English 430: Literature & the Visual Arts

October 1, 2009

The Symbiosis of Blake

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — vegajaneth @ 3:38 am

Erdman stated in his introduction that the poetry in Blakke could stand alone but the images and illustrations could not stand by themselves. Honestly, if Blake’s images were to stand alone they would be recreated by the spectator who sees them. In a sense, every time aspectator  consumes an image, he/she recreates what is seen through the use of the imagination. However, by combining these images with text, Blake is able to create something completely new. Both text and image are able to benefit from each other. It seems that both put together give each other a new way of affecting the reader/spectator. The image lends its features, its cathartic power to the text and the text defines the image.

While I was looking at the images in the archive, I couldnt help thinking of that first exercise we did in class in which we were given an image we had to define. The image became whatever our imagination wanted it to be. However, as soon as the text was introduced, the image becae defined and, in a sense, limited because we no longer felt the need to play with our imagination. In Blake’s case, we can say his images arelimited by the text. However, the text also morphs into something much more emotionally loaded when linked to these images. They exist togeyher as a whole. We cant look at Blake’s images by themselves and try to recreate them because they are linked to the text and  what they are as images is connected to the text. We can say the text introducces it to the temporal. It is now limited by the temporal.

The text is said to stand on its own and it is true that it can stand on its own. However, what is left standing is not the same as what we  see when it is accompanied by Blake’s artwork. The text itself is a whole different artform because it produces in the individual another kind of effect. The text is no longer limited by the space of the visual. It is no longer enclosed within the images and illustrations. Consequently, the text can be free to be visually recreated by the mind ofthe reader.

Yes, we see a symbiosis in Blake’s artwork, and we can understand why it is important to present his work as he originally intenededit to be. Both, image and text, contribute to each other, creating a whole new way of expressing ideas and feelings. They benefit from  each other. Taken serparately, they will be different. Put together, they are the consummation of Blake’s desire to express his ideas and feelings. They embody the symbiosis that exist within Blake himself: the man who is a poet and the man who is an artist.

Blake a Blessed Marriage

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — mpoverly @ 12:22 am

For years I have enjoyed William Blake’s poetry but never to the extent of this digital read of Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. It seems ironic that generations have enjoyed printed versions of Blake’s poetry without these delightful illustrations and now in this new digital era we are finally able to enjoy them together in this ‘blessed marriage’ the creator intended…or did he? It gives one pause when we consider that he originated each copy of his “Illuminated Books”, in order to “guarantee the direct communication of the author’s original and final ‘invention’ and ‘illumination’ to the fortunate reader and spectator of each original copy” this according to David V. Erdman in his “’introdction’ to the Illuminated Blake”. I wonder if the artifact of the actual book, the paper and the binding, is part of what Blake wanted the “fortunate reader and spectator” to experience?

It is easy to agree with Erdman that “Blake’s marriage of painting and poetry is meant to be enjoyed together,” (108) however what makes this a truly wonderful union is that he gives them both, (the “painting and poetry”) sturdy legs to stand alone. And stand alone they do beautifully as I would gamble that his poetry alone is the way the majority enjoy Blake on their first go around. Still, Erdman is definitely on to something when he says that Blake’s “text frequently incorporate images of delineation and coloring while his illustrations frequently incorporate images of thinking and writing” (109). This is why they stand so well separately and yet brilliantly together.

As for how he accomplished such beauty, with copper plates that he had to write and draw images upon backwards, I can not imagine, however the knowing of his efforts makes the artistic endeavor even more innovative and appreciated. It is no wonder why he is said to have never made it out far from London in his lifetime, no doubt this kept him extremely busy! It is difficult to imagine that he was largely unrecognized in his lifetime for his poetry much less his visual arts. I believe Blake was accurate in his self identification as both an “author and printer” but more that he was and is “a phenomenon worthy of public attention.” Thanks to the Blake Archive on-line this is now more possible than ever. Blake was a true visionary and his use of images and poetry each claiming the opposition that is the force of it’s very being is unique and “one gets easily into the habit of seeing all marrying contraries as contained each in the other” as Erdman ‘protests’ and I adore. Perhaps the book and the internet are simply contraries that contain each in the other?

