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Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802


by William Wordsworth

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

"Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" is a Petrarchan sonnet, as opposed to a Shakespearian sonnet or a Spenserian sonnet. Petrarch was a famous Italian Renaissance poet whose sonnets eventually becam...


Though we'd love to be able to say that the speaker is a guy from the Lake District passing through London on the way to France with his sister (see "In a Nutshell"), the poem tells us none of thes...


Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, wake up early to catch a coach to the port of Dover, where they will cross over to Calais, France. As Dorothy wrote in her journal, the time is around 5 or 6am....

Sound Check

The language in this poem seems to mimic the gesturing of a person pointing out sights: "Look over there! Now look here!" Imagine Wordsworth, stopped on the Westminster Bridge and standing on top o...

What's Up With the Title?

The title tells us nothing about the poem except where and when it was written, and even that date is inaccurate. Most scholars agree that the poem was written on July 31, 1802, not on September 3....

Calling Card

The Romantics, a group of poets that includes Wordsworth, characteristically tried to capture the visions and emotions of momentary experiences. An interesting flip-side, though, is that these poet...


This poem has nothing to hide. It tells you right up front where and when it was written, and what it's about: beauty! Some of the metaphors and similes could trip you up, like how is morning like...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

There's nothing sexy about Wordsworth's chaste appreciation for his country's capitol.

Shout Outs

The Tower of London (line 6)St. Paul's Cathedral (line 6)The River Thames (line 12)

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