Synopsis: Songs of Innocence and Experience is one of the best-loved poetry collections of all time, an innovative and groundbreaking experiment in which Blake intertwined text and image to dazzling effect. The volume, published sometimes as two separate collections, juxtaposes the innocent world of childhood with the corrupt and repressed one of adults. Many of the poems are in pairs, enabling the reader to see the same situation first from the perspective of innocence and then from that of experience, and the volume includes such favourites as ‘The Lamb’, ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ and ‘The Tyger’.

Release Date: 24th August 2017 (this version), 1789 (original version)

Format Read: Hardback Clothbound

Genres: Poetry, Classics, Classic Literature, Art, Romanticism

Pages: 102

Review: I didn’t like this at all not that his poetry wasn’t good as such, but it just wasn’t for me. I honestly found him creepy and gave off some bad vibes to me on who he may have been as a person based on the poetry. I’m not going to disclose my full opinion of the man but I’ve hinted. 

Though he knew how to write a good Poem and some of them were still pretty beautiful and his art work was good that went along with it. I wasn’t able to get into any of this and though it wasn’t a particularly long book it felt like forever reading it. 

I’m sure to some they understand his poems in a different way and can connect with him differently, but I just couldn’t at all. So this was certainly not a poet I would want to read again.


Where to buy: Amazon

About Author: William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake’s work is today considered seminal and significant in the history of both poetry and the visual arts.

Blake’s prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the language”. His visual artistry has led one modern critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced.” Although he only once travelled any further than a day’s walk outside London over the course of his life, his creative vision engendered a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced ‘imagination’ as “the body of God”, or “Human existence itself”.

Once considered mad for his idiosyncratic views, Blake is highly regarded today for his expressiveness and creativity, and the philosophical and mystical currents that underlie his work. His work has been characterized as part of the Romantic movement, or even “Pre-Romantic”, for its largely having appeared in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the established Church, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions, as well as by such thinkers as Emanuel Swedenborg.

Despite these known influences, the originality and singularity of Blake’s work make it difficult to classify. One 19th century scholar characterised Blake as a “glorious luminary”, “a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors.”


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