Thursday, February 18, 2010

William Blake (all poems)


  1. The Sick Rose. The title itself is beautiful in its shortness. The entire poem is small and sweet by appearance. However its motives and its content are gut wrenching. How can it be that a poem that looked like it was written during a Chemistry Class be so incredibly powerful? The word choice for one is marvelous. Observe "crimson joy". Crimson may not be a color known more extreme sadness, however it is much darker both literately and figuratively than its other counterpart colors know for joy such a yellow, red, and pink. Whatever this joy, it is neither gay nor merry. It is almost a lie to humanity. It is because of this, that I feel heavy hearted after reading this poem. Nevertheless Blake is a marvelous poet, who can change the tide of the room in a instan second.

  2. The Tyger:
    The poem by William Blake, The Tyger, is a great example of a romanticism period poem. The poem brings in the nature and individualistic characteristics of romantic poems through the poets tone. The poet describes this tiger, giving him emotions and imagery. Blake's words of "fearful symmetry" representing the stripes of the tiger as well as "burnt the fire of thine eyes." These two segments create strong imagery in the reader's mind. His calm, but serious tone mixes with ryhming to complete his image. After reading the poem personally, I obtained a burning picture of the tiger in my mind. It calmed me, but kept me focused on the poem. The words which teh poet uses, latches you in and doesn't let you go until you have read the whole poem.

    The Sick Rose:
    This poem was a key example of romantic poems, using the common depressive mood and sorrowful voicer that many other poems from this time also contain. Despite the poem's brevity, it is chock full of imagery and emotion. The loneliness in the poets words following the individual theme and the dying flower both complement the common concepts used in poems of the Romanticism time. The poet uses pathetic fallacy to give this innanimate object, the rose, human feelings. While it is written to be directed towards the rose, the reader is still able to interpret the mood of the rose. Personally, I enjoyed this poem quite a bit despite the dark tone.

  3. The Chimney Sweeper:
    This poem's focus on the individuality of the speaker, especially apparent in the first stanza, follows the trends of the Romanticism movement. Another element of this movement was the appreciation of the simple beauty seen in nature. These same qualities are conveyed by Blake's use of an amateur-level aabb rhyme scheme. He repeats the word "weep" four times in the third line to emphasize this childlike quality. To the same goal, Blake uses elementary language throughout the poem. This piece is an excellent portrayal of the themes emerging at this time.
    (In case you're wondering, Quan = Katie)

  4. The Chimney Sweeper:
    This poem starts sad, with a child abandoned, and ends with a happy message. This message is do your work and you will go to heaven. Deeper this message is those who do hard, terrible work in their life on Earth will be rewarded in the next. He does this through diction, describing death as "coffins of black" (12) and heaven as "naked and white" (17). The repetition of weep, sounds like a baby bird, crying for help. This helps the reader identify with the sad and in need state that the child is in. As Katie said, this poem has a childish quality. The rhyming pattern and the happy ending give the poem a nursery rhyme feel. And furthering this childlike quality, is the fact that the poem is indeed about a child.

    The Sick Rose: This poem was short and to the point. It could be read at two levels, first the literal level about a rose dying because a bug eats it or it could be taken at a symbolic level as a sick lover. Roses are often compared to beautiful women. The use of words such as "bed" and "love" also point in the direction of a sick lover. Blake uses wonderful word choice. He ends both stanza with words that leave us in turmoil. "Storm" and "destory" give rise to feelings of unhappiness, dark, raw emotion. The message of this poem was beautiful things die.

  5. The Sick Rose
    This poem evokes a feeling of intense but controlled, unstoppable predatory movement, which is projected by the worm. Although the worm is more metaphorical in the first four lines (worms do not normally fly), the imagery of each line (the rose, the worm, and the storm) forms a miniature picture in my mind. The shortness of the lines makes each one become more significant to the reader, and every line has a main subject that is emphasized by this structure. Also, the consistent length both visually and verbally makes the poem come out constricted and stunted in growth, which complements the main subject of the poem, the rose. The movement of the worm in the first stanza creates a sense of anxiety and dread, which is released in the second stanza and replaced by the realization of horrible, but satisfying conclusion by the destruction of the rose. The reason it is satisfying is because the worm finally causes the rose to be sick, which is something the reader anticipates from the title and first line of the poem, and so when the worm kills it, it brings a certain rightness to the story.

    The Tyger
    There is a sense of urgency to this poem, which is accomplished mainly by its structure. Each stanza is focused on the description of the tiger, but each is also its own separate entity in that there is no enjambment between stanzas, only within. In addition, despite the large amount of punctuation that Blake uses in the poem, it still feels fast paced because of the meter he uses, which makes the poem flow instead of come to a halt within the stanzas. The first and last stanzas are the same, which makes the poem itself tiger-shaped, in that it is literally symmetrical, and then describes a different aspect of the tiger in each body stanza. Blake uses a fearful and reverent tone to describe the tiger, and illustrates nicely the interest in the natural world during this period.

  6. Megan Mattson -
    In “The Tyger” by William Blake, Blake’s identification with the tyger shows association with nature. He can relate to the constraints and make of the tyger unconsciously. Blake uses the questions in the poem to get his audience to question and relate to the power and individuality of the tyger on their own. This in turn allows his audience to understand his connection to the tyger. I was drawn to the tyger and Blake’s association with it. There was strong connotation with the words, a tyger burning bright, the fire that what hand dare sieze. The syntax showcased the power of the tyger, which we all have. This was a nice romantic thought, that we are all unified in our abilities through nature.

