lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the William Blake and his works have been extensively discussed and criticised over. THE PROPHETIC BOOKS OF WILLIAM BLAKE. MILTON. Edited by E. R. D. MACLAGAN and A. G. B. RUSSELL. LONDON. A. H. BULLEN. 47, GREAT. References to the illustntions of the Book of Job follow Blake's numbenng of the plates. . William Blake () was both a prolific poet and painter.
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WILLIAM BLAKE. Page 2. DjVu Editions E-books. © , Global Language Resources, Inc. Page 3. Blake: Songs of Innocence & Experience. THE WORKS OF WILLIAM BLAKE. Get any book for free on: jinzihao.info 3. Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,. Nor laurel wreaths against the. First published in under title: Poetry and prose of William Blake. This edition of William Blake seeks to supply a sounder and more uncluttered text for.
And so many children poor? New York: Here the mother ant represents the human soul, longing for the peace and comfort only God can give. Apple appears in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit. These four anti- i tues sta d ight opposite the fou di i e i tues Blake des i ed i The Di i e I age. The fact that Blake s si ile i li e 4 fou des i es the children s walking i to Paul s like Tha es ate s flo s ight mean that children, just like waters flow, are walking into church without being fully aware of the implications of what they are doing:
After having taken a close look at the first complementary duet, let us now direct our attention to the second selection of poems. I The Di i e I age, Blake illust ates a view of humanity as a fair representation of goodness and divine qualities. Human beings are God s ep ese tati es o Ea th a d the poet resorts to four elements to describe this relation.
In the very first stanza, Blake introduces the reader to these four qualities: In these lines, the audience learns that these four virtues are essential components of hat Ch istia s all faith. When believers pray, whether in distress or joy, it is to these elements that their prayers are directed.
Me , Pit , Pea e, a d Lo e become key players in Religion as Blake describes it and, more importantly, it would appear that the a o l e a ui ed th ough the i te e tio of so ethi g di i e, i. According to the poet, goodness and kindness are present in men but only because they are a divine gift: God, therefore, becomes the source of these divine qualities and it is because hu a it is uilt in His own image and likeness 19 that men have been blessed with them.
It is imperative to highlight, furthermore, that he Blake efe s to Ma in this stanza, he does so by means of equalling him to a child.
This may have two important readings: The third stanza will further emphasise the idea of human divinity. If we were to judge which virtue was considered to be of higher importance to Blake, it might safely be said that it was Love.
Mercy, Pity and Peace are all represented by i di idual ele e ts he eas Lo e ea s the hu a fo di i e. The fact that Love is not one element but a whole entity can be said to support this view. Humanity itself is Love and it shall then be what all human beings must aspire to achieve. Mercy, Pity and Peace become the means both to attain and sustain Love. In the last two stanzas, Blake extends this divine value to all mankind, regardless of their race or creed. Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.
And all must love the human form, In heathen, turk, or jew. Whenever there may arise a need for support or comfort, all human beings must pray to be blessed with these four qualities. In this poem, Blake invites the reader to conceive of these virtues as the means to find God on Earth. It is th ough hild e s innocent and non-judgemental eyes that humanity should approach the di i e. Equality, in addition, plays a key role in these two stanzas, particularly in the last one.
It is uite i te esti g that oth tu k a d je a e ot apitalised a d, if it a e assumed that Blake did so purposefully, it may then be said that his intention was to reject religious barriers and segregations. Different religions cease to be independent, separate bodies to become non-delimiting, complementary entities.
This heavily hopeful poem, consequently, fosters the innocent approach to the world in that God is, once more, described in a fatherly manner. Humanity is a child who, guided by God, celebrates their communion through the four divine values: Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love.
As jo ful a d p o isi g The Di i e I age ight e, it takes almost no time for any experienced reader to recognise the limitations of such an innocent representation of humanity. However, no sooner does the eade fa e the e fi st li es of The Hu a A st a t than their atte tio is d a to the tough ess of Blake s o ds. Pity would be no more If we did not make somebody poor, And Mercy no more could be If all were as happy as we.
The persona in these lines clearly wishes to highlight how unnecessary Pity and Mercy two of the four divine virtues would be if we lived in a world free from injustices.
