Questions tagged [william-blake]

Questions about the pre-Romantic English poet, painter and printmaker William Blake (1757 – 1827) and his works. Blake is known for combining poems with illustrations. His works include 'Songs of Innocence', 'Songs of Experience', 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell' and 'Milton'. In addition to his own works, he also illustrated other books, such as Dante's 'Divine Comedy' and the Bible.

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7 votes
1 answer
174 views

Rhymes in William Blake's 'The Tyger'

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 'Eye' and 'symmetry' don't rhyme in modern standard English. But pronunciation ...
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18 votes
1 answer
3k views

Accented è in Blake's "The little ones leapèd, and shoutèd, and laugh'd / And all the hills echoèd."

Here is a poem by William Blake with some accented è's (Nurse's Song, 1789). How is this è pronounced? What is the background as to why the e bears an accent? When the voices of children are heard on ...
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7 votes
1 answer
928 views

Who first claimed that Blake’s “dark Satanic Mills” referred to the Church of England, and what was their argument?

William Blake’s poem ‘And did those feet in ancient time’ (1808) contains the lines And was Jerusalem builded here, Among these dark Satanic Mills? The meaning of the phrase “dark Satanic Mills” is ...
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4 votes
1 answer
126 views

Did William Blake intend The Tyger to resemble a nursery rhyme?

I have often heard that William Blake’s The Tyger is supposed to resemble a nursery rhyme. For example, in analysis I found on “Mercs Poetry Blog”: This poem, despite its mature themes and ...
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5 votes
1 answer
848 views

What is "the Throne of Mammon grey" in William Blake's "I Rose Up at the Dawn of Day"?

The poem is fairly self explanatory, but I can not place the "grey" hanging off of "This is the Throne of Mammon": I rose up at the dawn of day— 'Get thee away! get thee away! ...
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1 vote
1 answer
149 views

Literary or rhetorical term meaning "past for the future"?

William Blake, in his poem in his preface to Milton, a Poem, commonly known as "Jerusalem" (not to be confused with the long poem Jerusalem The Emanation of the Giant Albion (1804-1820)), ...
6 votes
0 answers
136 views

Rhyme scheme in two of William Blake's poems

I have a question regarding rhymes in two English poems by William Blake. Here is the first poem, "The Ecchoing Green": The sun does arise, And make happy the skies. The merry bells ring To ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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The influence of Rossetti and Blake on Yeats

In Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, Richard Rorty makes this statement in passing: "Merely philosophical" questions, like Eddington's question about the two tables, are attempts to stir ...
2 votes
0 answers
58 views

Which version of William Blake's "Jerusalem" did John Reith recite to celebrate the end of the General Strike?

In his 1PM radio broadcast on 12 May 1926, John Reith, managing director of the BBC, recited William Blake's "And did those feet in ancient time" (also known as "Jerusalem") [1] to ...
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6 votes
0 answers
127 views

When and how was the phrase "these dark Satanic mills" in Blake's "Jerusalem" first altered to "those dark Satanic mills"?

William Blake's lines of verse "Jerusalem", which appear in the "Preface" to his poem "Milton", were written c.1804 and first printed c.1808. They also appear, but with ...
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9 votes
1 answer
881 views

What is the "starry pole" in Blake's "Songs of Experience"?

Here's the beginning of "Introduction" from William Blake's Songs of Experience: Hear the voice of the Bard, Who present, past, and future, sees; Whose ears have heard The Holy Word That ...
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4 votes
1 answer
185 views

Does "the" only serve to preserve metre in "The Tyger"?

William Blake's poem “The Tyger” from Songs of Experience utilizes "the" in an interesting manner in two separate couplets of the 4th stanza, lines 9 and 11: What the hammer? what the chain, In ...
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4 votes
1 answer
826 views

Does Blake appeal to his readers' faith in the last stanza of "Holy Thursday"?

Here is the poem "Holy Thursday" from Songs of Experience by William Blake: Is this a holy thing to see, In a rich and fruitful land? Babes reduced to misery, Fed with cold and usurious hand. ...
4 votes
0 answers
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William Blake's Lost Works?