  7. Marissa Wasmuth--
    "London" centers around the Romanticism themes of the individual and of disgust towards "modern" society. Instead of the usual romanticism emphasis on the individual, this poem centers on the universal suffering of urban London. By repeating words through out the poem, like "every" when addressing suffering, this universal connectivity is enforced. It may be that Blake wanted to show that in today's society there is this universal suffering, but it needs to be broken to unveil the individual. The disgust on how society is, is shown through the detailing of society's worst and poorest. The poem also places a negative connotation on the places of power such as the church and ruling class, which follows through with the revolutionary ideas of this period. When reading the poem, I definitely got a feeling of complete disgust towards the way people were living, and an intolerance towards the institutions that caused the suffering.

  8. "London"

    Blake’s portrayal of London in his poem illustrates both Romanticism and London, in that it shows the gloomy appearance of London while emphasizing the individual. Blake begins the poem in a rather grey manner—using words such as “woe”, “cry”, and “hapless”, establishing the foundation for the rest of the poem. Blake then utilizes the grim tone of the poem to add in individual struggles, lowering the poem to a more personalized level. (Blake appears to bring in a personal feeling to the poem by mentioning a chimney sweep—a commonality with another poem he wrote entitled “The Chimney Sweep”.) The individual struggles, which Blake portrays through the scenery, establish the poem on a Romantic level. A key concept of Romanticism is “a tendency to exalt the individual”, and thus, Blake’s poem is Romantic. Additionally, by evoking feelings of woe and despair, the poem has a much appreciated sense of depth.

    Calvin Ling

  9. The Chimney Sweeper:

    This piece exemplifies romanticism because it shows the individual's need for freedom and a positive view of nature. This poem associates nature with freedom and happiness when the sweepers are set free, frolic on the green plain, "wash in the river, and shine in the sun." On the other hand, the view of work is negative as the narrator is depressed and forced into working against his will. The imagery of the sweepers being "locked up in coffins of black" conveys a frightened tone and that being oppressed, confined, or in lack of control, is an awful situation. The imagery of the sweepers leaping, laughing, and shining once the angel releases them supports the idea that God will help them and that they will be happy so long as they do their part. This piece leaves content and hopeful feelings in the reader.

  10. "The Chimney Sweeper"

    This piece shows how a dream or a thought can get a person through the day. This young child has spent his life without parents, working all day, but thinks of how someday he'll be free to do what he wants and he will be happy and an individual. This dream kept him warm despite the fact that it was a cold morning. The romanticism comes in to play because he has such thoughts. While most of the poem is dark and ominous, the last stanza does not fit. It shows how even in the worst of conditions, one can have hope, and hope is a beautiful and romantic thing.

  11. "The Lamb"

    Lambs tend to represent weakness and, in some cases, victimization. The lamb of this poem represents the animal itself and the many Christian references to lambs as the followers of Christ and Christ himself. Though there is a very strong religious meaning, this poem also emphasizes the importance of nature in religion. Here, Blake praises the creation of the lamb and his "clothing of delight." Overall, "The Lamb" is a very upbeat poem full of praise for natural wonders that are generally taken for granted.

  12. "The Lamb"

    "The Lamb" includes different aspects of Romantic writing. An emphasis on nature is shown by the lamb being the main subject of the poem, and there is an emphasis on natural religion. Blake is describing to the lamb why he was created and how it was for the most simple and divine reason. There is no emphasis on the church or what the church believes, but more so how God created such a perfect creature of nature. Blake reinforces the perfection of nature through the description of the lamb using imagery and simile, “Softest clothing, woolly, bright;/Gave thee such a tender voice,” (Blake). While including the description of perfect nature, Blake reinforces natural religion as well as a consideration of scenery.
    The poem seemed very childish and innocent to me, but I liked the emphasis on natural religion rather than established religion. The natural religion tied in to the description of the lamb, and it flowed together nicely.

  13. The Sick Rose
    This poem seems so short and as if it might hold little meaning, but once read you see the full heart breaking meaning behind it. This poem feels different then the average Romantic poem it feels very over bearing. And the imagery is what makes the poem in my opinion a real Romantic poem. You can almost see the worm destroying the rose in some sense.

    -Kat J.

  14. "Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright/ In the forests of the night" Even in the first two lines of this poem, Blake uses vivid imagery to capture the reader's attention and invoke an emotional response. Through the poem, Blake has a tone of questioning, as the entire poem is in fact just Blake asking this animal questions, not expecting an answer, but simply wond'ring aloud. The final stanza is a repetition of the first, to provide emphasis on this image of a tiger running through forests at night, with its "fearful symmetry".
    This poem evokes a feeling of mystery or approach of the unknown in me, as Blake uses the questions rhetorically, not to ever find the answer. Also, I tend to associate this poem with child-like curiosity due to the constant questioning, though upon further analysis, it seems as though an old man reflecting upon a tiger.

  15. In his poem "London", William Blake is able to capture the feeling of a city in four short stanzas. From what I understand about 18th-century London, based on other readings, it was a fairly bleak place to be, filled with melancholy, as this poem accurately describes. In the third stanza, Blake describes the sounds he hears while walking through the dismal streets, "How the chimney-sweeper's cry/ Every blackening church appals,/ And the hapless soldier's sigh...". This stanza used both rhyme and imagery to depict the depressing state of things, with the words cry and sigh, and between those rhymes Blake portays the Church as 'blackening', as though it is dying. This poem induces feelings of sadness in me, naturally, based on Blake's word choice, but beyond that, sympathy for those who realize the misery of their situation, like the aforementioned chimney-sweeper and the soldier.

  16. The Tyger:
    Willam Blake's "The Tyger" is a fine example of Romanticism, because it focuses on the fearful beauty of a wild creature. The first four lines, "Tyger! Tyger! burning bright/ In the forests of the night,/ What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" addresses an interest in the untamed natural world, "the forests of the night", and an admiration for the natural savagery of the wild animal, "fearful symmetry". The poem also reveals the presence of some sort of greater natural being. The speaker is continually asking things such as "What immortal hand or eye,/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" and "Did he smile his work to see?/ Did he who made the Lamb make thee?".


