A comparison between ‘Composed upon Westminster Bridge’ and ‘The Solitary Reaper’ written by William Wordsworth

‘Composed upon Westminster Bridge’ was written describing the beauty of London early in the morning and it uses different styles including metaphors and personification. The poem uses archaic language. ‘The Solitary Reaper’ also uses archaic language, the person in the poem is wistful and wishes that he knew the girl and is affected deeply by this girl and her song.The speaker in this poem is travelling over the Highlands, and he sees this beautiful sight and enjoys the mysterious song of the solitary reaper.He is overwhelmed by the experience, by the beauty of what he sees and hears that he contemplates the option of just staying there, up on the top of the hill, looking down on the lush valley in the beauty of the entire situation. However, he does not do this; he simply stays for a few moments, long enough for him to remember the this event for the rest of his life, and then he goes on his way, with the girl’s tune ringing in the back of his mind.In both poems Wordsworth is a ‘solitary’ onlooker. In the poem ‘The Solitary Reaper’ Wordsworth is alone when everyone has left the countryside except for him and this solitary girl singing in the field that he mentions in line one:“Behold her single in the field”.In ‘Westminster Bridge’ Wordsworth is alone walking on Westminster Bridge enjoying the peace of the morning. The poem does not state that he met anyone.In both poems Wordsworth uses language and an interesting choice of words and sentences to express his thought. In ‘Composed upon Westminster Bridge’ he personifies the city: Metaphors become irreplaceable mechanisms to imagery. The lines:‘This city now doth, like a garment, wearThe beauty of the morning’denotes that morning is like a cloak draping the city with its magnificence. Wordsworth brings the very city alive as he personifies the river and even the sleeping houses.‘The very houses seem asleep’The city is quiet and ‘gets on’ with what it has to do.In ‘The Solitary Reaper’ there is a girl working hard reaping in the fields that is also quietly getting on with what she has to do. This task was usually done in groups as it is back breaking work so it was an unusual sight to see a solitary reaper. The job was no less back breaking even if it was done in a group. If so there would be less to do as it would be split up between the groups. In addition the friendship of the group would make it more bearable.In both poems Wordsworth has things that he wants to find out. In “The Solitary Reaper’ he wants to find out what type of song she is singing:“Will no-one tell me what she sings?”“Perhaps the plaintive numbers flowFor old, unhappy, far off things, and battles long ago”Maybe it is about something that happened years ago. Then he goes on to think:“Or is it some more humble lay,Familiar matters of today?Some natural sorrow, loss or pain,That has been, and may be again?”Perhaps she is singing about something or someone she has lost.