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Transcript of William Blake
William Blake was born in 28th Broad Street, London England on 28th November 1757.
Blake was a poet, a painter, and as some call him a " revolutionist"
He was born to James Blake and Catherine Wright Armitage Blake, and was the 3rd child among 7 siblings.
Blake did not attend school, and was educated at home by his mother.
His offical job was as an engraver, which helped him enhance his paintings.
Catherine was previously married to Thomas Armitage, and was a strong beliver in the Moravian Church.
As a child, Blake complained of having visions about a supernatural or a divine being.
It is often said that the Moravian church was a cause of the visions that Blake experianced.
Blake married Catherine Boucher 1782 and since she was illiterate, he taught her how to read and write.
Willaim Blake died in 1827.
William Blake was known as spiritual being rather than a religious one.
His parents were both strong believers and followers of the Church of England.
Blake rejected the doctrine of the Church of England, but still had a strong belief in divine powers.
He was mostly unknown during his lifetime, but in 1863 Alexander Gilchrist published a biography called " Life" which brought fame to Blake's works.
One of Blake's main influences came from society, where he witnessed the downfall of London.
Swedenborg, a poet in Sweden, was a great influence to Blake.
"The Poison Tree"
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water'd it in fears, End Rhyme
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree Rhyme Scheme: AABB
This poem uses a metaphor in which the speaker is God, the foe is Adam/Eve, the Garden is the Garden of Eden, and the tree is the Tree of Knowledge.
In turn, Blake uses this metaphor to say that God fed his wrath onto the tree and expected man to eat from it.
Since Blake rejected the Christian views, the poem refelcts on how he thinks God put man on earth to evoke anger and wrath.
Main point: Man gives in to the weakness of sin and falls.
" The Human Abstract"
Pity would be no more,
If we did not make somebody Poor:
And Mercy no more could be,
If all were as happy as we;
And mutual fear brings peace;
Till the selfish loves increase.
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.
He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the ground with tears:
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.
Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head;
And the Catterpiller and Fly,
Feed on the Mystery.
And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat;
And the Raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.
The Gods of the earth and sea,
Sought thro’ Nature to find this Tree
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the Human Brain
In the first lines, the virtues of pity, mercy, and peace are discussed as the forces that alleviate suffering.
Then the tone shifts to " selfish loves" where hipocrisy, repression, and stagnation grow and dominate the human mind.
The tree in the later part of the poem is a metaphor for cruelty, where it " bears the fruit of deciet" and is watered with tears.
In the end, Blake shows that cruelty and harshness is hidden in the human mind.
imagery " The Little Vagabond"
Dear mother, dear mother, the church is cold,
But the ale-house is healthy and pleasant and warm;
Besides I can tell where I am used well,
Such usage in Heaven will never do well.
But if at the church they would give us some ale,
And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,
We'd sing and we'd pray all the live-long day,
Nor ever once wish from the church to stray.
Then the parson might preach, and drink, and sing,
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring;
And modest Dame Lurch, who is always at church,
Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.
And God, like a father rejoicing to see
His children as pleasant and happy as he,
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the barrel,
But kiss him, and give him both drink and apparel.
This poem is a metaphor for the confinemnt that Blake felt through the church and the freedom that he yearned for.
Blake shows that the church has way too many rules, " nor fasting, nor birch" and that the god wants us to be happy, not feel restricted.
Main point: The church uses power and manipulation to exploit the concept of God in order to gain control of society.
1. What religion did Blake's mother practice before getting married to James Blake?
2. What was William's job?
3. Was Blake famous during his time? How did he gain fame and recognition?
4. What does the tree in " The Poison Tree" represent?
5. Why does the child in " The little Vagabond" want to go to the ale-house?
By: Sehrish Shikarpuriya Rhyme parallel structure parallel structure simile rhyming couplet personification imagery personification