  17. ^^
    "The Tyger" does not evoke a specific emotion in me. It's tone is of fear, awe, and admiration for the beast and for whoever created him.

  18. The Sick Rose:
    The title in itself is an example of Romanticism, as it gives a part of nature a certain human characteristic: sickness. This is the main romantic device used in this poem. "The invisible worm",the deliverer of the sickness, has a "dark secret love" that destroys the "rose". This poem's tone sad but accepting, the speaker accepts the fact that the "rose" is destined to die and seems to not feel the need to do anything about it.

  19. "The Lamb" The author uses short, simple stanzas and repititon to create youthful and innocent tone in the piece. The author also capitalized words such as "He" and "Himself" to emphasize that he is referring to God. Blake rejoiced to the lamb about all the wonders of his creator, who "gave thee such a tender voice". The focus of the piece is on the perfection of God's creations and the comfort he provide for them. I like how the author uses comparative language between the little lam and presumably baby Jesus. Both are "meek" and "mild" as well as rejoiced and protected.

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  21. The title does little more than tell us the subject and speaker of the poem, a young and poor group of little boys that are occupied as chimney sweeps. Despite its sad and rather pitiful subject, children that are so young they can’t speak properly having to work to support themselves, the poem moves along quickly with a hopeful air. The poet, Blake is clearly religious, his message at the end proves him to be so and it is his belief in the fairness and rewards of heaven that enable him to write of the boys with such a hopeful and didactic tone. The poem is put down in solidly- based lines, each sentence clearly has a purpose. The definite and decided tone never slips, showing that there is never a moment of doubt that if the young boys are good and faithful and “do their duty” they will be rewarded. The romanticism in this poem is shown through the simplicity of it all, the belief in an ideal heaven and earth.

  22. "London" - William Blake

    In this poem, William Blake writes of a first-person experience, whether his or someone else's, walking through the streets of London. He describes the prominent characteristics of the narrator's journey through the streets with phrases such as "marks of weakness, marks of woe" and words like "cry", "hapless", "fear", and "tear". Through Blake's diction and dreary tone, the narrator is condemning the decline of London, and possibly his societal surroundings as a whole. This is due to the increase of commerce in London during his time, and thus an increase in corruption and lack of authoritative interest in the well-being of the common people.

    -Teresa Cheong, period 5.

  23. "The Sick Rose":
    “The Sick Rose” is a romantic poem marked by an interest in nature, which is exemplified by its discussion of a rose and worm, which are organisms found in nature. Blake personifies both these objects, saying that the worm has a “dark secret love,” and the rose’s life is being destroyed by it. Blake uses such pathetic fallacy by giving a worm the ability to love, and this may indicate that the worm is not just a mere worm, but a symbol for perhaps a person. It is possible that this poem is indirectly about a man (presumably symbolized by the worm, who is referred to as “he”) who injures or hurts a woman (the rose) with his love. My initial reaction to this poem was interest, especially since the poem seems so dark, and then a sort of fear, because saying that the love destroys life is a particularly fearsome thought.

    "The Chimney Sweeper, 1794":
    “The Chimney Sweeper” is a romantic poem in that it focuses greatly on the individual – it is all a discussion of one boy’s outer and inner feelings, and his relationship and view of religion. This view of religion deviates from a traditional view, especially in saying that God makes up a “heaven of our misery,” which to me implies that God employs the misery of humanity for his own personal use, thought it may also imply that God takes human pain and creates something better from it. Juxtaposition is used quite liberally in this poem – one line says “I was happy upon the heath,” and then another reads “they clothed me in the clothes of death.” For every optimistic line there is a pessimistic line to follow, so the reader feels that the writer or protagonist of the poem is deeply misunderstood by his parents, for every time he shows happiness, they follow it up with sadness, not comprehending the effect this behavior has on the child. To me, this poem shows a doubt of religion and instills sadness because the child is so misunderstood. I feel sorry, reading this, for the subject of the poem.

    -Gina Faldetta, Period 5

  24. The Tyger
    In The Tyger Blake creates a sense of pride and terror for the creature he describes. The creature is beautiful and powerful, and because of that frightening. It could kill you in an instant with a grace matched by it ferocity. Blake creates this feeling by describing the very things that make it scary with language that is a testament to its beauty. For him the "tyger" is st apart from most other creatures such as the lamb, they are both of nature but the "tyger" is in a class all its own.
    Jacob Galewsky

  25. The Lamb

    The use and repetition of softer words using the "e" sound lends the poem a light and fluffy tone, much like the clothing of the lamb. The light and airy tone serves to mask the deeper religious meanings, the side wise invocation of Christ's name. These create a Romantic feel to a poem that is also Christian, invoking nature and the Christian religion in one fell swoop. Christ is the sacrificial lamb of revelations, a blameless creature who accepts the sins of man to save man. So does the actual lamb sacrifice it's greatest virtue, it's coat, for the comfort and clothing of man.

  26. The Lamb: This poem sounds much like a nursery rhyme, making it appealing to not only poetry readers, but to children as well. Words like "delight", "bright", and "tender" invoke happiness. Repetition throughout the poem adds to the childlike tone. By the author asking the lamb if it knows who made it, it vaguely explains the existence as God as the creator. This is also shown when the words "He" and "Himself" are capitalized. By using relatively simple diction and rhymes that are pleasant to the ear, Blake creates a sweet and to-the-point address to an innocent being.

