Proff. Brian Gott
02 March 2015 The Chimney Sweeper songs of Innocence and Experience The poems The chimney Sweeper songs of Innocence and The Chimney sweeper songs of Experience are both written by William Blake. The poems are about children that are forced to sweep chimneys. These poems are very alike despite being written 5 years apart. Even though the titles of the poems are nearly the same the tones of the poems are different. One of the difference in these poems is that in the Songs of Innocence we see the little boys situation through his innocent eyes. He explains in the first stanza that he was sold at a very young age while he couldn't even make sense of what was going on. “My father sold me while yet my tongue / could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep / so your chimneys I sweep and in soot I sleep” (2-4). The sweeper in the songs of innocence doesn’t understand the social injustice that is going on at the time. On the other hand songs of Experience we see the situation through the bitter eyes of a young boy who is resentful of the church and his parents. He is aware of what is going on. As shown in the first stanza, “ crying weep weep in the notes of woe! /where are thy father & mother? say? / They are both gone up to church to pray” (2-4) This shows that the parents of the little boy are not there for him and he is resentful of that. This also shows that he is unhappy with the church since the church isn't doing anything to help him get out of the terrible situation he is in. The tone of Songs of Innocence is hopeful . In the poem Little Tom has a dream in which an angel comes and frees all the little sweepers. This shows that the sweepers in the Songs of Innocence are hopeful as shown in the fourth stanza, “And by came an Angel who had a bright key / and he’d opened the coffin and set them all free” (13-14). The little sweepers are still hopeful and their soul is still innocent. They still believe in dreams like the one that Little Tom had. On the other hand the little boy in Songs of Experience knows that he is stuck with the life he is living. The tone of this poem is very pessimistic and dark. This poem portrays a lot of anger towards the little sweepers parents and specially to the church.
The poems have very similar symbols for instance at the beginning of both poems we encounter the words” weep, weep, weep” This goes to show how the little boys feel about the terrible situations the boys are in. Another symbol that is used in both poems is God. In the Songs of Innocence the little boy sees God as a good sign in life as shown in the 5th stanza, “ And the Angel told tom if he’d be a good boy, / He’s have