Although both Blake and Wordsworth are romantic poets, their subject matters and style of poetry differ greatly. Blake is often critical, ironic and symbolic about matters such as city life and politics, whereas Wordsworth is explicit and very descriptive - frequently using figurative devices in his works. Blake's use of language is stark and bleak, while Wordsworth's is rich and involves senses. Blake's themes are also more to do with society, but Wordsworth's are based around nature and spiritual reflection. These differences are probably partly due to Blake's living in London, and Wordsworth's living in the countryside - as seen in the different settings of their poems.
Blake writes implicitly in "London" - making it clear that he is not fond of the city; but not once openly stating his own personal opinion of it. He does this by describing what he sees with irony and symbolism. One example is when Blake talks about the Church:
"How the Chimney-sweeper's cry
Every black'ning Church appalls"
This symbolises how the Church should be appalled by the cries of poor children (symbolised by the Chimney-sweepers), but does nothing to prevent the cruelty to children due to its corruption. He is also critical of the monarchy and claims that it is responsible for soldiers' deaths: "the hapless soldier's sigh Runs in blood down palace walls". The ironic description of the soldiers as "hapless" implies that not only is the palace responsible for their deaths, but also that their deaths are futile - further displaying his disapproval of the monarchy. Blake then addresses problems with bringing up children into city life: "How the youthful Harlot's curse Blasts the new born Infant's tear" - symbolising how many children are unwanted by their "harlot" mothers and are brought up into broken families. He follows on with how marriage has become pointless: "And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse" - using the ironic oxymoron "marriage hearse" to illustrate this....
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