  27. The Sick Rose: This poem is quite short, but that is what makes it appealing. It directly mentions love, making it obviously Romantic. The love isn't between people, however. It is the worm's love of the rose that kills it. This seems like a theme that could be applied to love between people as well. A person's love for someone else could be so great that it hurts them, such as when someone is obsessed with a person. The poem is a saddening one, because roses are seen as symbols of love and beauty. By writing of a rose dying, Blake shows how hurting someone with love is a saddening thought.

  28. Blake addresses the horror of cities in "London," titled after a sprawling metropolis. The streets, and even the river Thames, are all chartered, suggesting they exist only with consent of the monarch, a claim especially preposterous with regard to the river. The river has become an institution of this city, instead of one of nature, forced into this role by a constant effort to expand in industry. The pounding anaphora in the second stanza is reminiscent of the constant action in the city and its effects on each individual. The poem introduces an idea that only painful and pitiable regularity emerges from cities, where individual's wretched lives are conducted but not enjoyed.

  29. The Chimney Sweeper
    The author relies greatly on the emotion of pity or sorrow felt for the boy in the unfortunate predicament. The poem is focused around a lower class little boy being interrogated by an upper class citizen that does not know the ways of the chimney sweepers. The upper class individual has higher expectations for the boy’s way of life and creates the sense of pity by those expectations being broken down one by one by the boy’s responses. The biggest tool used is justaposition, when comparing the chimney sweeping boy, probably black with soot, to the white and pure snow surrounding him, the message is that he was a lone outcast, a boy filled with sadness and grief with everyone and everything around him filled with happiness. This poem mentions the lord, usually associated with nature and the basic way of the earth, happily ruling over the world of sadness. This shows that the natural way to be is sad and that one can further ones self from this emotion and world of woe only by the lack of the natural state, by contrast of the regular. The poem also hints that the boy may have a better philosophy and way of life than the upper class because he is happy, even when he would look to be sad because of his current state in the world.

  30. The Lamb
    The poem is relating the woman that a man loves to the positive qualities that a lamb possesses. This quite obviously relates the woman and the thought of love to nature by humanizing a lamb and only describing the traits of the lamb that are both similar to the woman and that are also flattering. Lambs are usually thought of as pure, cute, and snuggly because of their youth and fluffy white coat. The author successfully compares the woman to a lamb by relating the wool of a lamb to the clothes of the woman and the cry of the lamb to the voice of the woman. The reason for success in this manner is that the adjectives of the poem are ones that are used to describe a lovely woman, when the nouns are still belonging to the lamb and its characteristics.

  31. London
    Most romantic poetry is about a love of solitude and wildness in nature, but "London" is about the structured industrialization and overpopulation of the city of London. However, by evoking feelings of oppression and depression while discussing the city, Blake still supports Romantic ideas. By making London unfavorable, Blake causes the reader to crave the opposite of an industrial city: the peace, calm, and freedom of nature. Blake creates a feeling of monotony through repetition, saying he can hear "the mind-forged manacles" in every person in London, listing different situations but using the same structure. This also de-emphasizes the individual, by making every person appear to be part of a mob with the same listless feelings. However, at the end of the poem Blake focuses in on one "youthful harlot" and how he has been effected by the city, leaving the reader with a lingering curiosity about how this person could have been different if he had been raised in a more natural setting.

  32. Blake's "The Rose" can be seen as a somber commentary on the sickening society in which he, and perhaps most others, live. The rose, an object in nature (one characteristic of Romantic poetry) which quite often signifies delicacy, beauty or youth, is testimony to the undeveloped community in which we exist, and which is "sick," or corrupted in some way. That which plagues the "rose," is unseen, and "flies in the night," the unjust actions regularly weakening society. "The howling storm" might be interpreted as the chaos which has been accepted, and now become invisible as it has "found out thy bed," or settled with the people. The poem, overall has a feeling of seriousness and urgency, brought to emphasis in the final line, "does thy life destroy," foreboding and a foretelling of the losses we will suffer should no remedy for societies ailments, be found.

  33. Blake's "The Rose" can be seen as a somber commentary on the sickening society in which he, and perhaps most others, live. The rose, an object in nature (one characteristic of Romantic poetry) which quite often signifies delicacy, beauty or youth, is testimony to the undeveloped community in which we exist, and which is "sick," or corrupted in some way. That which plagues the "rose," is unseen, and "flies in the night," the unjust actions regularly weakening society. "The howling storm" might be interpreted as the chaos which has been accepted, and now become invisible as it has "found out thy bed," or settled with the people. The poem, overall has a feeling of seriousness and urgency, brought to emphasis in the final line, "does thy life destroy," foreboding and a foretelling of the losses we will suffer should no remedy for societies ailments, be found.
    Carmen Altes

  34. The Sick Rose:

    The Sick Rose is Romantic because of the interest in nature displayed by the interest in this one single Rose. It is also romantic because of the increased scenery, where it talks about the howling storm and the rose’s crimson bed of joy. This poem uses metaphors and similes to make nature feel like something that’s real. There’s also the personification of objects, like the wind howling. This piece made me feel sorry for nature. I interpreted the poem as the invisible worm as humans because their “dark secret love” is their love of nature but it “destroys” a lot of nature, like the trees, where we love them, but that kills them as we cut them down, much like this rose, if we love it, we’ll take it and then it will die, poor nature.

  35. The Tyger:

    The Tyger is Romantic because of the increased interest in nature, that being the Tyger, and the personification of the stars and heavens. This poem also talks about natural religion, asking “what immortal hand or eye” created the Tyger. The author uses an allusion to link this piece to God, because of the “Lamb” who is usually associated to God, and the Blake is asking what immortal caused this beast. The author also used personification to show that the heavens have power, like the “stars [throwing] their spears”. The metaphors were used to talk about this tyger’s power, like the hammer, chain, and anvil. This poem made me fear yet respect nature, fear nature because of the “deadly terror” and the twist of the heart, but the brightness of these animals makes them a treasured objects, just like in The Sick Rose.

