Composed Upon Westminster Bridge (Scritta sul ponte di
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge (Scritta sul ponte di Westminster )-William Wordsworth
Earth has not anything to show more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pas s by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This city now doth, like a garment , wear
= does 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 beautiful steep
steep = steeped
In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill ;
Ne’er saw I , never felt , a calm so deep!
ne’er = never
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
glideth = glides
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And al l that mighty hear t is lying still !
La terra non ha niente da mostrare più bel lo:
Insensibile d’animo sarebbe colui che potrebbe ignorare
Uno spettacolo così commovente nel la sua maestosità:
Questa città ora, come un indumento, indossa
La bellezza del la mattina; silenziosa, nuda,
Navi , torri , cupole, teatri , e templi giacciono
Aperti ai campi ,e al cielo;
Tutta brillante e scintillante nell’aria senza fumo.
Mai un sole più bel lo inondò
Nel suo primo splendore, valle, roccia, o collina;
Mai vidi io, mai sentii , una calma così profonda!
Il fiume scivola a sua propria dolce volontà:
Caro Dio! persino le case sembrano addormentate;
E tutto quel possente cuore sta giacendo immobile (i l cuore
In lines 1 through 8, which together compose a single sentence, the speaker describes what he sees as he
stands on Westminster Bridge looking out at the city. He begins by saying that there is nothing "more fair"
on Earth than the sight he sees, and that anyone who could pass the spot without stopping to look has a
"dull" soul. The poem takes place in the "beauty of the morning," which lies like a blanket over the silent
city. He then lists what he sees in the city and mentions that the city seems to have no pollution and lies
"Open unto the fields, and to the sky."
In lines 9 through 14, the speaker tells the reader that the sun has never shone more beautifully, even on
nature ("valley , rock, or hill"), and that he has never seen or felt such deep calm. He goes on to describe
the way that the river (which he personifies) glides along at the slow pace it chooses. The poem ends with
an exclamation, saying that "the houses seem asleep" and the heart of the city is still.
The poem was written about an experience that took place on July 31, 1802 during a trip to France with
Wordsworth's sister, Dorothy Wordsworth. The poem begins with a rather shocking statement, especially for
a Romantic poet: "Earth has not anything to show more fair." This statement is surprising because
Wordsworth is not speaking of nature, but of the city. He goes on to list the beautiful man-made entities
therein, such as "Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples." In fact, nature's influence isn't described until
the 7th line, when the speaker relates that the city is "open to the fields, and to the sky." While the city itself
may not be a part of nature, it is certainly not in conflict with nature. This becomes even more clear in the
next line, when the reader learns that the air is "smokeless" (free from pollution).
Wordsworth continues to surprise his reader by saying that the sun has never shone more beautifully, even
on natural things. He then personifies the scene, giving life to the sun, the river, the houses, and finally to the
whole city, which has a symbolic heart. The reader imagines that the city's heart beats rapidly during the day,
while everything and everyone in it is bustling about, but now, in the early morning hours, the city's heart is
"lying still." By using personification in his poem, Wordsworth brings a kind of spirit to the city, which is
usually seen as a simple construction of rock and metal.
William Blake's (1757-1827) "London" written in 1792 is a devastating portrait of a society in which all
souls and bodies were trapped, exploited and infected.The poem is a devastating and concise political
analysis, delivered with passionate anger, revealing the complex connections between patterns of ownership
and the ruling ideology, the way all human relations are inescapably bound together within a single
William Wordsworth's (1770-1850) sonnet "Composed upon Westminster Bridge 3rd September 1802" is a
'momentary poem' written when the coach on which he and his sister Dorothy were travelling to London to
board a ship to Paris paused on the Westminster Bridge across the Thames. Wordsworth describes what he
sees, thinks and feels on a specific day at a specific moment. Had September 3, 1802, been a dismal day of
rain, fog or overcast skies, we would not have this lyric to enjoy.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770-1850)
He was born in the English Lake District and he spent there his happy childhood and most of his
adult life; this place was to become his main source of inspiration. He was educated in Cambridge
and in 1790 he went on a walking tour of France and Alps. The contact with French Revolution
filled him with enthusiasm for democratic ideals. He returned to France and fell in love with
Annette Vallon who bore him a daughter that was called Caroline.
The brutal and destructive developments of the Revolution and the wars between France and
England brought him a nervous breakdown.
He went to live with the sister Dorothy in 1795 and she remains his most faithful friend. In the same
year he moved to Somerset to be near Coleridge and their friendship became very important for the
development of English Romanticism.
They produced a collection of poems called “LIRICAL BALLADS” (1798); it opens with
Coleridge’s “Ancient Mariner” and ends with Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey”. The second edition
of 1800 contained also the “Preface” by Wordsworth that became the “MANIFESTO OF
In 1802 he married a childhood friend, Mary Hutchinson. In 1843 he was made Poet Laureate (he was
considered the most important English poet).
The last year of his life were marked by the growing conservatism of his political views and the decline of
his creative powers. He died in 1850.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 5
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay: 10
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay, 15
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood, 20
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Vagabondavo da solo come una nuvola che
fluttua in alto sopra le valli e le colline quando
improvvisamente vidi una folla, una schiera di
giunchiglie dorate, vicino al lago, al di sotto degli
alberi, ondeggianti e danzanti nella brezza.
Continue come le stelle che risplendono e
scintillano nella via lattea, si estendevano in una
linea senza fine lungo il margine della baia: ne ho
viste 10.000 con un’occhiata, che scuotevano le
loro teste in un’allegra danza.