September 30, 2009

Paint by Letter

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — chs79 @ 11:56 pm

As compared to the writer whose efforts shape thoughts and images into words to be set by journeyman printers, Blake felt the advantage and the responsibility of a process that allowed words to grow into vines and fruit and human forms, or into caves and forests and beasts of prey or comfort; into emblematic dramas or visions in human form, into sons and daughters shaking their bright fiery wings.

(Erdman p. 109)

As I began to read through our version of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, I found myself squinting at the plates themselves and trying to read the text off of the illuminations instead of as isolated text on the page.  The experience was completely different and it seems almost criminal to require somebody to experience these poems without the images.  Text and image are too intertwined to be separated such that text becomes image even as it remains text.  The deliberate intent to commingle the two can be seen in the layout of the plates.  In some, such as “The Chimney Sweeper” (plate 12), “Holy Thursday” (plate 19), “On Another’s Sorrow” (plate 27), “A Little Boy Lost” (plate 50), and “A Little Girl Lost” (plate 51), the words crowd the page, devouring almost the entire space, desperately cramped for room.  It would be easy to dismiss this as Blake simply…well…running out of space and being unwilling to compromise the text to fit the space.  In looking at those plates in isolation, one might even be able to argue that Blake valued the text above the image and that there really is no difference between reading the text like this http://books.google.com/books?id=oKJSZXmIEeQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=related:ISBN159986844X&source=gbs_similarbooks_s&cad=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false and reading it with the accompanying illuminations.

That argument falls apart though in light of plate 22-23 (“Spring”), plates 34-36 (“The Little Girl Lost” and “The Little Girl Found”), and plate 43 (“My Pretty Rose Tree,”  “Ah! Sun-Flower,” and “The Lilly”).  Plates 22-23 could easily have fit on a single plate.  The fact that Blake chose to stretch the words out and allow the images to both dominate (as the mother/child scene does at the top of plate 22) and to infringe upon (as is the case with the vines in both plate 22 and plate 23) the text demonstrates that images and the interplay between word and image meant something.   Plate 34-36 demonstrate this even more clearly where the text is hopelessly cramped in a way that subordinates it to the image and makes demands of the reader with respect to the meaning on the two poems laid out on the plates.  Blake could have easily given the text for “The Little Girl Lost” more room to breathe if he had simply given it the entire two plates and begun “The Little Girl Found” on a new plate.  He did this with countless other poems.  The fact that he very intentionally didn’t do that here demands that the reader take notice.  The same is true of the three poems on plate 43.  Anyone looking to argue that Blake was just looking to save space would have to reconcile that argument with the collection as a whole, particularly instances like plate 5 (“The Shepherd”) and plate 6 (“The Ecchoing Green”) that, by that argument, could have easily been combined.

The poems and the artwork are both beautiful.  Just like it is unimaginable for somebody to suggest that the plates be presented with the text excised in order to display just the “image,” it is equally inconceivable to imagine why anyone would try to present the poems in isolation.

Blake’s Songs

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — brandonpostal @ 5:53 pm

Blake William was an artist of a level rarely seen, equivalent to a combination of our best poets mixed with our best storytellers. While his art and prose may seem a bit simplistic to us, one must keep in mind the time in which he crafted his stories, and the overall quality of stories and images in the time. Also, including the technology he had to use in order to create the woodblocks to print the images, this shows his dedication to his craft. How he worked in order to create art that wasn’t completely for himself, shows what he wanted to do for society, he wanted to change it so greatly that he worked intensely in order to create art with very slow technology. Furthermore, the level of quality in comparison to the rest of the art in the time, was superb, and the fact that the prose was of the same quality, is astounding.

It would have been enough that his art was well made, but his prose was also well crafted, and beyond that, it goes together perfectly with his art, and fits in with the ideas of ekphrasis. His explanations of his scenes are shown in a way that would easily help those of the time understand his meanings. His work would have shown the people what it means to live without the pressures of laws of society. The imagery of the time would have also contrasted with society, and his prose about innocence and related drawings shows that he was different from mainstream society, even so far as to say he bucked societies’ trends. However, at the time he was not known for what he did, so what he did ended up being a vain attempt to change peoples views ineffectively.

Overall, what Blake tried to do for society and the work he put into it, shows both his dedication and talent for his art. The simple, yet detailed drawings, combined with his textual accounts lead to a form of art that worked to change the people of the time. While it may not have worked at the time, as his work was a complete flop, it did eventually lead to a successful look at the past culture of Europe, and more importantly, the prose that was written. It is a detailed look of ekphrasis and how pictures and writings can be symbiotic, and work together to try to show innocence, as well as express his views on the world.

