A close reading of Blake’s classic poem
‘The Clod and the Pebble’ is a William Blake poem that first appeared in his 1794 volume Songs of Experience, the companion-piece to his 1789 collection Songs of Innocence. The poem stages a conversation between a clod of clay and a pebble to make a point about the nature of love. Before we proceed to an analysis of ‘The Clod and the Pebble’, here’s a reminder of the poem.
The Clod and the Pebble
‘Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.’
So sung a little Clod of Clay
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet: Read the rest of this entry
A summary of a classic poem
‘The Lamb’ is one of William Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence’, and was published in the volume bearing that title in 1789; the equivalent or complementary poem in the later Songs of Experience (1794) is ‘The Tyger’.
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly 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 I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb: Read the rest of this entry
A reading of Blake’s classic poem
‘Jerusalem’ is one of the most famous hymns around, a sort of alternative national anthem for England. Yet the poem on which Hubert Parry based his hymn, although commonly referred to as ‘William Blake’s “Jerusalem”’, is actually from a much larger poetic work titled Milton a Poem and was largely ignored when it was published in 1804. It became well-known when it was set to music by Parry during the First World War (curiously, it was Robert Bridges, the Poet Laureate and the one who got Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poems into print, who suggested the idea to Parry). In this post, we’re going to delve deeper into the poem we know as ‘Jerusalem’, focusing on William Blake’s use of language.
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills? Read the rest of this entry