Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

For the most part, "London" is written in iambic tetrameter. This little meter is very similar to iambic pentameter, except that, instead of five iambs there are only four iambs (tetra means four,...

Speaker

While lots of Blake's speakers are kids, this one is most likely an adult male (and we're just assuming that since Blake was also a dude), a dude that is really unhappy with the state of things Lon...

Setting

London: around 1794—that's the short answer to the question of where this poem takes place. Word. Well, if that's the short answer, what's the long(er) answer? Well, the longer answer is: the slu...

Sound Check

The speaker is obsessed with hearing in "London." Three of the poem's four stanzas, for example, say something about sound or hearing. Cries, curses, voices, "mind-forg'd manacles," and sighs all m...

What's Up With the Title?

It's just called "London." That's simple enough, isn't it? It's amazing that one word makes us think of so many things: the Thames, Westminster Abbey, the Crown Jewels, Big Ben, Charles Dickens, ba...

Calling Card

Blake talks about slavery and imprisonment, both literal and figurative, everywhere. And by all over, we mean all over. In his short works, in his long works, in his unpublished works, in his… we...

Tough-o-Meter

We know most of Blake's early poems (those in Songs of Innocence and Experience) are supposed to resemble children's poems, but, darn, sometimes they can be just a little bit tricky. "London" is a...

Trivia

We're curious if Blake ever hallucinated. He claimed to have seen a tree full of angels when he was nine, and to have seen God "put his head to the window" when he was 4. (Source.)Lots of kids died...

Steaminess Rating

There's no place for sex in a poem that's about poverty, death, chimney sweeping, blood, figurative and literal slavery, etc. Okay, yes, there's a very explicit reference to prostitution in the las...
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