  36. As noted in the introduction to Romanticism when it is a theme of romantic poetry to focus on the primitive side of nature. This sentiment is echoed in many of William Blake's works, including "the chimney sweeper." This use of the primitive, simplistic nature of a chimney sweeper was intended to draw the emotion of somber pity from the audience. The somberness easily could have been taken from the short and simple address of death. Blake did not linger on death, as to create the since that it was unimportant.

  37. The Sick Rose by William Blake.
    Although this poem may seem to be short and blunt, the theme of the poem is strangely diverse. It addresses romanticism, but only a few words after uttering "invisible worm," which is oddly placed in a romantic piece. The "invisible worm" is hazardous to the rose, and eventually kills it. The poem implies that the rose is sick, and because the poem addresses love, it indicates that love can be sickly as well. The tone is sad, but the poem is so matter-of-fact that it is difficult to notice while reading the two short stanzas.

    -Jenna Lester

  38. William Blake’s "The Chimney Sweepers" illustrates the Romanticism movement through the ideas of individuality, freedom, and imagination. Throughout the poem, Blake uses first person to stress the importance of the individual. The entire poem is about the speaker and the people he knows. The description of the speaker’s life creates pity in the first stanza forming a somber mood that lasts until the forth stanza. Blake describes death as people, “lock’d up in coffins of black” which emphasizes the movement of freedom. When you are “lock’d up” in death you will be set free to go to heaven. This is an illusion towards people who were once constricted in life will now be free to do as they please in this time of Romanticism. Most of the poem describes a dream. The imagination of Blake is transferred to the imagination of Tom the chimney sweep. Imagining seeing an angel come and take people to heaven is something that would not be seen in earlier poems. The poem ends with the cheerful message that states, “if all do their duty they need not fear harm.” The young chimney sweepers believe, no matter what they have been through in their lives, if they do their work they will reach heaven. This, however, contrasts with the second version of the poem that seems to come from a more experienced person who has changed their opinion to be extremely pessimistic and accusing.

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  40. William Blake's poem "The Chimney Sweeper" revolves around the theme of individualism. It is apparent in the first stanza that the author is addressing the political issue of a chimney sweeper. The boy in the poem sees his situation through the eyes of innocence and does not realize the injustice that is predominant. Throughout the entirety of the poem, the author uses depressing imagry such as, "in soot I sleep" and "you know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair". This hints to the reader that there is no hope for the chimeny sweep.

  41. The Tyger by William Blake.
    This poem, consisting of lines and lines of questions, bring about emotions of hope. In Blake's other poem, "The Lamb," the child or naive adult that is asking the question takes on a light tone, one that would not be associated with dare. Though, in "The Tyger," the naive questioner is incredibly brave to even mess with the tiger. The poem is attractive to readers because of the drama it evokes. It is dramatic because the reader can understand how the tiger is beautiful in its perfect symmetry (beauty to humans is perfect symmetry) yet so frightening at the same time. This addresses love by comparing it to a tiger: beautiful and amazing, yet so frightening, people are afraid to face it and jump right in. This makes one feel excited for love, yet also frightened because it can be as hurtful as a tiger on a rampage.

    -Jenna Lester

  42. The Lamb:
    This poem first talks about a lamb as in the animal, and then it says "who made thee?... he is called by thy name", referring to Jesus and God. This connection that the Lamb of God made the lamb first mentioned is what is so romantic about this poem. The romance in it is talking about God's love, and God's love towards all of his creations. Even though it never specifically says Jesus made the lamb, it implies it. The first implication is when Blake calls the lamb "meek" and "mild", which are two commonly used words to describe Jesus. Also, Blake refers to the lamb in second person, recognizing it as a single individual, and yet he is also talking to his readers, telling them that they are all like the lamb. This includes a bit of anthropomorphism in that the lamb's wool is clothing and it's bleat is a "tender voice". He made the poem personal to each reader and yet it is also talking to all of humanity as well.

  43. Nathan Bendich
    "The Tyger" and "The Lamb" mirror each other. "The Lamb"'s happy-go-lucky tone counterpoints "The Tyger"'s awestruck and scarily powerful tone. In both, Blake uses simple language and repetitive rhymes. "The Lamb"'s convey gentleness and soft cheerfulness while "The Tyger"'s show raw power and brutal, fearsome strength. The Lamb's "Softest clothing, woolly, bright" has a far more innocent connotation than Blake's question "what art could twist the sinews of thy heart?" in "The Tyger". Both discuss natural religion and nature when contemplating the creation of these two opposite facets of nature, the sheep and tiger. This lets them fall under the description "Romantic". Where "The Lamb" inspired feelings of enthusiasm and innocence in me, "The Tyger" made me fearful and awe-struck.

  44. “The Tyger”, William Blake

    William Blake’s The Tyger asks a very simple question—how was the tiger created? Blake asks what immortal hand could form the tiger, asking later “Did He who make the lamb make thee”. By capitalizing ‘he’, as well as mentioning the presence of an immortal hand earlier in the poem, Blake assumes that an immortal being must have created the tiger. The Tyger reflects the natural aspect of Romanticism, that which preoccupies itself with nature rather than the human being. It also emphasizes natural religion in a sense, claiming that animals were conceived by an immortal deity (most likely G-d). The poem’s use of question marks was disconcerting and the repetition of the first stanza in the last was also slightly confusing. The best part of the poem was the metaphor that Blake uses, comparing the tiger within the forest to a fire among trees. The metaphor serves to show the danger that the tiger can cause among the forest, as well as the power that it holds over the rest of the animals.

