Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as precursors of the Romantic Age.

Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as precursors of the Romantic Age.

Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as precursors of the Romantic Age Poet, painter, engraver, and visionary Blake worked to cause a change both within the social order and within the minds of men. Though in his lifetime his work was largely neglected or dismissed, he's now considered one of the leading lights of English poetry, and his work has only grown in popularity. In his lifetime of Blake (1863) Alexander Gilchrist warned his readers that Blake “neither wrote nor drew for the varied , hardly for work’y-day men within the least , rather for kids and angels; himself ‘a divine child,’ whose playthings were sun, moon, and stars, the heavens and thus the world .” Yet Blake himself believed that his writings were of national importance which they could be understood by a majority of his peers. away from being an isolated mystic, Blake lived and worked within the teeming metropolis of London at a time of great social and political change that profoundly influenced his writing. additionally to being considered one of the foremost visionary of English poets and one of the great progenitors of English Romanticism, his visual artwork is extremely regarded around the world.



Blake was born on November 28, 1757. Unlike many well-known writers of his day, Blake was born into a family of moderate means. His father, James, was a hosier, and thus the family lived at 28 Broad Street in London in an unpretentious but “respectable” neighborhood. In all, seven children were born to James and Catherine Harmitage Blake, but only five survived infancy. Blake seems to possess been closest to his youngest brother, Robert, who died young.
By all accounts Blake had a satisfying and peaceful childhood, made even more pleasant by skipping any formal schooling. As a young boy he wandered the streets of London and can easily escape to the encircling countryside. Even at an early age, however, his unique mental powers would prove disquieting. according to Gilchrist, on one ramble he was startled to “see a tree full of angels, bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars.” His parents weren't amused at such a story, and only his mother’s pleadings prevented him from receiving a beating. His parents did, however, encourage his artistic talents, and thus the young Blake was enrolled at the age of 10 in Pars’ drawing school. The expense of continued formal training in art was a prohibitive, and thus the family decided that at the age of 14 William would be apprenticed to a master engraver. initially his father took him to William Ryland, a highly respected engraver. William, however, resisted the arrangement telling his father, “I don't a bit like the man’s face: it's as if he will live to be hanged!” The grim prophecy was to return true 12 years later. instead of Ryland the family settled on a lesser-known engraver, James Basire. Basire seems to possess been an honest master, and Blake was an honest student of the craft.

At the age of 21, Blake left Basire’s apprenticeship and enrolled for a time within the newly formed Royal Academy . He earned his living as a journeyman engraver. Booksellers employed him to engrave illustrations for publications ranging from novels like Don Quixote to serials like Ladies’ Magazine.

One incident at now affected Blake deeply. In June of 1780 riots broke out in London incited by the anti-Catholic preaching of Lord George Gordon and by resistance to continued war against the American colonists. Houses, churches, and prisons were burned by uncontrollable mobs bent destruction. On one evening, whether intentionally or accidentally , Blake found himself at the front of the mob that burned Newgate prison. These images of violent destruction and unbridled revolution gave Blake powerful material for works like Europe (1794) and America (1793).

meg 01 british poetry; songs of innocence; songs of experience



Blake’s Songs of Innocence and knowledge (1794) juxtapose the innocent, pastoral world of childhood against an adult world of corruption and repression; while such poems as “The Lamb” represent a meek virtue, poems like “The Tyger” exhibit opposing, darker forces. Thus the gathering as a whole explores the price and limitations of two different perspectives on the earth . Many of the poems fall into pairs, so as that the same situation or problem is seen through the lens of innocence first then experience. Blake doesn't identify himself wholly with either view; most of the poems are dramatic—that is, within the voice of a speaker apart from the poet himself. Blake stands outside innocence and knowledge , during a distanced position from which he hopes to be able to recognize and proper the fallacies of both. especially , he pits himself against despotic authority, restrictive morality, sexual repression, and institutionalized religion; his great insight is into the way these separate modes of control work together to squelch what's most holy in citizenry .

