Comparing Blake's London, Wordsworth's Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd 1802 and Johnson's Inglan is a Bitch

Comparing Blake's London, Wordsworth's Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd 1802 and Johnson's Inglan is a Bitch

Length: 890 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Comparing Blake's London, Wordsworth's Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd 1802 and Johnson's Inglan is a Bitch

Blake's disapproval of changes that happened in his time comes in his
poem "London". For instance, the narrator in "London" describes both
the Thames and the city streets as "chartered," or controlled by
people only interested in making money. He also refers to "mind-forged
manacles" whereby he comments on how the authorities try to stop
pioneers in such thoughts like Blake. He relates that every man's face
contains "Marks of weakness, marks of woe"; and he discusses the
"every cry of every Man" and "every Infant's cry of fear." This
alliteration helps the poem flow along and really sticks in your mind
when you read it. This could be due to the fact that everywhere they
go they are under pressure from people for money, with money becoming
even more important with the introduction of the industrial
revolution. He shows his disapproval for marriage in the church by
connecting marriage and death together by referring to a "marriage
hearse" and describes it as "blighted with plague." He also talks
about "the hapless Soldier's sigh" and the "youthful Harlot's curse"
and describes "blackening Churches" and palaces running with blood.
London depicts the atmosphere of the city of London In the poem '
London' Blake describes it as an extremely depressing, doomed city
reflected in the faces of the people who show 'marks of weakness,
marks of woe'. In his poem Blake uses lots of repetition, for example
:

"And mark in every face I meet

Marks of weakness, marks of woe'

'In every cry of every man

In every infants cry of fear,

In every voice, in every ban'

Blake gives his very negative view of London, focusing on the gap
between the classes and the poverty that results. Yet Blake never
writes this he makes it clear with all the poor young women having to
sell their bodies "How the youthful harlots curse" and the children
working from birth

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Comparing Blake's London, Wordsworth's Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd 1802 and Johnson's Inglan is a Bitch." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Dec 2018
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=114346>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »
"How the chimney sweepers cry"

He expresses his views of London being such a corrupt and filth ridden
place. Blake's view of London is very different to Wordsworth's, the
poem "composed upon Westminster bridge, September 3 1802" is a poem
about the beauty and majesty of London in the morning before it comes
alive. Wordsworth starts by stating his opinion that London is the
most wonderful place in the world, "Earth has not anything to show
more fair" and goes on to say that anyone who would happen to go past
London and not admire it's "beauty" then they are "Dull", he says

"Dull would he be of soul who could pass by

A sight so touching in its majesty".

In the 4th line he uses personification to express how the city seems
to 'wear' its beauty,

"This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,"

He talks of the things that he sees in the morning free from the
hustle bustle of the day

"Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky"

In 1803 you would have seen all these things, but now there would be
no fields surrounding that could be seen, Wordsworth saw London in
it's unspoiled atmosphere, before the smoke and smog of the city
rises,

"All bright and glittering in the smokeless air". He also uses
personification again in this poem where he refers to the city as
'he', "In his first splendour" and he also uses this on the river
Thames when he says "The river glideth at his own sweet will".

In the last line he calls London "that mighty heart" as if it is the
heart of the whole world to him. Both Blake and Wordsworth both see
basically the same London, however it seems as if Wordsworth is just
glancing over it in his writing, he is looking down on it, he is not
down in it witnessing it ALL whereas Blake is writing from in London
viewing its people and ways. Wordsworth is standing on top of
Westminster bridge viewing the city and because it is so early in the
morning he does not get a chance to watch the people rise and how the
city functions. In "Inglan is a Bitch" The writer is an immigrant from
Jamaica, he describes his different jobs in London and how they affect
him. He uses colloquial language, written how he would speak. He uses
refrains to separate each stanza in his poem. He tells us of his
different jobs in London and how he is treated during these jobs. In
every job he has there seems to be some way he is mistreated or does
not enjoy his job.

For example

But workin' pan di undahgroun

Y'u don't get fi know your way aroun'

Fi dem fifteen years dem get mi laybah

Now awftwa fifteen years nu fall out a fayvah

He also tells us of how he is mistreated because of his race while he
is working in London, and says how he could prove anybody wrong that
thought black men are unequal to whites and "lazy":

Dem she dat black man is very lazy

But it y'u si how mi wok y'u woulda sey mi crazy.

He, like Blake also sees the corrupt London and like Blake (as
aforementioned) is witnessing it from the inside unlike Wordsworth who
is looking down upon it.

Johnson states that he (the character in the poem whether is him or
not, it is written in the first person) has worked many places in all
kinds of conditions and uses repetition when he states this; this is
very effective as it helps the poem flow as it did in Blake's London.
Johnson says:

Well mi dhu day wok an' mid dhu nite wok



Mi dhu clean wok an' mi dhu dutty wok
=====================================

The refrains also utilise repetition and make the poem seem like a
song. Johnsons way of reciting his poems was to speak them over a
reggae bass line and occasionally a reggae band, he uses "dub" poetry
as he calls it.

The fact in this poem that there is no repetition and no way of
separation lines adds to the tone that Johnson is trying to convey, it
builds in anger and despair throughout the whole poem and the fact
that it runs on adds to it. Johnson's poem echoes Blake's but in a
more personal way since it is about one person not the denizens of a
whole city as Blake's is. "Inglan is a bitch" was also written by a
non-British person who was wronged by people, it is not a description
more of a biography and timeline of a mans life. Not a depiction of
what life is like in London in general but just for one person.

In conclusion I think that Blake and Johnson's poems are similar but
from a different perspective. And I found Blake's to be most effective
because of the bleak imagery that it conjures up. I think that
Wordsworth's is the least effective because he is not witnessing life
in the city he is just looking at it from above.
Return to 123HelpMe.com