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The Chimney Sweeper

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Sarafina Joseph

on 16 January 2014

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Transcript of The Chimney Sweeper

Works Cited
Jones, Jonathan (25 April 2005). "Blake's heaven". The Guardian. UK. The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge. 2004

Reiser, KL. "An Analysis of Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper" Poems." Yahoo Contributor Network. Yahoo, 27 Apr. 2006. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. <http://voices.yahoo.com/an-analysis-blakes-chimney-sweeper-poems-33363.html?cat=38>.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Innocence)." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Experience)." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 8 Dec. 2013

Stegmaier, Parker. "The Chimney Sweeper." Humanities 360. N.p., 18 Mar. 2009. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. <http://www.humanities360.com/index.php/the-chimney-sweeper-45015/>.
The Chimney Sweeper (1794)
A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? say?"
"They are both gone up to the church to pray.

Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil'd among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery."
The Chimney Sweeper
The Chimney Sweeper (1789)
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 your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved, so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;
Sarafina Joseph & Jose Sanchez
And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins & set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.
Poem Analysis
William Blake
Blake was born in London, England in 1757 and lived there all his life until he died in 1827 at the age of 69
Although considered crazy by his contemporaries, he was very respected in regards to his creativity and exressiveness
Not only was he a successful poet, he was also a renowed painter as well a printmaker
The Ancient of Days
Meter
&
Rhyme
Setting
Theme
Purpose
Tone
Speaker
Situation
Imagery
Symbolism
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 your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved, so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."
And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins & set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.
Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.
A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? say?"
"They are both gone up to the church to pray.
Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil'd among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.
And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery."
Simile
Metaphor
Metaphor
Metonymy
Metonymy
Metaphor
Metaphor
Repetition (line 8)
1789
1794
-Rhyming Quatrains of Anapestic Iambic Tetra meter
-Rhyme Scheme- AABB
-Iambic tetrameter
RHYME SCHEME
Stanza 1: AABB
Stanza 2: CACA
Stanza 3: DEDE
1789
1794
The poem takes place in the late 18th century where the chimney sweepers often sleep in soot
The poem takes place during the winter in 18th century England
1789
1794
The themes for this poem are innocence, death, suffering, and religion
The themes of this poem are sadness, death, happiness, and abandonment

The purpose of both poems were to address the political issue publicized during the time Blake was writing which regarded the treatment and working conditions of young children as chimney sweepers
1789
1794
The tone of this poem is innocent, depressing but almost optimistic
The tone of this poem is scornful, and angry

1789
1794
The speaker of this poem is a possibly homeless, orphan, child laborer, often mistaken to be Tom Dacre
There are two speakers in this poem with the first being the man that spots the child in the snow. However, the main speaker is the child forced to live as a chimney sweeper
Both poems were written about grave situations and circumstances. However, the Chimney Sweeper 1789 is told through the eyes of an innocent child who is unaware of the social injustice he is facing while the Chimney Sweeper 1794 is told by someone who understands the injustice of his situation and speaks against the establishments (the Church) that permit it
1789
1794
Blake paints a picture of sad, dirty young boys which is the complete opposite when compared to the dream
1789
1794
The soot, which is the black covering his body symbolizes death
The whiteness of the snow is a symbol of nature, of naturalness
The music ("notes of woe") symbolizes both misery and something someone can use to comfort oneself
The lamb is a symbol for innocence
The color white is a symbol for innocence and the childhood of kids
The color black is a symbol signifying the evil of children chimney sweeping
Blake presents a world of misery through the point of a view of an experienced chimney sweeper with a sense of despair
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