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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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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. ...
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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?
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 seem to be the ...