• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What have you understood, from reading the poems of William Blake?

Extracts from this document...


Amna Abdelrahim What have you understood, from reading the poems of William Blake? William Blake, a late 18th century English Romantic poet uses traditional forms for his poetry in that he blends the ballad, the nursery rhyme and the hymn. The meaning he constructs from these forms however is far from traditional. His style was to express very complex ideas in very simple language and compressing a lot of deep meaning into often very short poems. Blake was a rebel and was over enjoyed when the French revolution liberated the repressed underclass. He wanted social equality but the industrial revolution just widened the gap between the rich and the poor. He often criticised the Establishment, especially the Church, for its hypocrisy and he was against things that prevented the human spirit from being free, therefore he disliked the rulings of kings and priests. All that surrounded him had an influence on his poetry. His poems are separated into innocence and experience, both opposites as Innocence has the sounds of laughter and joy the images of simplicity, children being protected, unthreatening animals like the birds and the lamb also beauty of nature, the roses and the non scary daylight, brightness and sunshine reflecting the creator's warm love. Next, experience which is something which you bring to yourself as time passes; here we hear sounds of crying, weeping, sighing and cursing. ...read more.


'Under leaves so green', 'skylark ad thrush', 'birds of the bush', 'green hill', 'grasshopper laughs', 'Besides, in the sky the little birds fly', ''And the hills are all cover'd with sheep.'' Nature is such a beautiful and innocent state and by using it Blake paints a visual picture with his words, which helps the reader grasp that image ideally to suit a specific poem. In 'The Laughing Song', he paints a rural scene, a vivid image of woodland and a countryside setting ideal for this type of poem. Comparing both "The Chimney sweeper" from Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, the poems are both similar in subject with Blake using `The Chimney Sweep" in both to emphasise the miserable urban life of a chimney sweep during the industrial revolution. Appearing in both poems is the rhyming pattern of aabb, abab and four beat line rhythms producing the effect of a children's song, this is a technique used to accentuate innocence of the poem. The two poems are also similar that in which are being told from a child's point of view display one important difference. In the `innocence' poem the child is unaware of the implications that the story he is telling beholds. Where as in "experience" the child is a streetwise child of the slums creating a darker tone. ...read more.


Blake can thunder with the best, but he an also say no so quietly and subtly that the reader does not realize quite how much is being subverted. As a teenager living in today's society I can still relate to Blake's work and the meanings of his poetry it makes me think about the beauty of creation. I understand the magnitude of innocence and experience. His poems are inspirational and it captures one's imagination. It captures the innocence of the time it was written in. I have learnt about the two opposite natures and the different states of being, it shows you how the times have changed and today's children have many more rights, but nature in all its excellence and beauty is still there and will never change. It portrays realism and the hardship that not only the children of that time had to face but all the poor, under privileged people. He captured his time using realism and the drudgery. He shows us unspoilt innocence and its saddening and moving how innocence can never last! Although Blake was not very well known throughout his life, he became a part of history creating some of the most passionate poetry of all time. He was an artist of great ability creating amazing pieces of work with profound simplicity encouraging and inspiring people around the world. Exercising the minds of many of us still to this day! ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Blake section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Blake essays

  1. William Blake is a social critic of his time. Who does he criticise and ...

    Still in Tom's dream and it is where he is having the time of his life, now with no soot, he is nice and clear. The Angel told Tom, '...if he'd be a good boy, He'd have God for his father and never want joy,' this means that he does

  2. How does William Blake portray children and childhood in his poetry? Discuss with references ...

    Blake has replaced it with question marks. He starts to question things 'can it be a song of joy' this makes the reader more tense, that same as the effect of the irregular rhyme scheme. As the rhyme scheme is not certain and predictable then reader won't be sure of it, unlike in songs of innocence.

  1. The Analysis of William Blake's 'The Tyger and the lamb'.

    the Tyger and on the literal level asking 'who actually made your heart beat?' The reinforcement of the strength of the creator comes with the use of the word 'sinews' and then of the dexterity in word 'heart'. The next two lines are saying on a literal level 'when you were made what hand or foot dare make you?

  2. Nurse's Song by William Blake

    In the "Experience" version of "Nurse's Song" the reader feels a distinctly bitter tone given off by the nurse.

  1. Write about 'The Lamb' and 'The Tiger' by William Blake. Explain how the poet ...

    Revolution, and in the midst of political revolutions all over Europe and in America. As we look at his work we must in some way forget many of the ideas about creativity, artists, and human nature that we take for granted today, and re-imagine them for the first time as, perhaps, Blake did himself.

  2. Compare and contrast the two poems 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' by William Blake.

    The two poems have very different structures. 'The Tyger' has quite a complex rhythm and stanzas, whereas 'the lamb' is simple because it only has two verses. In 'The Lamb' there are two verses. Verse one asks a series of questions, asking whether the lam knows who created it "little lamb who made thee, dost thou know who made thee?"

  1. William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.

    What the poem is saying is that this worm of hatred is burrowing into the love and the joy of the world, destroying it and spoiling it. It is difficult really to interpret this poem because it does not really mean much more than what I have said.

  2. William Blake- subject, language and form

    Control is constantly mentioned throughout the poem. For example in the first stanza "chartered" is mentioned which means governed by law. It clearly says in the second line that the Thames is chartered which is impossible because you can't control a river.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work