Critical Appreciation of Poetry
Prepared by Lisa A Malcolm
October 15, 2012
Question: Discuss the writer’s concerns and poetic methods in the following poem: Poem: Composed upon Westminster Bridge
Poet: William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth had a variety of concerns which he expressed in “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge.” He was a metaphysical poet and the theme he writes about in this poem is nature and its relationship to man. He has used a variety of poetic methods which have all helped to shape and enhance the poem such as rhyming couplets, simile, and personification. The main concerns he highlights in this poem are the destructive nature of man, the relationship of man and nature, and the negative impact of industrialization on nature. Wordsworth made use of similes as one of his poetic methods. In line four of the poem he writes: “This city doth like a garment wear…” Here he compares the city to a garment as according to him figuratively the city wears the beauty of the morning. He uses this poetic method to highlight the extent to which the city exudes beauty in the early hours of the morning while all is silent and the industrial excesses of the day have not yet begun. Wordsworth in presenting the beauty and tranquility of the morning could be highlighting the negativity that pervades when morning leaves because of man’s intervention. This is all too likely as the area that Wordsworth probes in this poem is the relationship of man and nature and he clearly highlights the negative aspects of this relationship. Wordsworth also utilizes rhyming couplets, in particular end rhymes. This is demonstrated in the following lines of the poem : “This city now doth like a garment The Beauty of the morning;silent, bare” and also in : “Ships, towers,domes, theatres and temples lie open unto the fields , and to the sky;” This has quite an interesting effect as rhythm is described as a poem’s “sound system” and through the poet’s crafty manipulation...