It is known that some of Blake's work was burned by Frederick Tatham. Is there a list of lost works from other surviving or referenced material that we know of?
8 votes
0 answers
530 views

What is the deeper meaning of Blake's "The Lily"?

The poem "The Lily" by William Blake must be one of the shortest of his Songs of Innocence and of Experience collection, only four lines long: The modest Rose puts forth a thorn, The humble sheep ...
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Could "mark" in "London" by William Blake be meant as a name?

Stanza 1 of "London" by William Blake is as follows: I wander thro' each charter'd street, Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of ...
6 votes
0 answers
896 views

Is the comparison in "The Clod and the Pebble" between different types of love?

The poem "The Clod and the Pebble" from William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience (which you can read online) is just three verses long and compares two different descriptions of love, ...
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8 votes
1 answer
845 views

Why is the robin "sobbing"?

Blake's "The Blossom", part of his Songs of Innocence which you can read online, is a very short poem about a sparrow and a robin. The part about the robin reads as follows: Pretty, pretty robin! ...
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there any significance to Blake's choice of the name Lyca?

The twinned poems "The Little Girl Lost" and "The Little Girl Found" from William Blake's Songs of Experience (available to read online) are about a little girl called Lyca who gets lost from her ...
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6 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is the meaning of Blake's poem "The Sick Rose"?

William Blake's very short poem "The Sick Rose", from his Songs of Innocence and of Experience, runs as follows: O rose, thou art sick! The invisible worm, That flies in the night, In ...
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8 votes
3 answers
7k views

What are the "mind-forged manacles"?

From "London", a short poem in William Blake's Songs of Experience collection (free to read online): In every cry of every man, In every infant’s cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, ...
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is "The Chimney Sweeper" in Songs of Innocence rather than Songs of Experience?

The Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Innocence opens like this: When my mother died I was very young, And my father sold me while yet my tongue Could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! So ...
5 votes
2 answers
242 views

Bright or brightly?

A little known fact is that William Blake was a talented musician who would sing his poems. Unfortunately no sheet music of his poems exist, meaning the actual melodies he specifically used are ...
8 votes
1 answer
444 views

Are Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence actually songs? Or is the word song a metaphor?

William Blake's Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence have the word "song" in their title. Why is that? Are they actually songs? Or is the word "song" a metaphor for something else.
5 votes
2 answers
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What does "chartered" mean in Blake's poem "London"?

William Blake's short poem "London", from his Songs of Experience collection (which you can read online), starts as follows: I wander through each chartered street, Near where the chartered ...
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8 votes
1 answer
177 views

Why weren't Blake's poems published in their original painted form?

A little known fact about William Blake is that his poems in Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience were published in a painted form. As the article William Blake and the Music of the Songs ...
13 votes
1 answer
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How many of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience come in pairs?

Some years ago I studied many of Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Many of them are very clearly paired up, an Innocence song and an Experience song deliberately written to compare and ...
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13 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is the deeper meaning of "The Tyger"?

William Blake's poem "The Tyger" is part of his collection Songs of Innocence and of Experience, an extraordinary set of poems which explores ideas such as spirituality, love, poverty, repression, all ...
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6 votes
0 answers
97 views

What does Tiriel's blindness symbolize?

In Tiriel, it's mentioned several times that Tiriel is blind, first in Chapter I, line 27: Look at my eyes, blind as the orbless skull among the stones! And later again in Chapter II, lines 61-65: ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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Why did the stars throw down their spears?

William Blake's poem “The Tyger” from Songs of Experience contains one couplet whose meaning has always puzzled me, lines 17–18, the first two lines of the fifth stanza: When the stars threw ...
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12 votes
3 answers
8k views

What are the "dark Satanic mills" in Blake's Jerusalem?

The short poem Jerusalem by William Blake - not to be confused with his much longer epic poem of the same title; I'm talking about the "did those feet in ancient times" one - contains the following ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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What is "the Poetic Genius"?

In "All Religions are One", William Blake develops an argument around a concept called "the Poetic Genius". From the modern, surface meaning of the words, the Poetic Genius would ...
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