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

William Blake Poems

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience" appears to be very simplistic on first reading. Explain how the poems are in fact a much more complex exploration of Blake's beliefs and times. William Blake was born in London in 1757. He was home educated and was part of the upper working class as his father was a hosier. He was sent to a drawing school and was a dissenting Christian. His Christian beliefs are reflected in several of his poems. Blake became married in 1783 and married for love rather than money and status. To understand his poems fully we first need to understand what the titles of his two major sets of poetry mean. Innocence in the terms of Blake's poetry is "a person who has very little experience and does not know about the bad things that happen in life"-Quoted from the Dictionary. Immediately a link is made between the songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Experience on the other hand means "(the process of getting) knowledge or skill which is obtained from doing, seeing or feeling things"-Quoted from the Dictionary. These two themes are explored significantly within the poems. During Blake's time in London he saw many different movements and ideas develop such as a revolution in America where a group of British Colonies decided to rebel against Britain in their chance to gain independence. ...read more.

Middle

From his poems we can somewhat assume that Blake found Charity schools to be a money making scheme. This is proved by his view on the so called "religious people" who ran the schools. In the second line the masters are described as having "wands as white as snow" which shows them as having power because although white is generally used to show innocence in this case the word "snow" contradicts this as Blake often used snow to symbolise cold, dark and evil ambitions and scenarios. London is also mentioned in the first verse by the "high dome of Pauls" and the "Thames water" which in those days was very dirty, but was an integral part of London as were the children. Blake uses religious imagery within the innocence version quite a bit towards the end. "A mighty wind...[raised] to heaven", is used to create an idea based around the children's voices as if they were crying so loud that heaven could hear them. The owners are described as "wise guardians", which is ironic and patronising as Blake actually is meaning that they are horrible and cruel and have no knowledge what so ever. In the experience version of "Holy Thursday" Blake puts forwards different ideas. He starts off by talking about the "fruitful" children which are then "reduced to misery". This symbolises them coming into the schools cheerful and full of happiness and then being shafted out woeful. ...read more.

Conclusion

The use of this adds meaning to the poem because clothing is used to cover people and so William Blake might be trying to say that by covering your true self you are loosing the innocence of individuality. Another effect used in "The Lamb" is the fact that there is not much punctuation. This surprisingly creates a weird flowing nursery rhyme effect. On the other hand in "The Tyger" lots of somewhat harsh punctuation is used to create a pounding rhyme which inspires the reader to imagine the atmosphere of machinery. The reason for the mis-spelling of tiger is because Blake was self taught. This is a good example of differences in class at the time of William Blake. The poems from "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience" have more meaning than the reader might first imagine due to mainly the events that were surrounding their author "William Blake" at the time of their writing. By the harsh reality of London at that time Blake incorporates the Chimney sweeps, Charity schools, London in general and the industrial revolution into his poems. He does not openly state what each poem is about but within in writing we can pick up on ideas and themes that influenced him to write these poems. While reading these poems people pick up on the things happening at the time due to the detail in which they are described in poetry. These poems are not just poems, they are more like Blake's autobiography on his life through the form of media he liked best, poetry. ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. Critical Analysis of "The Tyger" by William Blake

    He asks about the tools which were good enough to be used on such an unyielding object and the table as in "anvil" which was good and dense enough for such a piece to be placed on and shaped. The tiger's brain is said to be hard because he is

  2. The Almond Tree by John Stallworthy

    The strong word, "spiralling" evokes thoughts of birth and has connotations of DNA, but the irony in the phrase is poignant - at this stage the persona has no idea of what is to unfold, or of the fate of his bloodline.

  1. chimney sweep

    stress the tone of a young child, allowing the reader to realize how young these children actually are that are being forced to work in child labour. The meaning behind this poem is shown not only through structure but as well through metaphors and images.

  2. War Poems

    All they can do now is fight, but we can't help but feel like the soldiers have a very low chance of winning this one. This verse raises the sense of doom, 'Volley'd and thunder'd. Storm'd at with shot and shell' The alliteration here is effective because it's almost like we're hearing the cannonballs constantly flying.

  1. English Media Studies

    It then becomes more apparent as a long shot is used and the burning ship appears. We know that it is an important ship because of the parasol in the water. In those days, only wealthy people had them and back then money meant importance and power.

  2. Poetry often has an underlying social and moral message. How are the social issues ...

    the Mercedes they live brighter lives as shown metaphorically through the imagery of their uniforms. Shown through description, differences are created in the poem between the bin-men and the couple in the Mercedes. The poet also describes one of the bin-men as having a hunch back and looking like "...some gargoyle Quasimodo".

  1. AQA English Lit 'Moon On The Tides' Relationship Poetry Analysis Notes

    Nettles - Father is protective over sons future/present 3. Born Yesterday - Child needs to be protected from pressures of materialism 1. Relationship Cruelty 1. Sister Maude - Wishing Sin and Death upon sister 2. Quickdraw - Pains of breaking up 1.

  2. Each of the six poems has a different approach towards death. Just as people ...

    ?At forty? when her sons ?will soon be gone? and start to have homes of their own she recalls their ?babies play around my knees.? As her children have left her to start building their own families she still holds on to her husband, ?but my man stays beside me,

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