Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 Questions and Answers
by William Wordsworth

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What impression of London does the speaker create? How is this achieved?

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In Wordsworth's "Composed on Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802," the speaker describes a scene of London laid before him that is beautiful, peaceful, and awe-inspiring, and he speaks of the city as "touching in its majesty." It can be inferred that the speaker is seeing the city very early in the morning, perhaps at or around sunrise, before London has really awoken. The speaker says that the city wears "the beauty of the morning; silent, bare," as if London is clothed in the stillness of the morning.

There is a strong presence of nature in this poem, even though it is describing a city as viewed from Westminster Bridge:

Ships, towers, domes, theaters, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill . . .

The city looks so beautiful in the early morning sunlight that the buildings are almost like parts of nature glittering in the sunlight. This glorious display of London that the speaker is experiencing brings him a deep sense of peace and calm. He states that he feels "a calm so deep" and that "the very houses seem asleep." The river flows along in a serene manner. In the last line of the poem, the speaker describes the city of London as a "mighty heart." This could refer to the splendid view of the city, the people who make up the vibrancy of the city, or just the very existence of the calm, still city being brought to life by the shining rays of the morning sunshine.

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