It becomes possible, therefore, to infer that Blake is not only disregarding these two virtues he so joyfully praised in Innocence but he is stating, though not openly, that the Church and its discourse would be of no use if poverty were eradicated and all human beings were happy. Innocent eyes celebrate Pity and Mercy whereas experienced eyes understand humanity should not even need them. The second stanza, in addition, frowns upon the concept of Love once it has been corrupted by experience.
And mutual fear brings Peace, Till the selfish loves increase Then Cruelty knits a snare, And spreads his baits with care. Experience has most probably taught both the persona and the reader that Love does not always represent and inspire purity and selflessness.
Innocent eyes can see and believe in innocent Love but that becomes quite impossible for Experience. Analysing Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience English Literature II — Final Exam — December 13th Alejandra de Antoni reminds us that as we grow older and bitter selfishness blinds love and brings about one of the most terrible feelings the human soul is capable of hosting: The image describing Cruelty as a spider knitting a snare in order to little by little catch its preys does not really need any further explanations.
Love, which used to be the most valuable and pure of all virtues, has now become one of its most despised antitheses. Blake is clearly warning us against letting this evil contaminate our souls. He sits down with his holy fears, And waters the ground with tears; Then Humility takes its root Underneath his foot. Probably one of the most interesting elements to analyse in the third stanza is that He C uelt is pe so alised through fear.
Taking this particular fact into account it might be said that these fears which feed Cruelty are in fact related to the Church, maybe in its incapacity to safeguard Love and joy from the evils the poet describes in these lines.
Additionally, Cruelty spreads and affects everything the g ou d ith tea s. If the g ou d is flooded ith C uelt s tea s it follows that anything growing there will inevitably be contaminated by it. Humility, which takes its root under this poisoned ground, consequently becomes o e of C uelt s most afflicted victims.
If we assume that nothing in Blake s iti gs is i ide tal, it ust follo that this rhythmic difference is here for some reason.
This la k of u ifo it i its structure may echo the irregular manner in which shades spread. Although the reader can only guess why Blake decided to make this stanza rhythmically different from the others, it is nonetheless important to acknowledge that such a difference exists.
Till a d, i his Eliza etha Wo ld Pi tu e, 20 describes the Chain of Being as the unifying concept that pictured how the world was organised and structured for Elizabethans.
Although Blake clearly did not belong to this period, it might be assumed that he was nonetheless acquainted with this stratification and that it was not incidental that he decided to include the Catte pille a d the Fl as the ei gs that feed o the M ste.
Caterpillars and flies are at the lowest stratum in the Chain of Being and they are normally connected to dirtiness and rottenness. What used to be a joyful description of humanity as a mirror of divinity has now become a grey, shady and mysterious terrain. The following stanza will further worsen this decay: And it bears the fruit of Deceit, Ruddy and sweet to eat, And the raven his nest has made In its thickest shade. Deceit enters the scene to join Cruelty and Mystery as the anti-virtues.
Blake s f uit is also tempting and covered with deception and on its tree there is the Raven with its nest, a clear representation of Death. Cruelty, Mystery, Deceit and Death constitute the main opposition between this poem and its counterpart in Innocence.
These four anti- i tues sta d ight opposite the fou di i e i tues Blake des i ed i The Di i e I age. There grows one in the Human Brain. The very first line offers a very interesting element to anal se: Blake s de isio to use the o d Gods sta ds uite agai st the defining characteristic of the Catholic Church: The fact that Blake uses the o d Gods a d that he does so capitalising it may be said to show a very subtle message to the Church. Nature, in additio , is also apitalised, hi h e uals it to the Gods a d suppo ts what has been stated earlier in this paper: Blake married Catherine Sophia Boucher in August She was illiterate, so Blake taught her to read, write draw, and color his designs and prints.
Catherine always supported him in everything he did, right up to his death 45 years later. This influenced to his later poetry. In death, as in life, Blake received short shrift from observers, and obituaries tended to underscore his personal idiosyncrasies at the expense of his artistic accomplishments. Analysis of Poems In this analysis we present clear explanation about intrinsic and extrinsic elements of poems created by William Blake.
Whereas analysis of extrinsic elements will focused on the author biography related to each poem and the setting of each poem.
A Dream Once a dream did weave a shade O'er my angel-guarded bed, That an emmet lost its way Where on grass methought I lay.