Le onde accanto a loro danzavano; ma esse
superavano le onde spumeggianti in gaiezza. Un
poeta non poteva che essere felice in una tale
Io fissavo e fissavo ma pensavo poco a quale
ricchezza lo spettacolo mi aveva dato: perché
spesso, quando sono sdraiato sul mio divano in
uno stato d’animo ozioso e pensieroso, esse
appaiono (improvvisamente) in quell’occhio
interiore che è la beatitudine della solitudine, e
allora il mio cuore si riempie di piacere e danza
con le giunchiglie.
This poem, written in 1804 and published in 1807, recounts the experience of a walk the poet went for with
his sister, near their home in the Lake District.
The poem was inspired by the sight of a field full of golden daffodils waving in the wind. The key of the
poem is joy, as we can see from the many words which express pleasure and delight: in fact the daffodils
are golden, waving in a sprightly dance and outdoing the waves in glee: they provide a jocund company and
the sight of them fills the poet’s heart with pleasure. The flowers are set in a natural environment made up
of land, air and water. The words related to the three elements are: for land: vales, hills, tree. For air: cloud,
breeze, stars, milky way. For water: lake, bay, waves. All nature appears wonderfully alive and happy in fact
the cloud floats on high; the stars shine and twinkle, the waves dance and sparkle in glee. The daffodils,
too, are not static like in a painting, but alive with motion. They are in fact fluttering and dancing in the
breeze, and tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The sight of the daffodils amazes the poet at first
because of their great number in fact they a crowd, continuous, ten thousand, host, never ending-line. Yet
Wordsworth is not interested in the flowers as such, but in the way they affect him; that is from inner to
deter worlds and vice verse. The sight of the flowers brings the poet delight but he doesn’t realize that at
the moment but only later, when memory brings back the scene. It is clear that the daffodils have a
metaphorical meaning. They may represent the voice of nature, which is scarcely audible except in solitude,
the magic moment when our spirit develops a visionary power and we “return to the enchanted unity with
nature we knew in childhood; they may represent a living microcosm within the larger macrocosm of
nature. Describing the daffodils the poet mentions only one colour: golden; but the whole poem implicitly
suggests a wealth of colours: white = clouds; green = hills, vales, trees; blue = lake; silver = star; silver-white
= milky way. In stanza 4 the poet suggests the perfect state of mind we should be in to hear the voice of
nature; he says we should be in a sort of inner emptiness almost like that of the mystics when they enter
into communion with God. This state of mind favours the poet’s inner perception, which he calls “in ward
eye”. Tanks to this inner perception the poet’s physical “loneliness” turns into a moment of ecstasy, which
to calls bliss of solitude. Brief as it is, the poem presents a perfect structure. It is divided into four stanzas
which correspond to the various moods of the poet.
Stanza 1 Setting and “shock” at the scene
Stanza 2 Description of the flowers
Stanza 3 Relationship between the flowers and the poet, the emotions of the poet (in the moment of the
Stanza 4 Emotion recollected in tranquillity, consequences of the experience
The devices used by Wordsworth in this poem are. Similes: lonely as a cloud; continuous as stars.
Personification: crowd, host, (the daffodils) fluttering and dancing (line 6), (the daffodils) tossing their
heads (line12) ;( the waves) dance (line 13) company (line 16), (my heart) dances (line 24). The
personification of the flowers make them alive as if endowed with a life and a soul of their own repetition:
gazed (line 17). It conveys the impression of the poet breathless when faced with the beauty of nature and
unable to remove his eyes from it.
My heart leaps up
MY heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old 5
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
Il mio cuore sussulta quando contemplo
un arcobaleno nel cielo:
così era quando la mia vita è cominciata,
così è ora che sono un uomo,
così sarà quando crescerò (quando sarò vecchio).
O lasciami morire!
Il bambino è il padre dell'uomo:
e desidererei che i miei giorni siano
legati l'un l'altro da una naturale pietà.
This poem is composed by nine lines and embodies a simple idea: from an ordinary episode, the
sight of a rainbow, the poet reflects on how childhood experiences influence adult life.
In the 7th line there is a famous paradox: "The Child is the father of the Man". The Child is
innocent and pure. Moreover, he has immagination that that makes him better and wiser than the
The "natural piety", that links the poet's days each to each, is the instinctive attitude of children and
represents their natural feelings of wonder and joy. This inborn sense of wonder at such a
spectacular sight in the heaven is opposed to the artificial piety that can be the product of a religious
Wordsworth says that the sight of the rainbow remains in his mind as strong as a grown man as
when he was a child and he wants that to continue in his old age. Otherwise he would rather die.
I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it
Ho detto che la poesia è un traboccamento spontaneo di potenti sentimenti:
takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity: the emotion is
ha (prende) la sua origine dall’emozione raccolta nella tranquillità: l’emozione è
contemplated till, by a species of reaction, the tranquillity gradually disappears,
contemplata fino a che, da una specie di reazione, la tranquillità gradualmente scompare,
and an emotion, kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation,
ed un’emozione, relazionata a quella che c’era prima che il soggetto della contemplazione,
is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind. In this mood
sia gradualmente prodotto, e realmente esiste nella mente. In questo stato d’animo
successful composition generally begins, and in a mood similar to this it is
una composizione di successo generalmente inizia, ed in uno stato d’animo simile a questo è