How is the Beauty of Nature
presented in “composed upon
How is the Beauty of Nature presented in
“composed upon Westminster bridge”
Upon Westminster Bridge is a sonnet praising the beauty of London and
comparing It favorably to the wonders of nature.
William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 at in Cumbria.
His father was a lawyer. Both Wordsworth's parents died
before he was 15, and he and his four siblings were left in
the care of different relatives. As a young man, Wordsworth
developed a love of nature, a theme reflected in many of his
'Lyrical Ballads', a collection of poems published in
1798, mostly by Wordsworth is generally taken to mark the
beginning of the Romantic movement in English poetry. The
poems were greeted with hostility by most critics.
William Wordsworth was a leading figure in the Romantic movement and
although many of his poems deal with rural themes Upon Westminster Bridge
describes a very urban landscape.
William Wordsworth was one of the major poets of the Romantic movement
in Britain, and his poetry is generally focused on nature and man's
relationship with the natural environment. Many of his poems are focused on
the landscapes of the Lake District, paying particular attention to the power
of nature and the ordinary people living and working on the land. This poem
is perhaps a little unusual for Wordsworth as it takes the city of London as its
William Wordsworth is an important Romantic poet. His
poetry focuses on feelings and emotions, often those
provoked by interacting with nature.
Other aspects of Romantic poetry are creativity and a less
formal approach to the composition of poems than the
period immediately before Romanticism.
• In lines 1 through 8, the speaker describes what he sees as he
stands on Westminster Bridge looking out at the city.
• He begins by saying that there is nothing "more fair" on Earth than
the sight he sees, and that anyone who could pass the spot without
stopping to look has a "dull" soul.
• The poem takes place in the "beauty of the morning," which lies
like a blanket over the silent city. He then lists what he sees in the
city and mentions that the city seems to have no pollution and lies
"Open unto the fields, and to the sky."
Brainstorm as many techniques you can find
within this poem with evidence!
You have 5 minutes, the highest scorer will
gain 5 merits!
Creates a sense of the city as
a living creature. He writes of
the city wearing 'The beauty
of the morning' 'like a
garment', as if the city has
consciously clothed itself in
nature. The city does not
clash with nature but
becomes part of it.
Nature is the dominating
theme. London is not
introduced in its negative
aspect, but it is inserted in
Positive leaves the reader in
no doubt about the speaker's
attitude to the sight before
him. Words like
'bright', 'glittering', 'splendo
ur' and 'glideth' create a
magical vision of the city in
the early morning light.
The city, represented in the
last line by the metaphor of
the heart, is thus alive
because it is inactive and is
dominated by its natural
The natural parts of the
landscape, the sunlight, the
"valley, rock, or hill" as well
as the river are now
active, they dominate over
the sleeping city, as is
emphasized by the rhyming
words ‘hill’, ‘at their
will’, ‘lying still’.
In the octave express the
boundless admiration for this
beautiful sight, the
overflowing emotion of the
“This city now doth, like a garment wear”
“The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,”
The poet personifies the city as a person wearing beautiful clothes.
"The river glideth at his own sweet will”
The poet personifies the river as a person moving on his way at his own free
"Dear God, the very houses seem asleep;”
The poet personifies the houses as people who are still asleep in the early
"And all that might heart is lying still;”
The poet personifies the mighty heart; the world of industry, as a person who is
What effect does this have on the reader?
Individually or in pairs, look for 3 different
images and describe them in 5 lines each.
The purpose of the artistic task is to
express your understanding of the poem
in a still picture.
• In pairs, pick one image from the poem and create an artistic
illustration on A3 paper.
• You will present your work, highlighting what you found interesting in
• I will be assessing your understanding of the poem.