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In this installment, Joshua Weiner reads “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802” by William Wordsworth. Weiner’s collections of poetry include The World's Room (2001) and From the Book of Giants (2006). He was a Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize Fellow in Literature at the American Academy in Rome and his writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Nation, Best American Poetry, and The Threepenny Review. He currently lives in Washington, DC.
William Wordsworth, "Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802"
EARTH has 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 splendour, 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!