blake

i have my high school english teacher to thank for introducing me to william blake's poetry. although at the time, showing him gratitude for subjecting me to endless stanzas, of which reading an encyclopedia backwards would have made more sense, was not of great relevance to me. it seems though, dear old mr oliver had implanted a literary seed, a seed that over the years has grown into a love and appreciation for the lyrical, metaphorical song that is the poem.  though i consider myself an outright poetic neophyte i have found myself drawn to the likes of blake and more specifically his songs of innocence and experience works. they romantically capture the embodiment of blake's beliefs that innocence and experience were "the two contrary states of the human soul."songs of innocence juxtaposed with their counterparts in songs of experience starkly portray the contrasts within the purity and virtue of youth with the despair and corruption that we as young adults can look forward to with great anticipation...(not). one is uplifting and hopeful, the other disheartening and melancholy. they give an insight into blake's mind while showing the frailties that we all bear as human beings and the beautiful fragility of innocence and youth.  as i delve deeper into the metaphors of each poem i realise the more i read their corresponding analyses, the more i discover  that although they raise pivotal, thoughtful and perspicacious questions, they answer none. but thats the beauty of blake's poetry...i think. regardless, here are two of my favourites... translate as you wish. infant joy "I have no name; I am but two days old." What shall I call thee? "I happy am, Joy is my name." Sweet joy befall thee! Pretty joy! Sweet joy, but two days old. Sweet Joy I call thee: Thou dost smile, I sing the while; Sweet joy befall thee! the sick rose O Rose thou art sick. The invisible worm, That flies in the night In the howling storm:Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy: And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy. ...class dismissed.