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Comparison between William Blake and Seamus Heaney.

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Comparison between William Blake and Seamus Heaney In this essay I will compare two internationally recognised poets, William Blake and Seamus Heaney. I will discuss their similarities and differences not in only just their writing, but also their everyday lives. William Blake was born in 1757 in London, where he lived practically all his life apart from three years at the beginning of the 19th century, where he lived in Felpham, near Bognor Regis in Sussex. He had no early education, but became student, studying art, at the Royal academy school in the early 1770s. He was, after this, apprenticed by a famous engraver, James Basire. Blake achieved some success with his engravings, but his true talent was held within his poetry, for which he is more famously known for today, along with his artistic work, particularly his large visionary water-colours illustrating the book of Job, and his 102 illustrations of Dante and his colour-printed drawings of biblical subjects. William grew up and lived in a religious background, which was heavily opposed to anything religiously forced, such as church, for example if one did not go to church they were not deemed to be religious at all, but Blake thought that religion was a path to freedom and peace. ...read more.


Seamus Heaney, on the other hand, lost one of his brothers when he was younger, which could have made Seamus sad for a long time, perhaps because he was close to this particular brother. However, not all the poems are sad, such as Infant Sorrow written by Blake. Infant Sorrow is a short, 2-versed poem, with couplets rhyming couplets right the way through. It is taken from a baby's point of view, as if it could talk, telling us that birth is an awful experience. I think Blake was attempting to introduce some humour into his poetry here, as if trying to say that an awful, forced birth is followed up by an awful, forced life. The poem is about a mother giving birth, with the father standing helplessly beside her. When she does give birth, the child talks about being completely defenceless. The author helps put the baby as if it were in a terrible position with words like "Helpless, piping loud, struggling, striving, bound and weary, and sulk." This poem is quite different from all of Blake's other poems which I have looked at, and is much more straight to the point than other poems, and is therefore difficult to create another scene from, as if using the birth as irony or something. ...read more.


This leads me to believe that the poem is taken from a child's point of view, like Infant Sorrow, and the temper is exaggerated to make it sound more like a young child than an adult. Another noticeable thing about this poem is that the last two lines rhyme like in Mid-Term Break, again trying to get the point across about the poem being sad. Unlike Heaney, Blake uses much more rhyming in his poetry. A poem which has a lot of rhyming in it would be "London". The poem is about a person walking through the poorer parts of London on a dark and gloomy night. The poem is not particularly sad, but it is still quite depressing. The poem rhymes in an ABAB type fashion. Blake seems to use his poetry to show his personal faith. This occurs in this poem in the third verse, where "Every black'ning church appals". The line is used after describing chimney-sweepers. The more obvious meaning is that the chimney-sweepers would have to clean out the chimney of the church. However there is another meaning. Blake uses "black'ning" to describe the church as bad and evil. Church was thought by Blake to be a forced method of religion and therefore he saw it as a time wasting and pointless experience. ...read more.

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