Composed Upon Westminister Bridge by William Wordsworth : A Critical Reading

Composed Upon Westminister Bridge by William Wordsworth : A Critical Reading

The appreciation of the poem :

The poem ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ is a Petrarchan sonnet. In this poem the poet describes the beauty of the bridge. It is a romantic poem. The poet was mesmerised with the panoramic landscape, beauty, calm and quiet nature seen from the Westminster Bridge.

Theme:The theme of the poem is the beauty of the common things seen from the poet’s eyes. The nature is filled with varied beautiful object. The beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.

Poetic Devices:The use of poetic devices like metaphor, simile, personification adds pictorial beauty to the poem.

The poem is a sonnet (14 lines) which is divided into two parts i.e Octave and sestet . The rhyme scheme is abba abba cdc dcd. The figures of speech like inversion adds special effect. There is use of archaic words. The poet has used simple and lucid language.

Message: Ordinary things also look beautiful if seen from the poet’s eye.

Natural beauty of London city in the morning

Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth is one of the best poem of natural description of the city of Londn in the morning. The poet standing on the wesminister bridge noticed pure and peaceful beauty of the city, which touched the  poet’s heart very deeply. Fascinating sights of the nature in the morning inspires the poet to describe the beauty of London city in a various way.

i) London is more fair than anything: Wordsworth in the beginning of the poem describes London city as the paramount of beauty. 

ii) Majestic :The beauty of London city is so heart touching and so much fascinated that the poet called it a Majestic sight.

iii) A sight so heart touching:William Wordsworth moved by the beauty of the London city in the morning , his heart pleased so much with it.

iv) Landscape of the London city:The landscape of the London city was open wider beyond the field and the sky and it looks so Majestic. The poet could see the ships, domes, temples, lying on the field. 

v) Silent and Bare :The city of London was looking wonderful, there was a silence over the city in the morning that touched poet’s heart in tranquility. 

vi) Bright and glittering :In the sunrise the beauty of London city in the morning was so bright and it was glittering in the smokeless air.

vii) The Fields :The beauty of the field has been described in the poem in a wonderful way. 

viii) The Sky :The sky is looking very beautiful  outside from the bridge that the poet becomes astonished with the glittering sight of the sky in smokeless air.

ix) The River :The river looks so beautiful that it adds a romantic feature in the poem with follow of the river.

x) The Nature : This poem is a beautiful description of pure and peaceful sight of London city in the morning and nature is so much beautiful that it looks very splendour everywhere in the hill, valley and rock.

Composed upon Westminster Bridge as a Romantic Poem :

Composed upon Westminster Bridge is a romantic poem by William Wordsworth. This poem is considered a romantic poem because of many characteristics of romanticism which we can discover this poem. This poem has various elements of a romantic poem and these elements are –

A) Beauty of the Nature :This poem contains a beautiful descriptions of pure and peaceful sight of London city in the morning and nature is so much beautiful that it looks very fascinating everywhere in the hill, valley and rock.

The field of the London city described in the poem add a romantic characteristics with its glittering sight.

The beautiful sight of the Sky with the sunrise add romantic charm to the poem.

The sight of the river added a romantic atmosphere to the poem.

☆ Note: Here you can add the points from the above section.

Explanatory Notes : 

1. The garment is compared with morning

2. The morning looks beautiful because it is silent.

3. Guess the meaning of ‘glideth’. It is archaic word meaning glide , here swim .

4. Guess what is referred to as the ‘Mighty heart’. People of the city

》Complete the following statements.

1. He would be dull soul who …….

2. ……. lie open to field and sky.

3. ……. never steeped so beautifully.

4. The city wears…….

■ For preparing questions based on the poem, overall understanding of the poem is a must. Discuss with your partner and prepare a set of five questions.

For example:

a. What is the name of the bridge?

b. What does the city wear?

c. What is the beautiful morning compared to?

d. Mention the beautiful sights referred to in the poem.

e. State beautiful sights that can be seen from the bidge

f. How is the river?

g. What does the poet tell to the god?

Line Analysis:

》 ‘Earth has not anything to show more fair:’ The line means- The poet thinks that there is no place on the earth which is as beautiful as this one.

》 ‘Dull would he be of soul who could pass by’ The line means- Anyone with an appreciative mind would not be able to ignore the beauty.

》 Never did sun more beautifully steep. The line means –  The sun rise was more beautiful the poet had ever seen.

》 ‘Earth has not anything to show more fair.’

This line expresses the poet’s feelings. The sight he saw from the bridge is beautiful. There are a few more lines similar to the above. With the help of your partner find them and discuss what they express.

Never did sun more beautifully steep

Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm, so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:

Read the line :

(i) ‘The city now, doth, like a garment wear’.

The poet imagines that the city is wearing a beautiful garment. Hence, the figure of speech is personification. Find out more examples of personification from the poem.

Never did sun more beautifully steep

In his first splendour

(ii) ‘Dull would he be of soul who could pass by.’

This line of the poem can be rewritten as:

‘He would be of dull soul.’

The figure of speech is known as ‘Inversion’.

Find out one more example of Inversion from the poem.

Never did sun more beautifully steep

Ne’er saw I

The poem is a Petrarchan Sonnet.

The poem is divided into two parts-

● An Octave – The first part comprising eight lines.

● A sestet – The second part comprising six lines.

Read the first four lines of the poem. The rhyme scheme is a b b a. Read the rhyme scheme for next four lines. It is a b b a. Now read the first three lines of the sestet and note the rhyme scheme. It is c d c. The rhyme scheme of the last three lines is d c d. This is the common design of a Petrarchan Sonnet.

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