WILLIAM WORDWORTH-WILLIAM BLAKE SONNETS
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WILLIAM WORDWORTH-WILLIAM BLAKE SONNETS
The sonnet ³London, 1802² written by William Wordsworth, and ³The Lamb² written by William Blake both contain elements of Romanticism. Both of the poems clearly follow a structure similar to Abramsı Romantic formula, which is composed of a realistic setting, visionary experience, and return to a setting with insight. Both ³London, 1802² and ³The Lamb² are composed of the above elements yet they differ in their approach to each element. Each poem has its unique atmosphere or tone. This leads one to be able to identify the contrasts between the meaning and images within the poems.
The Romantic elements of ³London, 1802² are those defined by Wordsworth himself. This poemıs origin is spontaneous in nature. The basic images and metaphors of the sonnet make extensive use of nature, realistic setting. The idea for the poem sprung from Wordsworthıs initial reaction to the state of London upon his return from France:
...(this was) written immediately after my return from France to London,
when I could not but be struck...with the vanity and parade of our own
From this account it can be deduced that the poem was spontaneous in nature and originated from an internal response. The poemıs use of a realistic setting occurs in line 2 with the reference of England as a ³fen.² This particular adjective e describes England as a ³land wholly or partially covered by water, mud, clay, or dirt.²(Oxford English Dictionary). From this line a realistic setting is produced. The narrator further conveys a visionary experience through the extensive uses of nature via similes and metaphors within the poem. On lines 2, 9, 10, 11 it states,
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Thy soul was like a Star
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea
Pure as the naked heavens...
This frequent use of nature clearly illustrates the narratorıs intent to express a visionary experience. This in turn adheres to Abramıs Romantic Formula.
The return to setting with insight is used when the narrator speaks of the conflicts within England. He states on line 7, ³Oh! raise us up, return to us again;² This passage is literally a return to the setting. The insight acquired can be viewed when the narrator states, ³Thy soul was like a Star² (line 9). A star can be portrayed as a possessor of life. Our sun is a star, and without it, we would die. MIltonıs return to England can be seen as a revelation to the problems within England. References are made about his voice as being ³Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free.²(Line 11) The narrator views Milton in the highest acclaim. His role in society is defined by his actions. However, Milton physically is not present. What the author uses here is known as an apostrophe, ³the rhetorical addressing of an absent person as present...²(Websterıs Dictionary) All of these uses of setting and insight are encompassed within Abramıs Romantic Formula.
In the poem ³The Lamb², William Blakeıs uses of Abramıs Romantic Formula are apparent. However, the way by which the elements are portrayed seem to be different. This is because Blakeıs style of writing is much different than Wordworthıs. It seems to be much lighter, and more inquisitive.
³The Lamb² can be identified as a repetitive poem. The narrator extensively uses the words theeı, Little Lambı, and Godı throughout poem. The narrator establishes a realistic setting when he states, ³By the stream & oıer the mead²(Line 4), This creates a realistic setting. This is quite different form ³London 1802². The tone of England was described as fenı, which is portrayed as a muddy, dirty, and unpure setting. ³The Lamb², however, portrays a tone of serenity, purity, and tranquillity.
The narrator conveys a visionary experience when he describes the Lamb as being ³softest clothing wooly bright²(Line 5). This is quite symbolic for the tones expressed here are of tenderness and happiness. This description is opposite from ³London 1802² usage of visionary experience. Instead of literally using articles of nature, ³The Lamb² allows the reader to identify the tone and ambiance of the setting through the beauty of the visionary image. These images are achieved while still following the structure of Abramıs Romantic Formula.
³The Lamb² is a poem of great depth. The usage of
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British poetry, Lamb, William Blake, London, Ode: Intimations of Immortality, The Lucy poems
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