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OTHER ITA SITES:
William Blake Poetry
William Blake was both a mystic and visionary poet.
William Blake composed many poems, far reaching in both their scope and range of experience. The poetry of Blake is a reflection of his own inner vision.
As a young boy Blake had an illumining mystical experience. Throughout his life he maintained this otherworldly quality and most significantly was able to experience and see the divine in and through “ordinary” human experiences. For example in the poem “Divine Image”
“And all must love the human form,
- From: The Divine Image - Songs of Innocence
This ability to see the divine in all is best summarized in Blake’s immortal poem from Auguries of Innocence.
" To see a world in a grain of sand
- from 'Auguries of Innocence'
The poetry of Blake offers the extremes of human experiences, which is richly portrayed in Blake's poem "The Tyger". The poem “The Tyger was written during the French Revolution and so alludes to the violent and threatening forces of the time. However the Tyger is much deeper than a symbolic commentary. It encapsulates the darkest forces of ignorance which are transcended by the divine, transcendental consciousness which combines both polarities of light and darkness.
" Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
- From: "The Tyger" - Songs of Experience
“ The Tyger" is humanity's invaluable treasure. Here we see that ignorance-energy, which threatens to devour the entire world, finally discovers its transformation-salvation in the realisation of the absolute One. This absolute One embodies both ignorance-energy and knowledge-energy and, at the same time, far transcends them both.”
- Commentary by Sri Chinmoy
The poetry of Blake covers many different angles and perceptions. Poems from Songs of Innocence are quite unique in their genuine innocence, yet free of overbearing sentimentality.
“Smiles on thee, on me, on all;
On the other hand In Songs of Experience Blake testify’s to the harsh realities of life that can be experienced. For example the poem “London is a stark reminder of life in the 18th Century.
"I wander through each chartered street,
In every cry of every man,
"And did those feet in ancient time,"
"And did the Countenance Divine,"
Often when reading Blake’s poetry we may not be aware or perhaps misunderstand his symbolism and hidden meaning. But the beauty of his lyrical poetry means that doesn’t matter we can enjoy his poetry without fully “understanding” his prophetic message.
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