William Blake 's Poetry And Art

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Late into the hours of the night on a Sunday in August of 1827, William Blake sat in his bed, completing a sketch of his wife Catherine. The sketch was the very last time Blake put pencil to paper, as he died just after (King 228). Until his very last moments, William Blake was a man of intense vision and artistic strength, creating some of the most powerful and recognizable pieces of poetry and art to date. His works were the product of his eccentricity, religious fervor, socio-political progressivism, and the Industrial age London in which he spent his life.
William Blake was born on the 28th of November in 1757 in his parent’s home on 28 Broad Street in London. He was born a haberdasher’s son to Catherine and James Blake as the third child of the family. Being a son of a tradesman, Blake grew up in a home whose socio-economic status was somewhere between the poor working class and the skilled “middle sorts” as dubbed by Daniel Defoe (King 2). From a very early age, William displayed a fiery temperament and a very obstinate attitude compared to that of his classmates. He was sternly against any and all rules and regulations, to the point that his father decided against sending him to have schooling. His attitude and temperament was more than likely influenced by his position as the third child in the family, with his oldest brother John being seen as the favorite. This favoritism deeply disturbed him (King 6). To compound this, Blake, even from an early age, saw visions which have been called “epiphanic” (King 7). For example, at the age of four, Blake was frightened after seeing, as described by Morsberger, “God peering at him through a window,” and a “tree full of angels and angels with the hay makers in the field.” Morsber...

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... into a “gnawing pain in the stomach.” The deathly illness that Blake grew into continued all the way until his final days, during which he worked on another of his more famous, albeit incomplete pieces of engraved art: the illustration of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Two days prior to his death, August 10 of 1827, Blake fell completely bedridden. He continued to grow weaker and weaker, the whole time continuing his engraving and drawing work, with his “very last shillings being spent was in sending out for a pencil.” Blake died on August 12 of 1827, having telling his wife Catherine that she was a good wife, and then drew her a hurried portrait, his very last work on this Earth (King 228). Blake left behind his wife, Catherine, with nothing but the engravings and manuscripts not sold or destroyed by his executor, and his paltry reputation as an artist and writer.
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