Troubled, wildered, and forlorn, Dark, benighted, travel-worn, Over many a tangle spray, All heart-broke, I heard her say: Now they look abroad to see, Now return and weep for me. But I saw a glow-worm near, Who replied, 'What wailing wight Calls the watchman of the night? Follow now the beetle's hum; Little wanderer, hie thee home!
Besides Blake uses Emmet to make this poem has more diverse vocabulary. The word glow-worm is the synonym of fireflies. In this poem Blake prefers to use glow- worm because glow-worm refers to the female lampyrid or larva, whereas fireflies can be both male and female. It can be attributed to the main character in this poetry: It is akin to Old High German wiht, meaning a creature or thing.
In its original usage the word wight described a living human being. Now the word can be translated as haste as a verb or in haste or hurriedly as an adverb and hurried as an adjective. Thee was common used in the ancient poetry or other literary works. The structure of the rhyme is: So the rhyme is AABB for all stanzas. As we can see below: Once a dream did weave a shade ed O'er my angel-guarded bed, ed That an emmet lost its way ay Where on grass methought I lay.
So, we can conclude that the structure is closed-structure. It can be assumed that it means my bed is guarded by angel. And the world methought can be assumed as my thought. All lines in the third stanza are bounded by quotation marks to show that this stanza is an expression or utterance. Therefore he uses simple present tense. Blake combines simple past tense and simple present tense in the next stanza.
He still uses past tense to tell past situation and present tense is used with quotation marks. The last stanza has the same tense with the third stanza because all the lines bounded by quotation marks as a remark. O'er my angel-guarded bed ; angel-guarded bed refers to the the safest place to dream and where the dream can be so high and so unimpeded. It is shown in this poem that a person who figured by an a mother emmet who seems too much worrying about her family.
I heard her say line 8 , Do they hear their father sigh? Now they look abroad to see line 11 , But I saw a glow-worm near line 14 b. In the first book, the poet tells of a dream. Blake in the poem tells us about a dream. In this dream, while the narrator believes he is lying on some grass, he sees an ant who has lost her way. This poem was written written between and It was one of 19 poems in Song of Innocence collection.
It appeared in two phases. A few first copies were printed and illuminated by William Blake himself in ; five years later he bound these poems with a set of new poems in a volume titled Songs of Innocence and of Experience Showing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul.
Summary "A Dream" is a five-stanza poem made up of rhyming couplets. The first stanza sets the scene of the poem as a dream the speaker had while napping. The second stanza begins to describe the "Emmet," the ant, and her efforts to find her family. The speaker disappears in the third stanza, leaving the reader alone with the story of the ant's efforts to rejoin her family. In the fourth stanza, the speaker again interrupts with his weeping reaction to the ant's plight and the happy realization that help is on the way.
Here the mother ant represents the human soul, longing for the peace and comfort only God can give. God intervenes in the form of the glow- worm, who lights the path, and the beetle, who gives direction through his humming wings, both of whom reunite the lost ant with her family. In the last line, in addition, there is the des iptio of hild e s ha ds as i o e t.
Their hands are innocent because they have not become dirty yet, neither through work nor through sin. However, this image of thousands of children with their hands raised shows the impositions of the Christian church, one of which forced mass attendees to raise their hands to e ei e God s absolution. Their hands are innocent but are still required to ask for forgiveness.
The third stanza, in like manner, portrays further interesting ideas. Now like a mighty wild they raise to heaven the voice of song, Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of heaven among: Beneath them sit the aged men, wise guardians of the poor.
Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door. If e e e to take ild li e 1 — third stanza as a symbol for what is not civilised, educated or instructed, it is therefore quite possible to associate ild, in this context, with children in that they have not yet been fully instructed in Christianity and its limiting values and creed. Finally, in the third line, once more, there appea aged e guarding the weak.
These aged e , who are not only old but also ise, represent experience both through age and knowledge. Since this Holy Thursday belongs to Songs of Innocence it should not be read as something entirely judgemental mainly because we are expected to see the o ld th ough hild e s eyes and their innocence would keep prejudices quite at bay.
To children, old and experienced people are there to take care of them.
Although the reader cannot prevent experience from contaminating their interpretation of this poem, whether the use of ise i this li e is meant as mockery or plain characterisation should not be central in this thread of analysis. In Songs of Experience, however, the tone grows in bitterness and desperation.
