What Are the Salient Features of Blake’s Poetry? Essay example

829 Words Sep 17th, 2012 4 Pages
What are the salient features of Blake’s poetry?

Of all the romantic poets of the eighteenth century, William Blake (1757-1827) is the most independent and the most original. In his earliest work, written when he was scarcely more than a child, he seems to go back to the Elizabethan song writers for his models; but for the greater part of his life he was the poet of inspiration alone, following no man’s lead, and obeying no voice but that which he heard in his own mystic soul. Though the most extraordinary literary genius of his age, he had practically no influence upon it. Indeed, we hardly yet understand this poet of pure fancy, this mystic this transcendental madman, who remained to the end of his busy life and incomprehensible
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He lacks what the romantic poets are characterised with-the nostalgia, and a disgusted approach towards the world. In his approach towards nature and human bondage he is both a Romantic and a revolutionary. An element of Romanticism found in Blake, though in a lesser degree, is his absorbing sense of self.

Closely connected with Blake’s concentration of thought is his swiftness of expression. Many of his lyrics appear to have been written rapidly without alteration. Others show a few minor changes. But the changes themselves are swift and striking. He often changes a great thing into something much greater, or seldom returns to an earlier form without an obvious reason.

Many of Blake’s poems belong to his own pure and spontaneous in-born ideas, but he is not wholly independent. Blake can be seen to have been influenced by eminent writer. He paid Socrates the compliment of calling him ‘ a kind of brother’ and allowed Plato the honor of having anticipated his own ideas on poetry and the art; but of only two masters did he write with unqualified admiration and these were chemists. In the Marriage of Heaven and Hell he says that any man of mechanical talents might from the writings of Paracelsus or Jacob ‘produce’ ten thousand volumes of equal value with Swedenborg. The vocabulary adopted by Blake was amazingly comprehensive but the ideas expressed through them are profound.

Each poem of Blake is a

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