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11 votes

What is the connection between "Holy Thursday" from Songs of Experience and the actual day?

The "Holy Thursday" to which Blake's poems refer is not Maundy Thursday, but Ascension Day, the celebration of Jesus's rise to heaven in his corporeal form. In the Anglican tradition, this ...
verbose's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is the deeper meaning of "The Tyger"?

This answer is somewhat of a generalization of my self answer to Why did the stars throw down their spears? where I ended up analyzing most of the poem to explain the meaning of one particular, ...
Torisuda's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is the "starry pole" in Blake's "Songs of Experience"?

The phrase “starry pole” is a quotation from Milton’s Paradise Lost, whose book IV describes the life of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden: Thus, at their shady lodge arrived, both stood, Both ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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7 votes
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What is the meaning of Blake's poem "The Sick Rose"?

There is no one answer: a key part of this poem's appeal is its ambiguity. On the surface, it seems a poetic description of a rose flower sickening and dying due to a parasitic infection. However, ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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7 votes

What is the deeper meaning of "The Tyger"?

The perceived "banality" in relation to Innocence & Experience may be regarded as a device. In fact, the poems are all quite profound, but structured in a way as to be suitable for children as ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
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6 votes

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

There's a substantial body of evidence that the title "Songs of Innocence" points to the fact that the poems were intended to be sung. In the article William Blake and the Music of the Songs, Kevin ...
Musical Poetry's user avatar
5 votes

Rhymes in William Blake's 'The Tyger'

No! Here is an example that proves how Blake pronounces "eyes", from Songs of Innocence: Sweet moans, dovelike sighs, Chase not slumber from thy eyes. Sweet moans, sweeter smiles, All the ...
fundagain's user avatar
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5 votes
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How many of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience come in pairs?

Let's start by listing the titles of all the Songs, and noting that you can read them in full here. I'll now discuss various possible pairings among these poems, but bear in mind that there's no ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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4 votes

What does "chartered" mean in Blake's poem "London"?

My sense is that Blake is talking about ownership, and the idea that the natural rights of people to the land and its resources is restricted by the artificial laws of man. Charter (noun) formal ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
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4 votes

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

the title “Holy Thursday” implies a religious context, making ["Blake appeals to his readers' faith"] also correct. That sentence from the textbook betrays a remarkable lack of understanding of ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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4 votes

What are the "mind-forged manacles"?

According to W. H. Stevenson's edition of Blake's complete poems (in the series Longman Annotated English Poets), the original phrase was "german-forged manacles", "suggesting the strength of skilled ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes
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Did William Blake intend The Tyger to resemble a nursery rhyme?

Compare the illuminated versions of The Songs of Innocence and of Experience, wherein we find The Tyger to the roughly contemporary Tommy Thumb's Song Book and there are many similarities. The Tommy ...
Kiteration's user avatar
3 votes

What are the "mind-forged manacles"?

The assumption in other answers is that "ban" refers to censorship or prohibitions, but it probably refers to marriage bans. This explains the last line's reference to the marriage hearse, ...
Betterthan Kwora's user avatar
3 votes
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What are the "mind-forged manacles"?

The original punctuation of the poem seems to be: 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 ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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3 votes

Bright or brightly?

I have never met Sherri Poterfield so obviously I can only speculate on why she made this choice. But that I will do! The Poterfield's melody begins with a musical structure that is called a "Satz" (...
11684's user avatar
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3 votes
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Could "mark" in "London" by William Blake be meant as a name?

This sense of mark (to take note of) is found here¹: Notice or pay careful attention to. ‘he'll leave you, you mark my words!’ It doesn’t look like it’s intended to refer to a name, just a simple ...
Will Crawford's user avatar
3 votes
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Is there any significance to Blake's choice of the name Lyca?

Blake's poems are cryptic and invite multiple interpretations. To my amazement, while researching this question I found that the 26 stanzas of these two poems inspired, among other things, an academic ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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2 votes
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Why are the U2 CDs named after "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience" by William Blake?

The resemblance is mostly thematic. According to Bono (lead vocalist and primary lyricist of U2), the main thing they took from Blake was the idea of comparing innocence and experience: I try not to ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes

What does "chartered" mean in Blake's poem "London"?

In W. H. Stevenson's edition of Blake's poems, the editor explains that the charters (see the definition in DukeZhou's answer) used to represent a source of freedom. One of the charters that are ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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2 votes

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

William Blake was a Christian and so he is therefore using biblical symbolism. The rose symbolizes a Christian, specifically the Rose of Sharon, aka, the Lily of the Valley, in the Song of Solomon.(...
Daniel Tonelli's user avatar
1 vote

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

This almost certainly has to do with the technology of printing, and the economics of publishing. There are currently many modern editions of Blake's illuminated works, and they contain much detail ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
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