william blake Essay

Submitted By kmarr
Words: 1136
Pages: 5

William Blake’s perspective using spiritual views in his poetry

Society’s emphasis on religion has created many different views for people to think about. Some would agree that spirituality goes hand in hand with religion while others would disagree, arguing that the two are separate. William Blake was an unknown engraver who used his poetry to reflect his spiritual views on God and nature. William Blake is one of my favored poets because of his strong spirituality towards God, his perspective on life during innocence and then life after experience, and his use of nature throughout his creative work. In his Songs of Innocence and Experience, William Blake argues that there are “two contrary states of the human soul” and uses his view on God and nature to create his work but does not contrast between good and evil. William Blake said “there are two contrary states of the human soul”. What he meant was that there is a stage when one is young and innocent; and then comes a stage where one matures and goes through a variety of experiences. It may cause disappointment and sadness however it will bring different outlooks on life. Blake uses few poems to contrast between innocence and experience, such as “The Chimney Sweeper” in the Song of Innocence. The poem reflects on a young Tom Dacre who was sold by his father and got his head shaved but is comforted by an Angel while asleep. “There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head That curl’d like a lamb’s back, was shav’d”. While Tom was asleep, he had a dream that other sweepers were locked in coffins of black but by came an Angel who unlocked the coffins free. “And by came an Angel who had a bright key, And he open’d the coffins & set them all free”, “And the Angel told Tom, if he’d be a good boy, he’d have God for his father & never want joy”. This poem displays positivity and warmth as it says in the ending “Tho’ the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm”. Whereas in Song of Experience, the poem seems more negative; “They clothed me in the clothes of death,” It seems as if the children are being hurt by the parents, the chimney owners, and the churches. The last stanza displays a more negative view “And because I am happy, & dance & sing, They think they have done me no injury, And are going to praise God & his Priest & King, Who make up a heaven of our misery”. Another poem that displays both innocence and experience is “Nurse’s Song”. In the Songs of Innocence, you are able to sense the positivity in the nurse’s tone toward the children, and the happiness of the children playing outside. The first stanza displays the view of the nurse while listening to the children play, “When the voices of the children are heard on the green And laughing is heard on the hill, My heart is at rest within my breast And everything else is still”. The last two lines of the last stanza display the children’s happiness, “The little ones leaped & shouted & and laugh’d And all the hills ecchoed”. Comparing this poem to “Nurse’s Song” in Songs of Experience, show a different approach from the nurse’s view. It starts off “the days of my youth rise fresh in my mind, My face turns green and pale”. The ending of the poem seems more averse to the ending in Songs of Innocence as it says “Your spring & your day are wasted in play, And your winter and night in disguise”. Blake uses these two poems to show the difference in two stages of a human life. The beginning seems to be all so surreal, positive, and bright. However, as one begins to experience things, there are more negativity and sadness that comes. “The lamb”, “The Divine Image”, and “The Tyger” are all poems that Blake used to show his view on God. This is where he displays his spirituality and his voice towards “the divine, gentle, kind God”. In “The lamb”, Blake says “Little Lamb, who made thee?” He addresses the Lamb as “little” and wants to know who its creator is. “He is called by thy name, For he calls himself a Lamb”. He is