Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

Poet’s use of language

  • London is vividly depicted using images of a natural scene
  • The city is personified along with the earth, sun and river
  • Illuminating imagery: ‘bright and glittering’
  • Silence
  • Serenity and cleanliness
  • Wordsworth uses pathetic fallacy to animate the scene he is witnessing
  • Powerful image of the sun
  • Compactness of the city conveyed through ‘Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie’
  • Long vowel sounds
  • Use of contrast: vivid descriptions against the backdrop of calm
  • The city is represented in the last line by the metaphor of a heart
  • Written in Petrarchan sonnet form with the typical division of octave and sestet
  • In the octave Wordsworth describes early morning London in detail
  • In the sestet he compares the city to natural wonders
  • The enjambment of the first eight lines convey the speaker’s boundless emotions and sense of awe