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Essay Question: With close reference to a range of poems comment on Blake's presentation and/or use of the natural world in "songs of innocence and experience'.

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Essay Question: With close reference to a range of poems comment on Blake's presentation and/or use of the natural world in "songs of innocence and experience'. William Blake's use of the natural world in his poetry is used to exemplify the harsh reality he was living in. In the songs of 'Innocence' and 'Experience', the use or presentation of the natural world is used to emphasise main points or features and to provide contrast necessary to direct the reader to Blake's view on world issues. Blake's poems possess personification, and carefully chosen language and meter to support his attitudes and feelings of the day, the oppression by the monarchy. To present his ideas, Blake uses adopts two personas, the bard and the piper, which are used to show the two contrary states of the human soul. In 'The Tiger' (experience) and 'The Lamb' (innocence), Blake examines different, almost opposite or contradictory ideas about the natural world, its creatures and their creator. In 'The Tiger', Blake points out the contrast between these two animals: the tiger is fierce, active, predatory, while the lamb is meek, vulnerable and harmless. ...read more.


manacles"; he relates that every man's face contains "Marks of weakness, marks of woe"; and he discusses the "every cry of every Man" and "every Infant's cry of fear." He connects marriage and death by referring to a "marriage hearse" and describes it as "blighted with plague." He also talks about "the hapless Soldier's sigh" and the "youthful Harlot's curse" and describes "blackening Churches" and palaces running with blood ("London"). 'London' and many of Blake's other works dealing with a similar theme, particularly those from the Songs of Experience, strike a particular nerve for those who are living in a society where the cost of living compared with income is steadily increasing, where frightening diseases are becoming increasingly common, and where the public are becoming increasingly disillusioned about the reliability and trustworthiness of politicians. These works resonate for a generation which has to deal with exponentially increasing population problems and with rapidly increasing demands on our immigration facilities and resources. They strike a special chord with a nation that, due to the aforementioned problems, the rise of violent crime, and other considerations, is rapidly desensitising itself to the "marks of weakness, marks of woe" that we are becoming accustomed to seeing on the faces of passers-by on the street. ...read more.


A Poison Tree tells how anger can be dispelled by goodwill or nurtured to become a deadly poison. The opening stanza is among the most deceptively simple and memorable of all Blake's lyrics: the form of each is grammatically the same, but substituting four words wholly alters the meaning, from the ending of anger with the "friend" to the continuing anger with the "foe". Blake does not tell us what is growing but it is evidently a plant of some kind: the real "fears" and "tears" are what metaphorically waters the plant-encourages hatred, and "smiles" and "deceitful wiles" are as the sunshine which makes it grow. The rhythm in this poem is simplistic like a nursery rhyme, but reveals more complex issues. Once again Blake uses a simple metaphor of the natural world that has a more deep psychological truth in that it depicts the hatred in which man is capable. In Blake's imaginative universe, through the use of the natural world and literary technique, is able to present his ideas of the harsh reality he is living in and the issues involved more than effectively to the reader. ...read more.

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