    “The Sick Rose”, William Blake

    While poetry is intended to give freedom to the author in terms of length, William Blake goes overboard with the poem The Sick Rose. The poem, only eight lines long, leaves many questions unanswered as it tries to convey vague feelings about a rose. Blake uses a worm as a metaphor for all forces in the world that attempt to destroy love, portrayed in the poem as love. Blake’s metaphors are appropriate given the common connotations of such objects (worm as generally considered destructive while roses are considered to represent love and affection) however are not properly expressed due to the short length of the poem. The poem involves the Romanticism interest as nature as well as associating human moods with parts of nature (i.e. the Rose’s association with love). However, without being any longer, the poem fails to convey the ideas that it has set out to achieve.

    “London” , William Blake

    London, a William Blake poem, does nothing but illustrate the fear in each city that haunts every man who lives there. The poem is based in London and talks about the woe that the speaker sees near the Thames River, the blood that runs down the palace walls, and the curse of the harlot. Blake addresses depression as though it has spread throughout the entire city, addressing such a wide spectrum of people to emphasize the permanence of this depression. The idea of the harlot curse, most likely a sexually transmitted disease, is only another indicator of the spreading of the depression (because sexually transmitted diseases spread quickly, likening them to depression begs the conclusion that depression is also spreading quickly). The poem appealed to me because of its depressing nature, which I believe makes for better poetry and the mood was appropriate for the nature of the poem. The poem’s only tie to Romanticism comes from its interest in minute details and the manifestations of emotions through scenery (i.e. the blood stains on the palace walls that Blake uses to show the damage caused by war—even the kings are scarred).

    - David Freed, 5th Period English (A days)

    “The Lamb”, William Blake

    I found this poem provocative. The first part awoke the scientist inside me. I saw the lamb as a metaphor for humankind, and felt collective pride for the scientific achievements and anxiety for the many unanswered questions. The religious answer of the second part challenged me. The apparent peace of the lamb goes well with the religious answer, why bother with more complications? This is my challenge, I can't let it go. I am a cosmologist and I want to understand even at the price of living without the security that religious people have.

    - Sonia Paban (David Freed’s Parent)

  45. The Sick Rose
    This poem by William Blake, is able to convey so much in so few lines. He uses beautiful imagery when describing the rose and the "invisible worm". The phrases such as "howling storm", "crimson joy", and "dark secret love", all evoked a heavy reaction in me when reading the poem. Calling the love that the worm has for the rose, dark and secret, adds a negative tone to the poem. By using words such as "destroy", "storm", and "sick", also add on to the negativity that the poem portrays. The rose in the poem probably symbolizes a woman, and the worm, a lover of hers.

    The Chimney Sweeper
    This poem by William Blake has sort of a bitter-sweet tone. It speaks of a child, presumably a boy, who is miserable yet nobody knows it. The poem takes on a somber attitude in the second line, when it talks about a "little black thing" crying in the snow. The words such as woe, death, injury, and misery, reflect the bitter side of the poem, while the words sing, happy, dance, and smiled reflect the sweeter tone of the poem. "The Chimney Sweeper", at first glance, seems uplifting and happy, when it is actually a dark and melancholy story.

  46. The Sick Rose by William Blake (Jes)
    This is a romantic poem because human qualities are being given to an inanimate object, a rose. By Blake using pathetic fallacy he allows the reader to interpret the rose metaphorically. The rose is not just dying but it is sick. The rose could represent a lover. The short choppy lines build intensity and a strong sense of emotion, which is also common in romantic poems. By adding intensity through the structure, Blake adds passion. Passion being one of the key emotionsin love. Which allows the metaphor of a lover to come to mind as well. I enjoyed this poem, because it was simple yet powerful.

  47. The Sick Rose

    When I hear of red roses I immediately think of love. This is the flower which we've associated with this emotion and the holiday that celebrates it. This poem describes a rose and it's death by love. Naturally because we are speaking of death, I imagined this to be a poem about a more darkened love. Other things that brought this idea on, besides the use of the words "dark secret love", was the "howling storm", the "invisible worm", and the talk of night which seemed to fill this entire poem. This is the first of the love poems, that I have read so far, which doesn't give a warmer emotion or a happy ending/beginning.

  48. The Sick Rose – William Blake

    Blake’s use of line breaks and juxtaposition create a dark, cryptic tone to “The Sick Rose.” Though the work is relatively brief, it holds a strong impact. In the lines, “has found thy bed / Of crimson joy,” Bake uses the separation of lines to provide description and allows the reader to peer into his meaning intended for the poem. However, with the next line, Blake sets the reader in another direction, continuing on to speak of a mysterious “dark secret love.” The abcb defe rhyme scheme provides an aspect of simplicity, which guides the complexity of the emotion presented. The author conveys the dangerousness of love through the metaphor of a dying rose.

  49. "The Chimney Sweeper":
    The first phrase of this poem grabbed my attention. I know that Natalie’s lost her mother. Why had she chosen this poem for me? As I continued to read, I enjoyed the poem. The message I read in the poem is that we all have a price to pay to “never want joy.” I look forward to someday leaving behind our bags of soot and being washed clean.
    --Jerry Guajardo (Natalie's dad)
    An answer to my dad, I chose the poem because it was the first I responded too. (*sigh* He reads too much into things sometimes.) =)

  50. “The Sick Rose” by William Blake is Romantic in its focus on nature while using human moods to describe it. The poem is addressed to a rose from the first words “O Rose” with Blake's use of apostrophe, implying that nature has understanding and wisdom. Examples of pathetic fallacy are found throughout the poem in the description of the “howling” storm, and the worm's “crimson joy” and “dark secret love.” In addition, the individual plays an important role, with only a single rose and worm discussed. Despite its negative subject, I had a slightly humorous reaction to the poem because of the irony of the last two lines, where either love destroys the life of a rose or a rose destroys the worm's love. These lines were emphasized with the use of anastrophe in the final phrase “does thy life destroy,” which added some ambiguity over which thing is destroying the other.