William Blake, a Revolutionary in a Revolutionary Time

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — hammonds1 @ 4:43 pm

Michael Hammonds

Professor Hatfield

English 430

1 October 2009


William Blake, at the wake of the French Revolution and revolutions in  America and Ireland, published a group of poems that celebrated the  “Innocence” of life, the simple joys of Nature and the human spirit.  At this time of political and social unrest, Blake had been creating his “illuminations” of poem and painting etched onto a copper-plate. The  French Revolution, had just begun by the  storming of the Bastille by the third estate, the peasants and lower class who had suffered for many years from poverty and repression and the  deprivation of personal rights and opportunities for financial and social prosperity.  The French leader Louie the XVI had the chance to hear the pleas and concerns of the “third estate” and offer them more participation in  government at the Estates General Meeting, but chose not to and led the way toward the overthrow of his government.  Rather, the King chose to tax the people  in trying improve the  financial woes of the country. So, the people started rioting in Paris, and in 1789, the year of  Songs of Innocence and Experience,  the revolution began and established a new government based on the document “Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizens” and eventually executing Louie in 1794.   Coincidently, the start of the French Revolution symbolically represents the beginning of the Romantic movement of literature and art that Blake perfectly exemplified  along with the other Romantic poets  like Wordsworth, Byron and Shelley.  By focusing on the imagination and creativity of the artist, Blake showed  a “new sense of individuality and freedom” (Wikipedia) as shown by his insightful and powerful poems and the overthrow of powerful empire as seen in the American  and French revolution .

 In looking at his poems  in the light of  the social turbulence and the focus of individual rights and freedoms, “Innocence” carries this  same energy of individual creativity through Blake’s “laborious” creations  of poem and painting. The meaning of “Innocence”  as it is defined in the Encarta dictionary is the “state of not being guilty of a crime”, ”freedom from sin or evil” and  “a lack of experience of the world, especially when this results in failure to recognize the harmful intentions of other people” (Encarta Dictionary).  This definition freedom and outlook on the goodness of people apply to Blake’s   “Songs” that were intended to display the spiritual and natural freedom and joy of youth and wise elderly.  Blake painted a world through his words and pictures in “Songs of Innoncence” that are uncontaminated  by a  civilized, rigid and structured and conquering world.  He imagined a freer and energetic  side of humans of  young people before they  transitioned into adults who become aware of financial and worldly problems  and sexuality.  Youth is represented as that  “innocence” of the world and the possibilities as they gather together in the forest outside the city, the symbol of experience that is evil.  Their development into adults is a symbol that leads to selfishness and cruelty in the world that is evident in Songs of Experience represented by the institutions of society that have failed.

  He  expresses in these poems  images of   life forms  of the forest such as birds, Lambs ,  flowers and  trees and the warmth of the sun during the season of Spring  Time and youthful play and song enjoying the gifts of God.

                                The Sun does arise,

                                And make happy the skies,

                                The merry bells ring

                                To welcome the spring.

                                The sky-lark and thrush,

                                The birds of the bush   (Pl 6 The Echoing Green)


Blake paints these images in a surreal, dreamlike form  accompanying the poems of simple but striking words and rhythms.  The paintings are soft, warm and pastoral often showing  people in  forests or the outdoors where people encounter the warmth of the sun, the push of the wind, and smell of the trees and flowers and the visions a rainbow of colors and greens.  The combination of the poem and illustration exudes a feeling of wellbeing and joy that are brought about by  God’s presence and his  gifts of nature.  God is described as a gentle, forgiving and loving and as he draws attention to the freedom and appreciation of goodness. 

                                For he calls himself a Lamb:

                                He is meek and he is mild,

                                He became a little child:

I a child & thou a lamb,

We are called by his name  (Pl. 8 The Lamb)


God is also compared  to the Sun that warms the earth each day and produces life and  provides goodness to a world that is racked with injustices with minorities as the Little Black Boy or classification of people of “the have and have nots”.

                                Look on the rising sun: there God does live.

