How does William Wordsworth vividly portray the city of London close to nature in the sonnet "Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802?"
Wordsworth usually praises nature, as opposed to cities and man-made structures, in his poetry. However, in this poem, he praises the city of London in the early hours of the morning. In the first line, he notes that nothing, presumably in nature, is as "fair" as the city in this still, quiet state:
Earth has not any thing to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
The man-made structures were literally within sight of the more natural landscapes of the area.
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
Since it is early in the morning, none of the factories and/or chimneys are bellowing much smoke. The city is quiet and "glittering in the smokeless air." Wordsworth then notes how calm the scene is, remarking that this scene seems more calm than the sun shining on any valley, rock, or hill. Even the houses seem alive, part of nature: "the very houses seem asleep." The quiet city in the morning seems like a natural landscape because the daily activities of the city have not yet begun. The scene seems even more calm in juxtaposition to its usually busy interactions and smoke-filled skies. Therefore in comparison to the city's usual busy, noisy state, the quiet city of the morning seems much more serene: as serene as a natural landscape.