The three poems “Conveyancing” by Thomas Hood, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge” by William Wordsworth and “London” by William Blake are all written by male authors and all are set in London.
“Conveyancing”, by Thomas Hood is about movement from one place to another using different vehicles that were available, such as Gurneys, hackney carriages and horse drawn caravans, which were used in the Victorian times. This poem gives you the sense of how people traveled in the Victorian times. This poem uses humour and lighthearted jokes. An example of this would be “cab-age” here the poet uses this so that it rhymes with “Queen Mab age” and he uses this as to make a mockery of the word cabbage, whilst referring to the age or era of the cab. The poet picks out words and phrases from Shakespeare’s plays such as “Queen Mab” who is a character from “Midsummer Might’s Dream”, she is the Queen of fairies and causes mischief that rides in a carriage made of nutshells.
The poet’s attitude to the London is that, he tries to make the poem cheerful by rhyming and emphasis. He uses false rhyme such as “cab-age” and “dickey”, which is slang term for sickly! It’s a witty poem with a lot of merry jokes. 8 Stanzas put the structure of the poem together, which creates a good impact on the reader because it’s a long poem with a lot of information as well as it been easier to read. The poem is observational and full of detail because, Hood describes all the different types of transport. London was and is a very busy city; therefore there is many places and objects for the poet to express.
“Composed upon Westminster Bridge” by William Wordsworth is about the atmosphere around London in the morning and how it is different from the afternoon. William Wordworth describes the morning by saying ” The beauty of the morning silent, bare”. This gives the impression that of how quite and calm is it is the morning whereas in the afternoon the industrial factories and noise would pollute it. “A sight so touching in its majesty”, this contributes to the poem by describing the city as been majesty royal.
This poem is written as a sonnet, which means it is 14 lines long. The first 8 lines are description and after the 8th line the next 6 lines change and refer to the atmosphere and the nature of the environment. Repetition is used in the poem to get the message though, “Never did” and “Never felt”. Rhyme is also used to make the poem more appealing in order to maintain the rhythm, sided by iambic pentameter. The effect this has on the poem is that the last 6 lines have a regularly rhyme scheme which makes the poem more interesting. Metaphor is also used in this poem “mighty heart” this describes London as been the heart and the capital of the country.
The poet’s attitude towards London is very positive. He is in high spirits when seeing this wonderful view so early in the morning of London. Wordworth believes that this is the most beautiful place to be on “Earth” at that very moment. William Worthsworth also assumes that if you haven’t seen this view then you have got no “spirit”, because you are missing out on such a beautiful sight. He puts his message across by being very affirmative and putting a grudge against the people who haven’t seen this sight. Wordsworth expresses himself through his awe of the view, his choice of words are very vivid and vibrant. He also uses similes and personification to describe the city. There’s no humour in the poem but a lot of detailed images, expressions and emotion. Also this is the shortest poem out of the three.
The final poem is called “London” by William Blake this is about the darker side of London. William Blake talks about how children sweep chimneys, how in every voice you hear a “cry of fear”. The language and words used in this poem is “old-fashioned” “harlot”. There is repetition, “In every cry of every man, in every infant’s cry of fear, in every voice, in every ban”. Another example of repetition is “marks”. This is done to get the message through about what people had to do in the 18th century. Also there is a lot of imagery used in this part of the poem because of the restricted manacles and the children crying? This is done so you can imagery how children were treated in the 18th century. In the poem like the children were force to things soldiers were force to take part in things they didn’t want to do. In this poem there are stanzas, which separate the poem, which gives more information.
The poet’s attitude to this London is distressing; he doesn’t look on the positive side of London but the negative side. He writes about how the people are miserable. The mood of the poem is dull and wretched; it reflects to real life. The historical and cultural context tell us that in the Victorian era, the children were the chimney sweepers because they were small enough to get up there, this was also cruelty to the children as well as child labour, which you wouldn’t see today.
“Conveyancing” and “Composed Upon West Minister Bridge” show a comparison by giving a positive attitude towards London. “Conveyancing” talks about the movement of different transportation and “Composed Upon West Minister Bridge” talks about the beautifulness of the still city in the morning.
“London” and “Composed upon Westminster Bridge” have two different scenes Wordsworth uses phrases such as “bright and glistening in the smokeless air” and “The beauty of the morning; silent, bare” to set a scene of calm glistening beauty, to create a kind of fairy-tale wonderland. Whereas Blake, uses the word “streets” twice in the context with “midnight” and “chartered” which create a dull scene.
“Conveyancing” and “London” both have a sad tone towards the poem.