Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

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"Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802" is a sonnet by William Wordsworth describing London and the River Thames, viewed from Westminster Bridge in the early morning. It was first published in the collection Poems in Two Volumes in 1807.

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was a Romantic poet. The Romantic Movement describes a group of people who threw off the rigid scientific world created by Isaac Newton and his other followers. Wordsworth was one of the most well known romantic poets – along with his close friend and collaborator Samuel Taylor Coleridge – beginning a revolution in thought and expression. He believed that through nature and communion with nature, we find happiness. He chose "rustic" people because:

"in that condition, the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity, are less under restraint, and speak a plainer and more emphatic language" (Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads, second edition).


The poem was written in 1802 when Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, were going to Calais, to meet with his former French mistress Annette Vallon and Caroline, his illegitimate daughter by her. Wordsworth had not seen her since 1791 when he had expressed to her a wish to marry but had been forced to return to Great Britain because of the increasing likelihood of war between Britain and France. In 1802 the Treaty of Amiens once again allowed travel to France....
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