London Impressions in Poetry


  • Tzu Yu Allison Lin Gaziantep University


In this article, the author wants to theorise the dialectical images of London as signs, by using an Impressionist way of reading the visual and the verbal representations. Through reading three poems of London: William Wordsworth’s ‘Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802’, Oscar Wilde’s ‘Impression du Matin’, and Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Woman Seated in the Underground, 1941’, the author intends to show an awareness of the Impressionist narrative technique in terms of the spatial representations of the city. The impressions – in both visual and verbal terms, come to show the way in which London is a gendered space, synthesising masculine and feminine metaphors into a sequence of unique narrations. Each moment represents a personal, a specific, and a dramatic London, which is depicted in colours, shapes, lines and emotions.    


Abrams, M. H. The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition. New York: W. W. Norton, 1958.
Baudelaire, Charles. The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays. London: Phaidon, 1995.
Bloom, Harold. The Visionary Company: A Reading of English Romantic Poetry. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1983.
Day, Aidan. Romanticism. London: Routledge, 1996.
Ford, Mark, ed. London: A History in Verse. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2012.
Hartman, Geoffrey H. ‘Nature and the Humanization of the Self in Wordsworth’. English Romantic Poets: Modern Essays in Criticism. Ed. M. H. Abrams. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1975.
Lin, Allison. London Poetics. Taipei: Showwe, 2016.
Nägele, Rainer. ‘The Poetic Ground Laid Bare (Benjamin Reading Baudelaire). Walter Benjamin: Theoretical Questions. Ed.
David S. Ferris. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1996.
Olin, Margaret. ‘Gaze’. Critical Terms for Art History. Eds. Robert S. Nelson and Richard Shiff. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 1992.
Pollock, Griselda. Vision & Difference: Femininity, Feminism and the Histories of Art. London: Routledge, 1994.
Rubin, James H. Impressionism. London: Phaidon, 1999.
Scott, Clive. ‘Streets, Buildings and the Gendered City’. Street Photography: from At get to Cartier-Bresson. London: I. B.Tauris, 2007.
‘Sublime’. Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Ed. Chris Baldick. 3rd ed. 2008.
Smith, Paul. Impressionism: Beneath the Surface. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1995.
Spalding, Frances. British Art Since 1900. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.
Thomson, Belinda. Impressionism: Origins, Practice, Reception.
Tolson, Roger. ‘Moore and the Machinery of War’. Henry Moore: War and Utility. London: Imperial War Museum, 2006.




How to Cite

Lin, T. Y. A. (2017). London Impressions in Poetry. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 5(9), 1–9. Retrieved from