Explain the central idea of sonnet composed upon westminster bridge
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The speaker begins by asserting that the view before him just might be the best thing in the world. It would be a very ‘dull’ person who could pass through without stopping to appreciate the ‘majesty’ of what he sees. And what is this splendid sight? That of a mighty city, full of the amazing accomplishments of man. ‘Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples,’ spread before the speaker.
But these man-made marvels have yet to come to life in the early morning. The buildings and ships are seen as part of the greater setting: the natural landscape. The sun rises over the quiet scene, and the river moves along on its natural path. For the brief time between sunrise and the beginning of the workday, the speaker feels ‘a calm so deep.’ For at this moment, civilization sleeps, and the beating heart of man-made constructs is ‘lying still.’
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge Poem Summary