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London, 1802 Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Wordsworth Type: Poetry Views: 5962

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Poems, in Two Volumes1807Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour:

England hath need of thee: she is a fen

Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,

Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,

Have forfeited their ancient English dower

Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;

Oh! raise us up, return to us again;

And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.

Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:

Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:

Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,

So didst thou travel on life's common way,

In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart

The lowliest duties on herself did lay.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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dont misguide the students by giving such stupid comments.

| Posted on 2010-11-03 | by a guest

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some of the critiquing of the analysis was very helpful.

| Posted on 2010-10-10 | by a guest

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This poem is about a person/speaker who wish to return John Milton in this earth. John Milton was an arch republican, defender of the regicides (people who kill a king or monarch), a famous writer/poet and he was also considered as a hero in England.
This poem also contains a lot of symbolisms describing John Milton\'s role in the past such as: Sword (military), Altar (religion), and Pen (writing/literature).

| Posted on 2010-09-29 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2010-07-28 | by a guest

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hi mom this poem is definetly about mario and LUiIgi!LOL ROTFL!

| Posted on 2010-04-27 | by a guest

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I highly doubt these posts are moderated... This is absolutely ridiculous. If you come to this site looking for answers, because you don't understand the poem, please just say that instead of saying the poem is talking about a fish, Mario or Luigi - which it absolutely does not. Stop giving false information. Treat this site with respect - Young students need another form of help, they're really abusing this site, and making it really really irritating for those actually here looking for help, or looking to talk to others about poems.

| Posted on 2010-03-17 | by a guest

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im a student of english literature,i would be please to have a deaper analysis of london from whoever think he can give a proper one of it and please don't write rubbish,thank you!

| Posted on 2009-09-20 | by a guest

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im a student of english literature,i would be please to have a deaper analysis of london from whoever think he can give a proper one of it and please don't write rubbish,thank you!

| Posted on 2009-09-20 | by a guest

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First of all this is not even about a fish or sparkling water, it is about Wordsworth's frustration about Britain's downfall and how he wishes John Milton, the poet, was still alive. And second of all don't call this dumb,this is a work of art!

| Posted on 2009-05-24 | by a guest

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If you don't know what you're talking about then do not comment on this page. "Milton" refers to the poet John Milton, who Wordsworth admired greatly. If you are one of the idiots who thought he was talking about a fish, I suggest you end your poetry commentating hobby because you are clearly not qualified. Wordsworth was a genius; you are not. So just stop. Thanks.

| Posted on 2009-05-12 | by a guest

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This poem is retarded it doesn't make any sense
why the hell would he be writing about a damn fish

| Posted on 2009-04-15 | by a guest

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Does noone ever moderate this page? The comments are ridiculous.

| Posted on 2009-04-14 | by a guest

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lololololololl dis poem talks about mario und luiggi shutteen bb gons on mt evrest

| Posted on 2009-04-01 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2009-02-12 | by a guest

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I think that he is talking about fish and how they sparkle in heavon

| Posted on 2008-10-21 | by a guest

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this page can't offer a whole lot considering someone ripped off spark notes by copying the entire entry from sparknotes and placed if here on this page without even quoting their source.

| Posted on 2008-10-07 | by a guest

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The speaker of this poem, which takes the form of a dramatic outburst, literally cries out to the soul of John Milton in anger and frustration. (The poem begins with the cry: "Milton!") In the octave, the speaker articulates his wish that Milton would return to earth, and lists the vices ruining the current era. Every venerable institution--the altar (representing religion), the sword (representing the military), the pen (representing literature), and the fireside (representing the home)--has lost touch with "inward happiness," which the speaker identifies as a specifically English birthright, just as Milton is a specifically English poet. (This is one of Wordsworth's few explicitly nationalistic verses--shades, perhaps, of the conservatism that took hold in his old age.)
In the sestet, the speaker describes Milton's character, explaining why he thinks Milton would be well suited to correct England's current waywardness. His soul was as bright as a star, and stood apart from the crowd: he did not need the approval or company of others in order to live his life as he pleased. His voice was as powerful and influential as the sea itself, and though he possessed a kind of moral perfection, he never ceased to act humbly. These virtues are precisely what Wordsworth saw as lacking in the English men and women of his day.
It is important to remember that for all its emphasis on feeling and passion, Wordsworth's poetry is equally concerned with goodness and morality. Unlike later Romantic rebels and sensualists, Wordsworth was concerned that his ideas communicate natural morality to his readers, and he did not oppose his philosophy to society. Wordsworth's ideal vision of life was such that he believed anyone could participate in it, and that everyone would be happier for doing so. The angry moral sonnets of 1802 come from this ethical impulse, and indicate how frustrating it was for Wordsworth to see his poems exerting more aesthetic influence than social or psychological influence.

| Posted on 2008-07-18 | by a guest

.: London 1802 analysis :.

In this sonnet William Wordsworth is addressing the dead poet John Milton in a dramatic monologue complaining about the flaws of england. The writer believes Miltons' ideals are support everywhere England is lacking.

Stagnant meaning not moving, which he calls the alter sword and pen. The alter could mean no spirituality or religion, people are losing faith. The sword could mean England is not in it's military, or perhaps not aggressive in stabalizing crime and domestic instability of poverty and unethical behavior. It could also possible mean lack of organization in government.

Pen obviously means in literature. The authors ideals aren't being embraced as a popular belief, otherwise the author would never have been compelled to make such a piece.

"Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;"

He does not mean God, he means John Milton. John Milton wrote Paradise Lost,

"The poem concerns the Christian story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden."
- wikipedia


This is an important line.

The poem ends light heartedly in compliment and full backing of Miltons ideals.

| Posted on 2006-06-04 | by Elevate

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