The Songs of Innocence dramatize the naive hopes and fears that inform the lives of kids and trace their transformation because the kid grows into adulthood. variety of the poems are written from the attitude of kids , while others are about children as seen from an adult perspective. Many of the poems draw attention to the positive aspects of natural human understanding before the corruption and distortion of experience. Others take a more critical stance toward innocent purity: as an example , while Blake draws touching portraits of the emotional power of rudimentary Christian values, he also exposes—over the heads, because it were, of the innocent—Christianity’s capacity for promoting injustice and cruelty.

The Songs of Experience work via parallels and contrasts to lament the ways during which the tough experiences of adult life destroy what's good in innocence, while also articulating the weaknesses of the innocent perspective (“The Tyger,” as an example , attempts to account for real, negative forces within the universe, which innocence fails to confront). These latter poems treat virtue in terms of the repressive effects of jealousy, shame, and secrecy, all of which corrupt the ingenuousness of innocent love. With regard to religion, they're less concerned with the character of individual faith than with the institution of the Church, its role in politics, and its effects on society and thus the individual mind. Experience thus adds a layer to innocence that darkens its hopeful vision while compensating for a couple of of its blindness.



The style of the Songs of Innocence and knowledge is simple and direct, but the language and thus the rhythms are painstakingly crafted, and thus the ideas they explore are often deceptively complex. Many of the poems are narrative in style; others, like “The Sick Rose” and “The Divine Image,” make their arguments through symbolism or by means of abstract concepts. variety of Blake’s favorite rhetorical techniques are personification and thus the transforming of Biblical symbolism and language. Blake frequently employs the familiar meters of ballads, nursery rhymes, and hymns, applying them to his own, often unorthodox conceptions. this mixture of the traditional with the unfamiliar is consonant with Blake’s perpetual interest in reconsidering and reframing the assumptions of human thought and social behavior.

Songs of Experience allows Blake to be more direct in his criticism of society. He attacks church leaders, wealthy socialites, and cruel parents with equal vehemence. Blake also uses Songs of Experience to further develop his own personal theology , which was portrayed as mostly very traditional in Songs of Innocence. Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as precursors of the Romantic Age In Songs of Experience, Blake questions how we all know that God exists, whether a God who allows poor children to suffer and be exploited is really , good, and whether love can exist as an abstract concept apart from human interaction. Blake also hints at his belief in “free love” during this volume, suggesting that he would adore to dismantle the institution of marriage in conjunction with all other artificial restrictions on human freedom.



Both Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience contain poems that are interdependent. A critical reading of “The Lamb,” as an example , is impossible without also reading the “Introduction,” “The Shepherd,” and “Night” from Songs of Innocence. Its meaning is further deepened when reading “The Tyger” from Songs of Experience, and therefore the other way around .
Taken as a whole , Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience offer a romanticized yet carefully thought out view of nature, God, society, and religion from a selection of perspectives, ultimately demanding that the reader choose the view he or she finds most compelling from among the myriad voices of the poems Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as precursors of the Romantic Age.

William Blake published his second collection of poetry, Songs of Innocence, in 1789. He published it with the accompanying illustrative plates, a feat accomplished through an engraving and illustrating process of his own design. The publication of Songs of Innocence began his series of “Illuminated Books,” during which Blake combined text and visual artwork to understand his poetic effect. Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as precursors of the Romantic Age Blake always intended the poems of Songs of Innocence to be amid their respective illustrations, making analysis of the texts alone problematic sometimes .
Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as precursors of the Romantic Age While ostensibly about the naivety and simple innocent youth, Songs of Innocence isn't merely a group of verses for kids . Several of the poems include an ironic tone, and some, like “The Chimney Sweeper,” imply sharp criticism of the society of Blake’s time.
Although clearly intended as a celebration of kids and of their unadulterated enjoyment of the earth around them, Songs of Innocence is additionally a warning to adult readers. Innocence has been lost not simply through aging, but because the forces of culture have allowed a hope-crushing society to flourish, sometimes at the direct expense of children’s souls.



Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as precursors of the Romantic Age Songs of Experience followed five years later, bound with a reprinting and slight revision of Songs of Innocence. Songs of Experience has never been printed separately from the previous volume, and Blake intended it as a companion piece to the earlier work. the same method of engraving plates as an example the poems is used in Songs of Experience.

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