Songs about Life

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In Songs of Innocence and Experience (1789 and 1794), William Blake arouses readers' minds and leads them into a path of finding their own answers and conclusions to his poems. He sets up his poems in the first book, Songs of Innocence, with a few questions as if they were asked from a child's perspective since children are considered the closest representation of innocence in life. However, in the second book, Songs of Experience, Blake's continues to write his poems about thought-provoking concepts except the concepts happen to be a little bit more complex and relevant to experience and time than Songs of Innocence.

In the poem, "The Lamb," from Songs of Innocence, William Blake asks the little lamb, "Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee?" (1351). It is here where the author purposely questions the reader and leaves the reader, wandering for an answer to that precise question. The author then continues by leading the reader to an indirect possible answer to his question by saying "Little Lamb I'll tell thee! / He is called by thy name, / For he calls himself a Lamb" and proceeds a line later with "He became a little child; / I a child & thou a lamb." It is apparent that he doesn't exactly give a direct answer. He mentions in an roundabout way that the lamb's creator calls himself a Lamb and that he became a little child. This vague background provides an idea who the creator actually is, but not enough to somehow match the creator with God from the biblical texts. And, since the information is vague, the reader really can't come to a narrowed conclusion because the answer itself depends on the reader's beliefs and experiences and so therefore leaves the true answer to the question still unanswered.


... middle of paper ... his favorite place has changed with time. This change with time and the experience one gets from such changes allows the reader to think about how and why things change when you least expect it and how time progresses with or without you.

"The Lamb," "The Little Black Boy," "The Chimney Sweeper," and "The Garden of Love," by William Blake, are unique in their simple structure and simple choice of words but complex concepts on life and life's experiences. His poems continue to twist and turn minds for centuries due to his style of setting up his poems with both questions and unanswered predicaments, and this is what sets William Blake apart from the rest of the other poets in British literature.

Works Cited

Abrams, M.H. and Greenblatt, Stephen eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Seventh Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2001.

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