William Blake:British Romantic poet 1757-1827 One of the first writers of the Romantic Period Not always a poet: ◦ 10 Drawing school ◦ Royal Academy of Arts ◦ Apprentice for a well- known engraver, James Basire ◦ Read and wrote poetry in his free time
Relief Etching In 1788, Blake began to experiment with relief etching, also called illuminated printing.1. Write the text and illustrations of the poems on copper plates with pens & brushes, using an acid- resistant medium2. Etch the plates in acid to dissolve the untreated copper, leaving the design standing in relief3. Print pages from these plates4. Watercolor by hand Blake used illuminated printing for four or his works, including Songs5. Stitch together to make a volume of Innocence and Experience.
William Blake: Songs of Innocence And Experience Wrote for content rather than form Most popular work = Songs of Innocence and Experience Originally published by itself in 1789 Republished 5 years later with a new set of poems Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul
Songs of Innocenceand Experience Main theme of the poems = Blake‟s belief that children lost their „innocence‟ as they grew older and were influenced by the ways of the world Children were born innocent Became experienced by the influence of adult beliefs and opinions Could no longer be considered innocent
Songs of Innocence and Experience Songs of Innocence: Innocent childs perspective Songs of Experience: Perspective of a more experienced person who has become bitter towards all the evil in the world Blake believed we: 1. Experience a protected childhood 2. Are soon corrupted by the oppressive world, (the Church, the State, and the ruling classes) The “contrary states” within the work are often signaled by repeating and contrasting poem titles Innocence: “Infant Joy” Experience: “Infant Sorrow” Innocence: “The Lamb” Experience: “The Tyger”
“The Lamb”Little Lamb, who made thee ?Dost thou know who made thee?Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,By the stream and oer the mead ;Gave thee clothing of delight,Softest clothing, woolly, bright;Gave thee such a tender voice,Making all the vales  rejoice?Little Lamb, who made thee?Dost thou know who made thee?Little Lamb, Ill tell thee,Little Lamb, Ill tell thee.He is called by thy name,For He calls Himself a Lamb.He is meek, and He is mild;He became a little child.I a child, and thou a lamb,We are called by His name.Little Lamb, God bless thee!Little Lamb, God bless thee! thee, thou = you mead = meadow vales = valleys
“The Tyger”Tyger! Tyger! burning brightIn the forest of the nightWhat immortal hand or eyeCould frame thy  fearful symmetry?In what distant deeps or skiesBurnt the fire of thine  eyes?On what wings dare he aspire?What the hand dare seize the fire?And what shoulder, and what art,Could twist the sinews of thy heart?And when thy heart began to beat,What dread hand? and what dread feet?What the hammer? what the chain?In what furnace was thy brain?What the anvil? what dread graspDare its deadly terrors clasp?When the stars threw down their spears,And watered heaven with their tears,Did he smile his work to see?Did he who made the lamb make thee?Tyger! Tyger! burning brightIn the forests of the night,What immortal hand or eyeDare frame thy fearful symmetry? thine, thy = your