    The concern with the individual and their circumstances of “The Chimney Sweeper” by William Blake shows it is Romantic. Written from the perspective of a chimney sweeper, it tells a story about a fellow sweeper, Tom Dacre, who is upset after his head is shaved but then accepts his situation, the next morning “happy & warm.” The use of onomatopoeia and simple diction and structure give the speaker a childlike innocence, which was associated with true wisdom in the Romantic period. Most of the poem is not concerned with nature, but the fourth stanza describes the only genuinely happy scene, where children play around the river, showing the Romantic appreciation of nature. While the poem seems to have an uplifting ending, it left me feeling confused because of the contrast of the unconcerned, sometimes positive tone with the negative descriptions of the chimney sweeper's work.

    Brad Girardeau, 3rd Period

  51. In William Blake's "The Chimney Sweep" from Songs of Innocence and Experience, a character named Tom dreamt of a joyous place lacking the typical restraints of society. Though the poem's conclusion appears to have a cheerful tone, the doubt and suspicion of society that is present throughout the first part of the poem is still there at the end. Tom's dream holds many ideas Romantic ideas and concepts, mainly having to do with nature and being free. In Tom's dream, the chimney sweeps "down a green plain, leaping, laughing, then run,/And wash in a river, and shine in the sun" (15-16). The Romanticism in this is in the beauty and appreciation of nature since it is pure and untouched by humanity and humanity's laws. Also, "naked and white, all their bags left behind,/They [the chimney sweeps] rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind" (17-18). This is Romantic because these lines illustrate the how the chimney sweeps desire to act more as individuals and be unrestrained by society. Despite the seemingly happy tones in several places throughout the poem, the tone as a whole is looking down upon society, making it a Romantic piece.

    Mia Pfluger, 8th period

  52. The Sick Rose

    This was the analysis that my mom wrote:

    This poem seems romantic because of the way that the writer describes the characteristic of the rose by saying that the worm found out it's "bed of crimson joy". He describes the way that the worm came into the rose, like secret love. By using phrases like "the rose is sick", instead of saying something like the worm is eating the rose, the author gives room for imagination. To me, it is sad how the beauty of the rose is exterminate by one little worm.

  53. The Tyger

    William Blake's 'The Tyger' in my opinion was a response to the industrialisation of Britain from 1750 into the mid 1800's. His view on this topic was a very cynical and critical one as he speculated the change it brought about in everyday life on the environment and people of Britain. The 'Tyger' is a symbol for what the revolution was like, the ferocity and ruthlessness of a Tiger in some ways represents what the revolution brought upon the people of Britain. He slightly changes the spelling of tiger on purpose to imply that he is using the tiger as a comparitable image so people can refer to it, and not an identical comparison. It's contrast to the 'The Little Lamb' is evident, the two states of mind of God's creation are shown; in simple terms good and evil.

    The meter of the poem represents what the 'Tyger' is like, the trochaic drum like chant of the words moulded together such as 'Tyger Tyger burning bright' creates a bold a harsh sounding beat from the stressing of the syllables at the beginning of the words. It changes the manner in which it is read, creating a more sinister effect.

  54. The Chimney Sweeper 1
    The poem began darkly then it progressed to being quite uplifting. The poem is about orphan children forced into hard labor. They toil and sweat within the chimneys. Blake uses two rhyming couplets within each stanza easing the flow of the poem. The children are eventually in heaven. Blake describes heaven with sensory imagery "then down a green plane leaping laughing they run/ And wash in a river and shine in the sun." Blake describes a pristine meadow away from the toils of the city to be heaven. Blake describes the kids like they are leaving their "baggage" behind they are being rewarded for remaining pure and working hard within their life on earth. This poem made me feel sad because I felt pity for the Orphans and that they had to die so young. After considering the circumstances of the children I realized their death was more a blessing since it freed them from having to sweep chimneys. Instead they get to spend eternity within the field of heaven.

  55. "The Sick Rose"
    This poem describes a rose, something that has always represented beauty and love being destroyed by a worm. The worm is very earthly, natural, and to a point disgusting. It is also associated with bad things, as the rhyme at the end of the first stanza associates worm and storm. The poem has an edgy and attacking feeling since the rose is a symbol of the Earth's beauty, and the worm, which corrupts and destroys could symbolize humanity. The rhyming of joy and destroy causes the poem to end ominously. The connection between these two opposites points out how one's joy destroys the other's life, and they cannot coexist happily.

  56. The Tyger -
    This poem speaks of the fearsome tiger with awe, and expresses disbelief that the same force that created the lamb created the tiger as well. This is another example of the juxtaposition between the typically beautiful and the fierce, rough beauty that is often displayed in romantic poems. This poem references nature and its beauty, and also how it relates to animals such as the tiger that can be given human characteristics. This is one of my favorite poems, because the language matches the subject matter. The Tyger is a great romantic poem because it elicits a sense of urgency from the reader, and yet is somehow calming at the same time because of its descriptions of serenity.

  57. The Chimney Sweeper

    This poem, in contrast to the songs of experience, has a much more hopeful tone. Blake is trying to show how poorly the young children are being treated. Sold into basic slavery, not even old enough to pronounce "sweep" correctly which is an acquired dialect that can only be pronounced correctly with age. In stead the children cry " weep!" begging for sympathy from the readers.
    This poem also shows the faith and hope the children have in God. The angel tells Tom that if he does his duty he will have God as his father, someone he didn't have when he was growing up. " He'd have God for his father, and never want joy." this provides more than enough reason for Tom to continue with his dreadful duties in order to one day finally be happy with his creator.

