Analyzing Poetry

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  • Topic: Chimney sweep, A Great Way to Care, Allen Ginsberg
  • Pages : 3 (799 words )
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  • Published : April 23, 2009
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Busy Streets of London
Imagine yourself walking down a busy street in London, watching all the mismatched faces pass you. Watching them wallow in self misery, and crying with soot in there eyes. In William Blake’s poem “London” the imagery shows makes you think of this image. “London” produces horrific imagery, great denotations for anyone to solve, and several figures of speech.

“London” a well written poem, shows imagery throughout the first and last word. “How the chimney-sweeper’s cry/Every black’ning church appalls”(Blake 9-10). With this line you can just see chimney sweepers crying with all the soot in there eyes, causing those tears to come. Why would a church be blackening? Blackening can mean getting dirty, but I do not think that the speaker uses the word blackening in that sense. I believe to mean that the church does not want to get dirty hands from the chimney sweeper's problems. In the case of the blackening church, initially our understanding of the statement every blackening church appalls, may simply lead us to believe that the church becomes black as a result of its filthy surroundings but it is also possible to equate the action of becoming black, to the act of becoming evil.

Primarily the images created within this poem “London” are those of dismay and darkness. “And mark in every face I meet/Marks of weakness, marks of woe”(3-4). With this imagery going down this “chartered street” you imagine several faces of despair; Going home from a long day, or going to work not ready for the day up ahead. Everyone’s face presents different distinctions that Blake could probably tell his friends and family by. Dark and forbidding images like plagues, blood, death, blights, tears, blackening, and a hearse. “London” is not a type of poem Blake wanted read as a bedtime story.

With Blake’s figures of speech he talks about misery and human despair, the "mind forg'd manacles" of depression imprisoning people. “And the hapless soldier’s sigh/Runs...
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