Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D recorded on the 19th of February 2018 on Red Kite Radio.
In this episode, Wordsworth’s Sonnet, or to give it its full title – Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 1802 – is read and discussed. The poem was written by Wordsworth on his way to visit his wife and daughter, in Calais France. The title of the poem is another mystery of poetry, as when it was first published it was given the title -Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 1803. As with Shakespeare’s Sonnets there has been much debate as to when the poem was written.
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Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, 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;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!