Regardless of the particular poem the reader may confront, it does not take long to spot the juxtaposition of these two states of the Human Soul. Similarly, whe a al si g Hol Thu sda , it a ot e o itted that Blake pu posefull i luded two poems under the same name in both Songs.
Not only did he want to show the oppositio et ee the I o e t a d the E pe ie ed pe eptio of this Catholi day par excellence but he also made it quite evident that he was indeed portraying such contrast. The e fi st sta za of Hol Thu sda Songs of Experience already shows a highly critical and reproachful persona: Is this a holy thing to see In a rich and fruitful land, — Babes reduced to misery, Fed with cold and usurous hand? Innocence s17 Holy Thursday was also structured in four stanzas but they featured longer lines, which made reading easier and smoother.
Its Experience s18 counterpart, on the contrary, was written in shorter but, at the same time, stronger, tougher lines.
These striking lines are not so heavily charged with imagery as they are with criticism and pain. The clear opposition et ee a i h and f uitful la d a d Ba es edu d to ise sho s ho the Chu h e ai ed alie to people s suffe i gs even during important celebrations such as Holy Thursday. Another very interesting element to analyse is that hands, which had ee i o e t a d lea o es efo e in Innocence , a e o old a d usu ous. Experience has transformed those innocent children into distant and money-driven entities.
The second stanza, in turn, offers more useful elements to continue the analysis. Is that trembling cry a song? Can it be a song of joy?
And so many children poor? It is a land of poverty! This stanza is quite impressive due to its three rhetorical questions. Here Blake does not really want the reader to answer these questions but wants them to be moved by them. What used to be happiness and joy in Innocence has o e o ea te li g. Blake wants the reader to detect the terrible opposition between joyful singing and poverty.
Likewise, the third stanza also portrays the harshness of Experience. And their son does never shine, And their fields are bleak and bare, And their ways are filled with thorns: It is eternal winter there. These lines are so well achieved that they can be quite heavy to digest.
The fact that the first three lines start with the same two words generates intense feelings of repetitiveness and, consequently, resignation. This stanza shows a world full of difficulties and complexities that are hard to overcome. For these poor children there is no sun no hope, may the reader assume , fields are lifeless and filled with traps.
Winter and oblivion, with their coldness and indifference, will haunt poor children forever.
The fourth and last stanza is, quite interestingly, the only one in this poem featuring two rhyming couplets. Fo he e e the su does shi e, A d he e e the ai does fall, Babes should never hunger there, Nor poverty the mind appall.
Since it is widely known that rhyming words and phrases are more easily remembered, it might safely be said that Blake decided for this final stanza to include two rhyming couplets to make them more memorable.
In these lines, the poet wants his audience to try to comprehend the contradictory nature of their world: No matter how loud their songs of joy might be, they will never be strong enough to silence poverty. After having taken a close look at the first complementary duet, let us now direct our attention to the second selection of poems. I The Di i e I age, Blake illust ates a view of humanity as a fair representation of goodness and divine qualities.
Human beings are God s ep ese tati es o Ea th a d the poet resorts to four elements to describe this relation. In the very first stanza, Blake introduces the reader to these four qualities: In these lines, the audience learns that these four virtues are essential components of hat Ch istia s all faith.
When believers pray, whether in distress or joy, it is to these elements that their prayers are directed. Me , Pit , Pea e, a d Lo e become key players in Religion as Blake describes it and, more importantly, it would appear that the a o l e a ui ed th ough the i te e tio of so ethi g di i e, i. According to the poet, goodness and kindness are present in men but only because they are a divine gift: God, therefore, becomes the source of these divine qualities and it is because hu a it is uilt in His own image and likeness 19 that men have been blessed with them.
It is imperative to highlight, furthermore, that he Blake efe s to Ma in this stanza, he does so by means of equalling him to a child. This may have two important readings: The third stanza will further emphasise the idea of human divinity. If we were to judge which virtue was considered to be of higher importance to Blake, it might safely be said that it was Love.
Mercy, Pity and Peace are all represented by i di idual ele e ts he eas Lo e ea s the hu a fo di i e.
The fact that Love is not one element but a whole entity can be said to support this view. Humanity itself is Love and it shall then be what all human beings must aspire to achieve.
Mercy, Pity and Peace become the means both to attain and sustain Love. In the last two stanzas, Blake extends this divine value to all mankind, regardless of their race or creed. Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.