Poetry | “London” – William Blake

TubeApologies in advance for this very lazy post. Right now I am in London for both business and pleasure. This has been a peculiar week, half immobilising boredom and half dynamic activity. In fact, this whole month has been peculiar. It has been very up and down for me both geographically and emotionally, as I become too familiar with Scotrail and enduring the (almost) quarter-life crisis of having to consider and reconsider big life decisions.

Zzzzz. Enough. Here is a poem that encapsulates the noisy, messy, hubbub that is London from the lovely but long dead William Blake, one of the only sufferable English Romantic poets. The demonic theme in the poem is by no means a reflection of my opinion of London, which changes every day. I think it mirrors the turmoil of navigation around the big city, passing hundred of strangers by every day, hearing the cacophony of thousands of voices from strangers living their own lives and thinking their own thoughts in morose anonymity. Yeah.

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear

How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls

But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse

I’ll post something with more thought behind it soon, probably.


2 responses to “Poetry | “London” – William Blake

  1. Pingback: You Don’t Believe By William Blake | Renard Moreau Presents

  2. Pingback: NW – Zadie Smith | The Word in Edgeways

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