641â€¦ LION. University of Calgary Lib. 30 Nov. 2004.
Freedman, Carl. "London as Science Fiction: A Note on Some Images from
Johnson, Blake, Wordsworth, Dickens, and Orwell." Extrapolation (Kent
State Univ., Kent, OH) (43.3) [Fall 2020], p. 251-262. LION.
University of Calgary Lib. 02 Dec. 2004.
Wordsworth, William. "London, 1802." ENGL 440.01 Selected Writings of
The British Romantic Period 1780-1830. Ed. Anne McWhir. Calgary: University of Calgary, 2004. p. 255.
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