Friday, 27 August 2010

London In Verse

It’s Bank Holiday weekend and Lance is leading two poetry walks. Here he is…

“Do you recognise these words?

Earth hath 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 splendor, 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!


Yes indeed it’s Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 by William Wordsworth. The view he was describing is the one seen above (though admittedly this photo was taken two hundred years later).

This Bank Holiday Monday Lance Pierson leads his guided walk from Waterloo to Westminster Bridges celebrating the rich history of poetry commemorated on the Thames banks. The walk finishes with Wordsworth’s poem and the chance to see what London would have looked like when he wrote those famous words.

If you are in the mood for poetry then two days before, this Saturday (28th August), Lance will also be leading a walk around Highgate to see where John Betjeman grew up.

Poetry in Motion - The John Betjeman Walk meets at Kentish Town Station on Saturday 28th August at 10.45a.m. (Be ready for a good, bracing climb up West Hill!) Shakespeare to Wordsworth – Poetry in Performance Perambulation meets at Embankment Station on Monday 30th August at 2pm.

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