Who is William Blake ? William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. Although he lived in London his entire life except for three years spent in Felpham, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich corpus. William did not attend school, and was educated at home by his mother Catherine Wright ArmitageBlake. The Bible was an early and profound influence on Blake, and would remain a source of inspiration throughout his life. Blake started engraving copies of drawings of Greek antiquities purchased for him by his father, a practice that was then preferred to actual drawing. His parents knew enough of his headstrong temperament that he was not sent to school but was instead enrolled in drawing classes. He read avidly on subjects of his own choosing. During this period, Blake was also making explorations into poetry.
Who is William Blake? From a young age, William Blake claimed to have seen visions. The first of these visions may have occurred as early as the age of four when, according to one anecdote, the young artist "saw God" when God "put his head to the window", causing Blake to break into screaming. At the age of eight or ten in Peckham Rye, London, Blake claimed to have seen "a tree filled with angels, bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars."According to Blake's Victorian biographer Gilchrist, he returned home and reported this vision, and he only escaped being thrashed by his father for telling a lie through the intervention of his mother. Though all evidence suggests that his parents were largely supportive, his mother seems to have been especially so, and several of Blake's early drawings and poems decorated the walls of her chamber. On another occasion, Blake watched haymakers at work, and thought he saw angelic figures walking among them.
“Nurse’s Song” From the ‘Songs of Innocence’ When voices of 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. 'Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down, And the dews of night arise; Come, come, leave off play, and let us away, Till the morning appears in the skies.' 'No, no, let us play, for it is yet day, And we cannot go to sleep; Besides, in the sky the little birds fly, And the hills are all covered with sheep.‘ 'Well, well, go and play till the light fades away, And then go home to bed.‘ The little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed, And all the hills echoed.
“Nurse’s Song” From the ‘Songs of Experience’ When the voices of children are heard on the green, And whisperings are in the dale, The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind, My face turns green and pale. Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down, And the dews of night arise; Your spring and your day are wasted in play, And your winter and night in disguise.