The Voice of the Ancient Bard Blake's inspiration and aim[ edit ] Blake uses the simple structure of short, lyrical poems to subtly question and criticise the practices of his society. Blake uses much of Experience to highlight the negative influence of the Church, which he saw as corrupt and repressive. For Blake, we need to break the "mind-forg'd manacles" London caused by repressive religion, and embrace natural and physical pleasures as harmonious and essential for healthy development of content adulthood.
His mother is dead. His father sold him as a chimney sweeper, making him little more than a slave. Yet this boy still manages the type of optimism only a child can muster and comforts his friend Tom Dacre when his head is shaved.
Despite the sadness of this poem a hint of hope still lingers. The boy was abandoned by his hypocritical parents to die as a chimney sweeper while they go to church to pray. The poem immediately Songs of innocence and experience with the narrator describing his unfortunate situation of being a child laborer.
He is unintentionally crying out in despair at what has happened to him.
The narrator fully comprehends the tragedy of his situation. Blake shows a progression from ignorance to understanding, or rather innocence to experience. When he is first mentioned, the narrator is comforting Tom because his head is shaved. A lamb is a common symbol of innocence and is one that Blake uses often in Songs of Innocence.
Tom has no reason to be scared of his innocence being tainted because it is almost lost. These coffins are the chimneys in which they are all condemned to die. An Angel unlocked them from their misery and now they can happily frolic in heaven.
He too has the chance to regain his innocence as long as he tries to be good while on Earth. Even though they both are living terrible existences, there is still hope in death. Their longing for death is and is not childlike.
They want an Angel to come save them and bring them to green pastures where everything will be perfect. However, these are two children who are looking forward to their deaths.
Despite their young age, these children have volumes of experience. The experience and misery of the child is a stark contrast with the purity and whiteness of the snow. His parents have left him alone and are praying in church as if all is well. They are wrong, of course, and this child is brought down simply because he is so joyful.
This child is acknowledging that he is going to die soon. His experience was handed to him when his parents gave him away. He learned what it is to be miserable rather than sing and dance joyfully. By being taught to be miserable, he gained experience and thus lost his innocence.
These figures are representative of God, the church, and the government who exploit the poor and young. The church, the government, and his parents have essentially robbed the chimney sweeper of his innocence. Unlike the narrator in Songs of Innocence, there is no hope that God will save him.
Instead he blames God and religion for his misery. Here, heaven is not seen as the perfect place he will go when he is free of this world. It is what others have made for themselves from what they have taken from him.
The loss of innocence is also supported structurally between these two poems, particularly by the rhyme scheme. While it is a simple and basic rhyme scheme, it twists just a bit in the last two stanzas.User Review - Flag as inappropriate A lovely book of poems -- Blake is a real genius when it comes to expressing sometimes the simplest things but in the most beautiful way 4/5(12).
Songs of Innocence and of Experience, or to give the full title, Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, is a book by the English artist and Romantic poet William Blake.
It consists of two collections . In «Experience Songs», certainly, caustic enough, “satirical” sneer over light, radiant – and absolutely improbable – the world of ” Songs of Innocence» contains, and in this sense the second cycle bears on itself the disappointment press.
The Songs of Innocence and of Experience are also reflective of the ideas in Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man. Paine’s powerful, forceful prose equates tradition to tyranny. Paine’s powerful, forceful prose equates tradition to tyranny. Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience and millions of other books are available for instant access.
Kindle | Audible Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App/5(). Songs of Innocence and of Experience is regarded as both a visual and literary work of art.
Blake invented a new way of printing, designing the work in reverse with varnish on metal plates, which were then etched with acid to produce relief printing surfaces; these were printed in brown ink, and the prints were coloured by hand.