Friday, September 19, 2008

Poetry Friday - Wordsworth

I've been reading The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland. I bought it, in part, because of this quote on the cover.
"A generous and exquisite selective anthology of poetry in forms that may make you decide to give up E-mail and start writing sestinas and villanelles."
Now that's a ringing endorsement (not that I needed one to immerse myself in poetry). One of the greatest things about this book is the wide range of poems it uses for examples. Here is one from the sonnet section that I am crazy about.
Upon Westminster Bridge
by William Wordsworth

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
The round up is being hosted by Laura at author amok. Do stop by and check out all the great poetry being shared this week. Happy poetry Friday, all! I'm on the round up next week, so I'll see you all here very soon.


  1. OMG! I love this poem. More than 30 years ago, my roommates and I stood at one end of Westminster Bridge and made a pact -- never to forget that moment in time when we were all there together, looking at Big Ben and Parliament, etc. I have forgotten a lot of things over the years, but not this. Thanks for the Wordsworth fix!

  2. This morning the San Francisco Chronicle online had a photo essay on "Dawn Breaks Over the City." No matter how long I've been away or how far away I am, because I was born in SF, I still think of it as my city... even though I'm not even a big fan of cities (but after Glasgow, SF seems like a walk in a country park).

    Anyway, that phrase came to mind this morning, The City now doth like a garment wear/ The beauty of the morning, silent, bare,...

    This is really apropos of SF, because near the Golden Gate Bridge there IS a domed tower. And ships. And a Mormon Tabernacle that you can see for miles.

    I've always loved this poem, thanks for the little reminder of home.