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

The Nurse's Song Commentary

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Nurse's Song Commentary These two poems are called The Nurse's Song by William Blake. Blake was an English poet who was born in 1757 and died in 1827. Blake was part of the Romantic Age, which was a revolt against the scientific, rationalization of nature, and admired emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience. Although Blake was largely unrecognized as a poet during his lifetime, his work was idiosyncratic for those times. His poetry embraced the imagination, and was reverent to the Bible, but hostile to the Church of England. His views that opposed conformity are evident in his poetry, especially these two poems. One poem is from Blake's Songs of Innocence which describes the innocence and joy of the natural world, advocating love and a closer relationship with God, whereas the other Nurse's Song is from Blake's Songs of Experience which deals with the loss of innocence following exposure to the material world, and its mortal sin. In the Nurse's Song from the Songs of Innocence, there is a conversation between the nurse and the children she looks after: she tells them to come home because it is dark, but the children ask to play for a while longer, which the nurse allows. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand, in the Songs of Experience, the children whisper, this indicates a sense of restriction, so the children are not allowed to be carefree and happy. One of the main themes in these two poems is the freedom of childhood. In the nurse's Song from the Songs of Innocence, there is a dialogue between the nurse and the children in the second and third stanzas. The fact that the children are given a voice indicates the balance between the voices of children and adults. This reflects Blake's view that the imagination of children should be encouraged rather than stifled, and that their innocence is maintained. Moreover, the idyllic nurse allows the children to "play till the light fades away", showing that she sees the value in the children enjoying themselves, and her "heart is at rest". On the other hand, in the nurse's song from the songs of experience, the only voice heard is that of the nurse, indicating her dominance over the children. The children's silence indicates the repressiveness that she imposes on them. This reflects the reality during Blake's time, when children were not given voices to speak out. ...read more.

Conclusion

Various literary devices are used in these two poems. In the poem from the songs of innocence, "the little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed". The use of a list of three active words creates a cheerful, idyllic image of childhood and freedom. Both poems begin with the same first line, "when the voices of children are heard on the green". This repetition is deceptive, as this sets the reader's expectations up to think that both poems will have similar tones when in fact they are very different. The poem from the songs of innocence uses an anti-climax at the end of the poem, as the light will not last forever, which creates a letdown of emotions, perhaps foreshadowing the dismal situation of childhood, as presented in the second poem. To conclude, Blake creates two very different images of nurses in these two poems. The poem from the songs of innocence is called THE nurse's song, which indicates that it is a single, idealistic nurse, whereas the poem from the songs of experience is simply called nurses song, which is more generalistic, and therefore reflects the reality of society. The two poems create a contrast between Blake's idea of an idyllic childhood and the reality of his time, therefore criticising societal values and attitudes towards children. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Nurse's Song Commentary

    Therefore it is much shorter, as seems harsher. The Nurse's Song from the Songs of Innocence has an upbeat rhyme scheme of abab, which is reminiscent of a nursery rhyme, indicating a sense of innocence and balance. On the other hand, The Nurse's Song from the Songs of Experience uses

  2. Prose Commentary Pat Barker "Regeneration"

    Again in paragraph eight the trees are "against" "Burns". The author uses the alliteration of the words "twigs tore" through the "t" sound to remind the reader of the snapping sound of twigs and the force that "Burns" was putting into getting away was enough to snap the twigs on his skin.

  1. Passed On commentary

    In these first three stanzas the poet clearly conveys her lack of independence and self-confidence and also her vulnerability. In the fourth stanza we see that the tone of the poem has started to change. As the narrator grows and her mind develops, the cards seem to 'shrink'.

  2. English Owl song -Oliver

    I just want to ask how I was lost. I'm a future murderer, who has not yet known the desire to kill, who is still "normal." I [soul of future murderer] looking for the murderer within, he will have answers for me, he will be careful, will kill, my claws [the murdered owl-like soul] will change the murder's hands to claws, he [the murderer] will not be caught.

  1. "August Houseplant" Commentary

    This tone of anxiety is parallel to the tone a protective parent would feel for his child, which ironically, we reject entirely: Levertov has established that the plant is wild, large and already displaced out of its home when in the protagonist's backyard, yet if the protagonist brings the plant

  2. Morning Song - Analysis

    The child must serve as her mirror - but rather than accomplishing a type of immortality it is the mother's "slow effacement" and demise that the child reflects. The baby may look like the mother, but its individuality in the end forces it from the mother just as the wind pushes the cloud beyond the lake.

  1. The Echoing Green Commentary

    The balance of these couplets indicates a sense of balance, which can be interpreted to reflect the harmony between the people of the village and nature. Seeing as Blake was religious, although he did not agree with organised religion, perhaps the natural environment of the echoing green could be linked with the Garden of Eden in the Bible.

  2. Testing the Reality Commentary

    The hyperbole is used to show the extent of importance of this occurrence in the life of the narrator, an event of great importance, showing his dependence on his mother as well as the sorrow he felt after being left alone.

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