                                And gives his light, and gives his heat away

                                And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive

                                Comfort in morning joy in the noon day. (Pl. 9 The Little Black Boy)


God is portrayed as  giving by his light and warmth regardless of  race or class of people and  encouraging people to use these “beams of love” to offer  sustenance and peace to others  less fortunate.  Blake was very preoccupied with the social injustice of the time.  He witnessed unhappy people in just in his community of London and read about people all around the world without fundamental needs,  neglected  by irresponsible governments and churches failing in their duties and commissions by God.  The picture,  poem  illumination of “The Little Black Boy” has a comforting appearance of shadowy images of a mother and child under a protective tree with a solid trunk and large canopy of leaves to provide shelter.  All this is illuminated by  either the setting sun’s rays or rising sun bringing hope to everyone, no matter of their skin color;  what is the heart  that counts.  “And I am black, but O! my soul is white, White as an angle is the English child”; (Pl.9)  White representing goodness and darkness evil where white people appear good but contain “black” souls of evil.   The sun symbolizes God’s goodness and the mother child represent all people of the world that have the right to his love and goodness of individual rights.

                Pictorially, God also appears as a father in a “white glow”, as  a bright light in the “The Little Boy Found” who rescues a lost boy in the dark  “fen” or low swampy land that could have been the cause of his  drowning.            Blake continues to fills his poems with natural images of the land, “woods”, “green wood’s”, dimpling stream”, the air, “green hills”, “meadows,” “grass hopper”, “painted Birds” all personified in human joy and happiness of what the world can be of what the individual’s dream and imaginations of infinite possibilities.  With the gentleness of God and his redeeming qualities and gifts of Mercy, Peace, Pity and love that  are drawn  in God’s nature but exemplified in human appearance and actions. 

                                For Mercy has a human heart

                                Pity, a human face:

                                And Love, the human form divine,

                                And Peace, the human dress. (Pl. 18 The Divine Image)

Blake’s goes onto point out these godlike qualities and actions encompass throughout the world without distinctions of race or nationality, a Romantic and Ecumenistic approach to the welfare and wellbeing of humankind.  Blake unifies these healing words with the waving bean stalk reaching for the sky with personages of angel like, with people inclined immobile upon the earth with a Spirit giving them strentht to raise above the worlds repressions upward on the plant with people upright and almost in flight.

                Blake was aware of the human potential of goodness and God like nature and actions, but also aware of evil in the world in the form materialism and selfish manmade structures and institutions that have lost their intention of good but have acted as form of repression of the human spirit.  This is the same as Jesus was fighting against the pharisaic institution that was hypocritical and detrimental to the spiritual welfare of the people they serve.

                In “London”, plate 46, the piper sees the atrocities of the civilized London occurring every day.  Misery abounds in the “faces” of its citizenry in their ignorance, poverty, fear, and the outrage of Church and State failure to bring the comfort to these people.  He saw how “the church” ignores the poor and dangerous conditions and existence of young chimney sweepers, in jeopardy of death as they clean the precarious chimneys of London, breathing in dangerous fumes of coal dust and soot.  And the State Government sacrificing  youth in wars around the world for selfish purposes of increasing their empire and gaining glory among nations.  The “fused” picture shows an elderly man hobbling behind a young boy who is apparently leading him into a room with a stream of light bearing down on them amongst the cobblestones and walls of the city around them.  On the bottom of the picture a little girl is warming herself with a fire inside it appears to be a cave or under a bridge that many people lived in those days of homelessness.

                The poem strikes at you with words of “cry” “appalls”, “soldiers sigh” “runs as blood”: blasts” and “plagues” ending in the words “Marriage hearse”, an oxymoron where the first word is symbol of two lives joining into one with the beginning of more lives to become, but juxtaposed with the vehicle that transports the dead  to the final destination of the cemetery.  Its’ interesting how such direct words and stark images are thrust upon the reader as innocent lives go on living trying to survive in an evil of “experienced” people and world- A world without Pity, Love, peace, Mercy” that can stop the senseless slaughter of youthful lives in futile wars, and provide for the elderly and orphans to better their lives and live with dignity and comfort.             The symbol of the birds and the forest and the noble trees are nowhere to be seen in the Songs of Experience.  The representatives of the peace, frivolity, and happiness.  They are divorced from the poem as well as the symbols in the painting.  What Blake gives us are suppressed people contorted in their pain and chains of imprisonment spiritually and physically.

