Notes on William Blake

“Songs of Innocence”

  • imagery – religous, color (green especially), spring, warmth, pastoral
  • theme of time – “the echoing green” and the use of children
  • use of contrast

“Songs of Experience”

  • sense of weariness, cynicism, nighttime
  • more about the realities, the truths
  • imagery – gold and darker colors, lions
  • childhood as spring

“Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience”

  • parallels and comparisons imply a blurred binary
    • changed the positions of a lot of poems in between “Innocence” and “Experience” which shows a purposeful intertwining on Blake’s part
  • the plates
    • Blake intended them to be read among the images
      • Romantic – more accessible to those who couldn’t read
    • physical imagery of the plates provide a context/direction for the imagery of the words
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