The Passsge from Innocence to Experience in Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake

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The Passsge from Innocence to Experience in Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake In this first essay, I will be dealing with poems from William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. More precisely, I shall be dealing with the Introduction from Songs of Innocence, as well as its counterparts Introduction from Songs of Experience and Earth's Answer. For my thesis, I shall attempt to demonstrate how Blake used the symbols of the Piper and the Bard to represent the states of innocence and of experience, and how he passes from one state to the next through the use of these symbols. Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience are two series of poems which complete one another. Each poem has a counterpart in the opposite series. Many people tend to misread or misinterpret these poems. In order to be able to fully understand what Blake is saying, we must look at both corresponding poems as one. Let us examine the images of the Piper and the Bard. The OED defines Bard as an "Ancient Celtic order of minstrel-poets, whose primary function appears to have been to compose and sing verses celebrating the achievements of chiefs and warriors." In his poems, Blake's definition is fundamentally the same, except that he utilizes the term to mean someone "Who Present, Past, & Future sees". The Bard is able to see through time and space. He is what Blake defines as a Visionary. The Piper, on the other hand, is not of this nature. He is a simple man who dwells in innocence. He listens to the child he encounters without thinking. In his mind, everyone is good, everyone is honest. But while the Bard is living in a world of experience, he sees without judging, he knows without thin... ... middle of paper ... .... One cannot exist without a mixture of both worlds. It is important to remember that if we only look at one poem from either series, it is not yet complete in as of itself. It is also important to note that unless we examine the poems with the knowledge of which series they are found in, we may not necessarily be able to identify which state it exemplifies. Bibliography: REFERENCES Bloom, Harold. (1963). Blake's Apocalypse - A Study in Poetic Argument. Ithaca, Cornell University Press. 443 p. Gleckner, Robert F. (1959). The Piper and the Bard - a study of William Blake. Detroit, Wayne State University Press. 318 p. Gleckner, Robert F. (1960). Point of View and Context in Blake's Songs. In M.H. Abrams (Ed.). English Romantic Poets - Modern Essays in Criticism. New York, Oxford University Press. (pp. 68-75)

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