                In the Songs of Experiences  Blake continues to criticize the organized churches for  taking out the goodness, and spirit the people have with rules and restriction that Jesus was trying to rid of with the Pharisees with  their rules.  Jesus accuses the Pharisees of driving the people away form God rather than helping them,  piling on weights on their back.  Blake in “the Little Vagabond” wishes the church to imitate the “pubs” that are filled with warmth of the fire place and soothing ale and joyful song and thankfulness.  Then, Blake says, the people would go to  church more often and celebrate as the youth and old people do in the Songs of Innocence.

                                But if at the Church they would give us some Ale,

                                And a pleasant fire, our souls to regale:

                                We’d sing and we’d pray all the live-long day:

                                Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.  (Pl. 45)

The images of the “little Vagabond “are similar to the “London” plates with two people above the pictorial,  an elderly and young person, but rather than the youth leading the crippled old man toward the door of warmth and protection, the youth is comforted by an elderly man that looks like God shining with a halo.  Also, the “Vagabond” picture  appears to be in the woods but with just the trunks of the trees showing.  Underneath the poem just like the London Poem, there is a figure  warming themselves with a fire but appears to be a family and in the open air rather than under a structure.  The scene is comforting just like the “London” poem is, but more so in the “The Vagabond” with the symbol of strong trees in the background and a healthy older man that is hugging a naked youth who is hunched over with pain and helplessness.  The bottom scene appears to be a family, with the father in the forefront with the wife and children in background next to a blazing fire and appears that they are homeless and are living in the woods.

                The connection between the signs of the times of individual and class expression and exhilarating forms of artistic creativity and expression ties well with the illuminations of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience.  The concerns are vocalized whether in riots and citizen demonstrations or biting words and phrases and imaginative human forms in expressive emotions but the outcome is rising of the human spirit.  Their ideas have been expressed and manifested through political action or expressions of words of infinite promises that have been promised long before human domination of the world and others but a provider that has accompanied humans since their beginnings.  Blake’s is tapping into that source that is rich with goodness, and healing powers that are represented by the youth that is a mirror of the how humans used to be when they relied on God.

“Blake’s Marriage of Painting and Poetry”

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — mojde @ 4:11 pm

David V. Erdman in “Introduction” to the Illuminated Blake says: “…with the bride and groom of Blake’s marriage of painting and poetry will enable us to share with the perfect happiness promised by Blake’s art”. (p 108)

Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Exprience is a innovation of combination of painting and poetry. Each poem stands alone and each painting with its own unique symbolism stands alone, but both together makes it a unit to understand. Since the original copies of the painting and poetry the way Blake himself illustrated it’s hard to read the book is reproduced and typed for easy read. Poems are typed in one page and illustration in the other. By reading the poems without seeing the pictures the reader can have different feeling and understanding unless familiar with Blake’s work. Poems in the illustrations has Blakes’s unique voice that talks to the reader. This combination reminds me of “painting a silent poetry, poetry a speaking picture”. Now we have poetry and painting to talk together: they live together like married couple: they become silent together.

The question that whether his poetry or designs are more important and which one comes first is nicely answered in his comment to Dawson Turner “who wanted the pictures without writing”. I totally believe that poems without the designs means “the loss of some of the best things”. By understanding the symbolism used in his designs and by having a close look to the way they prints and the pictures are aligned each word and each line of the painting has a different meaning. For example the alignment of a small figure by the I in the word Innocence in the title page (which is hardly visible in our version of the book), using of birds to symbolize the innocence, and in general innocence and experience for contrary states of human soul which are  shown in different figurative.

Blake: Visionary and Destroyer of Fences

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — corricrystal @ 3:59 pm

Lessing believes that painting and poetry should not be intermingled, and that they should literally be fenced off from one another; in contrast, Blake believes that combining the two art forms leads to a deeper understanding and experience for the reader. Blake’s illuminated plates and poetry contain revolutionary ideas that are brilliantly expressed both verbally and visually.

During the French Revolution forward thinking authors such as Paine, Godwin, and Wollstencraft make direct arguments against the oppression of slaves, women, and children; although, Blake makes the same arguments he does so indirectly by using allegory and allusion in his poetry and painting. Visions of the Daughters of Albion attacks all of the fore mentioned issues with one fell swoop of his quill and paint brush. He also attacks the sexual morality of the day and opposes Burke’s notion of supporting the status quo. Visions of the Daughters of Albion is about things we see but cannot acknowledge, such as rape. Blake believes that rape is not an issue because it does not exist; whereas, Blake acknowledges that it does occur and speaks to the hypocrisy of society. Blake, through his artistic work, attempts to show that women, slaves, and children are appallingly mistreated, and that there must be change.

