William Blake – Summary Of Poems
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A pastoral-based poem which talks about an innocent child who requests “a song about a lamb”. The narrator writes “happy songs every child may joy to hear”.
The Lamb (innocence)
Blake questions what kind of God made the lamb – “Little Lamb God bless thee”
Infant Joy (innocence)
Blake talks of a new born baby – joy is his name.
The Schoolboy (innocence)
Blake moans about the fact that education restricts the mind rather than grows it – “how can the bird that is born for joy sit in a cage and sing?”
The Little Black Boy (innocence)
A poem which supports the abolition of the slave trade. He states that black and white people are equally loved by God.
Nurse’s Song (innocence)
A considerate nurse allows the children she cares for to play outside “till the light fades away”.
The Chimney Sweeper (innocence)
“weep weep weep weep” – the story of chimney sweepers who carry on because of their belief in paradise after death.
The Clod and the Pebble (experience)
Blake argues the difference between selfish and selfless love using a nature-themed analogy.
The Chimney Sweep (experience)
A chimney sweeper works while his parents go to church, he believes his parents are trying to prevent his happiness.
The Tiger (experience)
Blake questions how the God that made the lamb could make something so evil.
Blake talks about the corruption and misery in London, partially blaming the church.
The Human Abstract (experience)
Using lots of personification of personality features, Blake talks about the problems that corrupt our minds.
Infant Sorrow (experience)
The opposite of Infant Joy – a baby is born in a chaotic, loud and unloving environment.
A Poison Tree (experience)
Blake using the analogy of wrath within the mind growing on a poison tree.
A Little Boy Lost (experience)
Blake criticises the church for censoring rational questioning and reasoned thinking – a boy is punished by a priest for questioning the bible’s teaching.
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