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William Blake - Romantic Poet

Romantic Poetry Project - Group #7 Megan Howard, Kristen Patrick, & Lexie Smith Mrs. Lord - 6th Period Advanced British Literature

Megan Howard

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of William Blake - Romantic Poet

William Blake
Romantic Poet
Literary Terms
Symbol - a person, place, thing, or event that stands for both itself and for something beyond itself.
Imagery - language that appeals to the 5 senses.
Rhyme Scheme - the pattern of rhyme between lines of a poem or song. It is usually referred to by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme with another.
Theme - the central idea or insight about human experience revealed in a work of literature.
Modern Literary Examples
Born -
November 28, 1757 in London
Died - August 12, 1827
- At age 10, Blake wished to become a painter, so his parents sent him off to drawing school.
- William Blake began to write his first poetry.
- When he turned 14, he apprenticed with an engraver because art school was too costly.
- After his 7 year apprenticeship ended, Blake studied briefly at the Royal Academy.
- At age 25, he married an illiterate woman named Catherine Boucher. Blake taught her to read and to write, and also instructed her in draftsmanship. The two never had children.
- Blake with a friend and former fellow apprentice, James Parker, set up a printshop together, but after several years, it went under.
printed work,
Poetical Sketches

, is a collection of apprentice verse, mostly imitating classical models. The poems protest against war, tyranny, and King George III's treatment of the American colonies.
For the majority of his life, Blake made a living as an engraver and illustrator for books and magazines.
- He published his most popular collection of poetry,
Songs of Innocence
- Blake published
Songs of Experience
- William Blake moved to the seacoast town of Felpham, where he experienced profound spiritual insights that prepared him for his mature work.
, he exhibited some of his watercolors at the Royal Academy.
May of 1809
- Some of his works were exhibited at his brother James's house. Few individuals who saw the exhibit praised Blake's artistry, but many thought the paintings "hideous" and more than a few called him insane.
Blake's final years were spent in great poverty, only cheered by the admiring friendship of a group of younger artists who called themselves "the Ancients."
- william Blake met John Linnell, a young artist who helped him financially and also helped to create new interest in his work.
Linnell, in
, commissioned him to design illustrations for
Dante's Divine Comedy
, the cycle of drawings that Blake worked on until his death in 1827.
Life Timeline
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
The Tyger
(from Songs Of Experience)
Little Lamb who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee!
Little Lamb God bless thee!
The Lamb
(from Songs of Innocence)
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 watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears,
And I sunned it with 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 veiled the pole;
In the morning, glad, I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
A Poison Tree
(from Songs of Experience)
Famous Poems
The Chimney Sweeper
The Lamb
The Sick Rose
The Tyger
" A truth that's told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent " -
William Blake
This poem also begins with a question, but one to the lamb about who its creator may be. The speaker, often seen as a child, inquires to the lamb about how it came into being, how it began its particular manner of feeding, its “clothing” of wool, and its “tender voice.” In the last stanza, the speaker gives the lamb an answer to his own question. He says the lamb was made by he who “calls himself a Lamb" as well, one who resembles in his gentleness both the child and the lamb. Lastly, the poem ends with the child bestowing a blessing on the lamb for it is with God, the creator who is spoken of, always.
The poem begins with the speaker asking a tiger what kind of divine being could have created it. The speaker mentions that it must have been by immortal hand or eye that created its "fearful symmetry." Each of the following stanzas asks further questions, all of which elaborate on this initial one. The speaker wonders how, once that horrible heart “began to beat,” the creator of which could have the courage to continue the job. Comparing the creator to a blacksmith, he ponders about the anvil and the furnace that the project would have required and the smith who could/would have wielded them. And when the job was done, the speaker wonders, how would the creator have felt, and if the creator smiled or frowned upon his finished work? Lastly, his initial wonder transforms as he thinks whether this could possibly be the same creator who made the lamb or not. All of this is pondering the actions and thoughts of God.
Common Symbols
referring to death or endings: gravestones, cemetries, the grim reaper, skulls, a candle blowing out, coffins, ringing of the bell, and cross bones
referring to salvation: crosses, angels, haloes, clouds, churches, and doves
Sight: The sky looked like the untouched canvas of an artist.
Sound: The eerie silence was shattered by her scream.
Romeo and Juliet encompasses themes of family, love, murder, violence, and passion.
The Hunger Games has themes of identity, power, love, politics, competition, and sacrifice.
Rhyme Scheme

There once was a big brown cat a

That liked to eat a lot of mice. b

He got all round and fat a

Because they tasted so nice. b
The "Tyger" in the poem represents the evil in the world.
The "Little Lamb" could represent all of God's good children, but more importantly refers to Jesus.
This is especially true when it says "for he calls himself a lamb."
The entire poem is imagery as he speaks of the creator who made the "Tyger" and how he/she could have done so.
Ex: "Could twist the sinews of thy heart?" (Sight)
The poem is built upon imagery to show God's greatness.
Ex: "Softest clothing wooly bright" (Touch and Sight)
Rhyme Scheme
The rhyme scheme of this poem is "AA, BB" end rhyme.
The final words of each line in a couplet rhyme with one another. (Ex. shine and mine)
The themes of A Poison Tree are the wrathfulness of God (seen by the symbols of the apple and the garden) and not only anger itself, but how anger comes to be.
Why is he a
Romantic Poet
William Blake is considered so because he wrote for the common man, against tyranny, and he questioned traditions in religion.
He also celebrates creatures of nature, and often wrote in lyric form.
The poem begins with the speaker becoming angry with a close friend and as time goes on his wrath over the issue grows. When he became angry with his foe on the other hand, he did not have the same strong wrath as he did over his friend. The speaker was afraid of his wrath and cried over it at night. The wrath grew with each day and upon seeing it, the speaker's foe was scared and shy so he laid "outstretched beneath the tree" in defeat much to the speaker's joy.
"Examples of Imagery." Examples. LoveToKnow, Corp. Web. 16 Mar. 2012. <http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-imagery.html>.
"Facts about William Blake." Facts About. Web. 16 Mar. 2012. <http://www.facts-about.org.uk/arts-literature-william-blake.htm>.
"The Hunger Games Themes." Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. <http://www.shmoop.com/hunger-games/themes.html>.
Pioch, Nicolas. "Blake, William." WebMuseum:. 14 Oct. 2002. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/blake/>.
Works Cited
Full transcript