Blake believes that one of the primary causes of this mistreatment is the Church. He is a radical Christian who opposes the religious doctrines of the Church of England. Blake’s harsh criticism of Anglicanism is evident in such poems as “London”, “Holy Thursday”, and “The Human Abstract”. He also opposes the tyranny of Monarchy, primogeniture, and class coded rules. Blake believes that clothes are indicators of class and rank; therefore, he rebels by literally freeing himself of these societal constraints. He lives in a naked home with his naked wife, Catherine. Perhaps they even have a naked dog.

 In The Songs of Innocence and Experience: Showing the Two Contrary States of the Soul, Blake once again juxtaposes his temporal and spatial art in a magnificent display of artistic expression. Each plate is different and represents diverse ideas and possible interpretations. He does so purposely to encourage many interpretations and debate. Blake writes a letter to a friend expressing his desire for readers to escape the tyranny of “single vision and Newtons sleep”. He opposes logical and rational thinking, and believes we must stop this linear thought process and tap into our imagination. Only then can we truly evolve and resolve the oppressiveness of society.

Ultimately, Blake tears down Lessing’s fences with visionary might, and creates a wonderfully unique, never to be duplicated, “marriage of painting and poetry” (Erdman 108); as a result, the literary and artistic worlds have never been the same, and we are better for it.

Between Good and Evil

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — Sochy @ 3:55 pm

The greatest and most complex questions in this world are explored in a rather childlike way — though you would never dare claim this after reading it, because William Blake does so artfully and with great beauty.

Blake’s poems take on the similar form of a nursery rhyme with its tone, format, and questioning. Though, he quickly establishes a binary opposition within his poem with the images and words that he utilizes. The format juxtapose against the language certainly creates an estrangement in the work. The reader then is in a state of uncertainty between a dream world and reality. In fact, Blake does this throughout his pieces. Creating interplay between the purity of this world and what lies outside of that.

His language is a large sweeping brushstroke that contains imagery of the bible, youth, and goodness – yet the underlying theme is always that of the suppression of these things. Clearly there’s the division of the poems into categories of innocence and experience, but even the poems contained in the innocence section seem to have a darker undercurrent that is beyond a nursery rhyme, and when placed in opposition to the other poems become more evident. It’s well crafted, because the implication is clear. What is unstated is brought forth by this control of inner meaning. It is this kind of tension that works well to create uncertainty and doubt which speak to the nature of truth that the poet is trying to achieve. Even in the less distinguishable poems addressing darkness — Blake evokes a beauty, a beauty unseen, and that is beyond the physical or known.

The artwork attempts to do the same, and though small does reach points of such beauty. The painting of THE LITTLE BLACK BOY for example places a little boy with a woman in a simple landscape scene with nothing more than trees framing the duo. Yet, the golden distant background and simple gesture of his hand pointing help evoke feelings of the child’s goodness and naivety that is present in the poem. The adult figure in the poem offers a less hopeful glimpse as a subtle downward gaze and defeated stance stand contrary to the presence of the child (this was not evident in the poem). Yet, she is there for him. As the poem also points out she is the one who has taught this child about God’s love and offered the opportunity for him to understand the magnitude of God’s love, and for this child to know God in this way that he has. In the painting her character becomes a little more dynamic, but both point to her as a representation of what selfless love is and is capable of. Her love allowed for her child to know God’s love.

Blake’s lyrical lines in his poetry are easy to fall in love with – the paintings because of their size — are easy to be ignored. However, with a longer gaze they are just as lovely. Their simplicity yet thoughtfulness reach through in their small gestures. Blake’s words are large, his paintings small, and his ideas, everything in between.

Socheata San

The author and printer within Blake…

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — fabs11 @ 2:43 pm

“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.” ~William Blake~

William Blake is an artist who truly changed poetry and painting within itself. He wanted to tell a story not only with words, but with pictures as well.  He married the two in such a way that there could never be a wrong. Blake’s love for creating art was supported by his family and they knew his creations weren’t like any others. He knew that the sky wasn’t the limit and took art into his own world. Blake used his beliefs and his interpratation of life to redeem himself that only the spectator can fully understand. He was able to show that in his words and illustrations of Songs of Innocence and of Experience.

