William Blake

He was born in London in 1757 in a poor family and he remained poor all his life. He was first of all an English poet, but also an artist and an engraver. When he was 10 years old, his father sent him to a drawing school and so as we know he made a lot of drawings for the Divina Commedia and for Milton’s Paradise Lost. He was influenced by Raffaello and by Michelangelo. He supported the French Revolution and in particular its ideals though he rejected many of these political beliefs because he was disappointed for the end of the French Revolution in particular for the period of Terror. His experiences contributed to the development of his poetry and we remember “Song of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience”. The 1st collection was written with the beginning of the French revolution and so we can see an optimistic view of the life while the 2nd collection was written after the revolution, when the period of Terror raged in Europe and so we can see a pessimistic view of the life. The first collection is in the pastoral mode, the narrator is a shepherd who receives inspiration from a child in a cloud to tell his songs celebrating the divine in all creations. The child and the lamb are symbols of Innocence and so of the Jesus Christ. The 2nd collection is necessary that is read with the “Songs of Innocence” because the poet makes questions on the theme of the previous collection but there aren’t the answers.
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