In reading Blake’s genius work of Innocence and Experience, I knew he wasn’t the same as any other artist. Blake took the meaning of art and completely changed the definition. He personified himself as an arist and that’s what he based his life around.  To him, art was his way of living, feeling, and expressing. He created a different form of painting throughc olor printing relief etchings. Blake was able to tell a story with the richness of color in both his words and pictures. Looking and reading his creations allowed
me to have the utmost respect. The delicate, patience, percisiviness of the words and pictures showed how much Blake truly lived through his art.  
What I truly loved is the separation of innocence and experience. In a way, it was relatable. We, as humans, go through a stage of innocence and then over the years we have shifted into someone completely different. Someone with life experience. Blake was able to tell the story of innocence and experience through his belief of the body of God and through his imagination of humans. He used, “soul and body,female and male, father and child” to walk us through his words.

“The pictures when printed perfect accompany poetical personification and acts. Without which poems they never could have been executed.”

Blake’s art wasn’t always appreciated. His radical views on life really brought along some crucial criticiscm but over time it was seen as some of the greatest works.  There’s no doubt in my mind that Blake’s work will be inspiring from here on out.  Blake is here to stay.

I enjoyed these the most:



When the voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.
“Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away,
Till the morning appears in the skies.”

“No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all covered with sheep.”
“Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.”
The little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed,
And all the hills echoed.



In futurity
I prophetic see
That the earth from sleep
(Grave the sentence deep)

Shall arise and seek
For her maker meek;
And in the desart wild
Become a garden mild.

* * *

In the southern clime,
Where the summer’s prime
Never fades away,
Lovely Lyca lay.

Seven summers old
Lovely Lyca told;
She had wander’d long
Hearing wild birds’ song.

“Sweet sleep, come to me
Underneath this tree.
Do father, mother weep,
Where can Lyca sleep?

“Lost in desart wild
Is your little child.
How can Lyca sleep
If her mother weep?

“If her heart does ake
Then let Lyca wake;
If my mother sleep,
Lyca shall not weep.

“Frowning, frowning night,
O’er this desart bright
Let thy moon arise
While I close my eyes.”

Sleeping Lyca lay
While the beasts of prey,
Come from caverns deep,
View’d the maid asleep.

The kingly lion stood
And the virgin view’d,
Then he gamboll’d round
O’er the hollow’d ground.

Leopards, tygers, play
Round her as she lay,
While the lion old
Bow’d his mane of gold.

And her bosom lick,
And upon her neck
From his eyes of flame
Ruby tears there came;

While the lioness
Loos’d her slender dress,
And naked they convey’d
To caves the sleeping maid.



~Fabiola Franco~

the tyger and the lamb

Filed under: Ch. 6 (Blake),OUR JOURNAL — rmeenay @ 1:46 pm

Within William Blake’s, “The Tyger”, the tiger represents the more fearful side of God.  Blake writes: “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” (21), demonstrating the idea that perhaps the Creator of the lamb was similarly the Creator of the tiger.  The idea that the tiger demonstrates the more fearful side of God is best demonstrated in the description of the tiger himself: What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? What dread grasp? Dare its deadly terrors clasp?” (13-16) These images depict a tiger that is both fearsome and powerful.  Only a powerful and fearsome God could have created the tiger in all of its ferocity.

Paired with darker side of God and the creation of the world is Blakes poem, “The lamb”. The lamb expresses the idea that if such a murderous, powerful creature could exist simultaneous as the lamb, then there must be a God that is even more powerful that created it. In contrast, his poem “The Lamb,” also referring to God, Blake illustrates the different sides of God: the benign and gentle lamb with the dangerous, omnipotent tiger. Together “the lamb” and “the tiger” show that there is the good side of the world that everyone gives God credit for (the lamb) but there is also a darker side that the same God has to be responsible for.

Blake’s illustrations for his poetry are very visual and a clear representation. The tiger is in its natural habitat, alone, fearsome, but clearly powerful. Which ties together with the fearful side of God, while the lamb drawing offers tranquility and serenity. Both God’s creations, yet the images within these two poems give away the function of the poem: one the fierce side the other tame.

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