  58. William Blake's poem; 'The Lamb' is composed as one of the two contrasting characteristics of God's creation on earth. The natural and harmless imagery used by Blake creates a peaceful and innocent tone to the poem. He uses words such as 'meek' and 'mild' to describe the lamb, furthering the image of a harmless animal. It is a common theme in many of Blake's poems to use a lamb as a symbol for innocence, most probably due to the fact that it is a religous symbol (Jesus is referred to as 'The Lamb of God' in the New Testament).
    The innocence and goodness of the lamb is emphasised when compared to that of the 'Tyger'. In 'The Tyger' the landscape in which this Tyger is living in is a 'forest of the night', a dark and dangerous place. Whereas the 'Little lamb' lives 'by the stream and o'er the mead' a jovial image that creates a Godlike and unthreatening impression.
    Furthermore, the structure of the poem is hymn like. By structuring the poem in a hymn like manner; using the refrain of 'Little lamb' and the simple sentence length that are found in hymns, it enforces the idea that this lamb is indeed a 'Godlike' and pure creature.

  59. “Tyger Tyger” the first line seems to cry out. I’m guessing we’re using a new pronunciation of Tiger, reflected by the different spelling. Nonetheless, William Blake’s poem shows romance in his increasing interest in Nature, and a respect to its “natural genius”. When one thinks of genius, some may think of literary mastery, a capability to make words, emotions, palpable and warp them with a curve of a comma or the dash of a period. On the other hand, genius might bring to mind Einstein, someone who can make mayhem sound reasonable with the stroke of an equal sign, revealing the “fearful symmetry” of mystery. Let this “immortal” creation’s geometry be in the Tyger (Tiger?) as the Tiger (Tyger?) be in Nature. Blake emphasizes these words practically vocally through his usage of exclamation marks. As if showing the reader by a campfire, the “forests of the night” and the horrors it holds in “the fire of [the Tyger’s] eyes”. Marveling in the mastery, pondering “what art” could create a beast as magnificent as the Tyger, Blake hints at a parallelism between this creature of “deadly terrors” and “he who made the Lamb”. A lamb could be an innocent, wooly creature that many agree would be lead astray without a shepherd. Then again, the word could be a reference to Jesus. Many consider him a shepherd of men (humanity in general). He was the Lamb of God. In this way, Blake’s parallelism hints at the greatness of both the Tyger and Jesus. Possibly this could be a far stretch, and neither my hands nor eyes are hardly immortal compared to the Tyger (or Jesus) to “dare frame thy fearful symmetry”.
    I doubt I would ever use this poem to woo the woman of my dreams, but the poem is not romantic just a love for the creature, but an awesome respect for what the Tyger stands for: immortal fear and power, balanced with beauty and serenitity.

    From “Songs of Innocence”, “The Lamb” by William Blake is Romantic in that it places an emphasis on natural religion. There was the usage of “God”, and symbolizing Nature is the lamb. But there’s more to it than that. In the simplicity of the short verses, and repetitive rhymes and lines, Blake makes the poem romantic through the increasing exalting of the individual, the lamb. First, Blake questions the lamb’s existence, asking it “Dost thou know who made thee?/ Gave thee life & bid thee feed”. As if taunting the poor creature, Blake continues to ask questions, building suspense in the first stanza, making both the lamb and the reader eager for understanding. Finally revealing that he knows the answers already and he is willing to “tell thee”. One can consider this point of the poem the climax, the answer: the lamb’s creator was another lamb – named Lamb. Materially speaking, this answer didn’t answer any that wasn’t obvious. However, Lamb is not an ordinary lamb, for “He is meek & he is mild; / He became a little child.” Most likely, Blake is using metaphor because next he says that he is a child (thus he is also the Lamb), and “thou a lamb”. The words transcend the poem and suddenly apply to the reader as well. He’s a lamb, you’re a lamb, I’m a lamb! God bless us! This is where Blake’s usage of natural religion comes back into play. Jesus was the Lamb of God. And so if he’s a lamb, and Blake is a lamb, and I’m a lamb, we’re all Jesus. No, I don’t mean to say that in a religious way. More so: Let this Mind be in me as it is in Christ Jesus. “We are called by his name”, just as he is called by ours. Blake’s answers the questions, and now this song of innocence sings for you, and me. “God bless thee”.

  60. it would appear I broke 5 sentences, didn't know I'd written THIS much...oops...

  61. In “London,” Blake is not afraid to draw attention to the ugly side of life. Though many people overlook the poverty and devastation that mingles amongst city streets, Blake does the opposite, shaking it in front of humanity’s nose. Blake speaks for the individual, showcasing fear and grief in all people, from the infant to the chimney sweeper. Blake does not simply lament though, he also criticizes the culture that city life permits, specifically that of prostitutes, speaking of “how the youthful harlot’s curse blasts the new-born infant’s tear.” This image, no doubt, is an atrocious one, and is meant to sting. Blake’s blunt diction aids to bring light to the moral collapse that civilization houses.

  62. The Sick Rose:
    The Sick Rose proves to be a romantic poem because in the quote "O Rose, thou art sick" the author shows a clear concern and interest in nature. Also, the author makes a point to talked about by him mentioning a "howling storm." A literary device is used when the author talks about one of the character's "dark secret love" because love can obviously not literally be dark, but it is talking more about the concept of the love being something that is not very positive. As for an emotional reaction, I felt quite content after reading the poem. The author wrote the poem in a format that allows the audience to know that the Rose is sick, which is the most devastating part of the poem. Therefore, by knowing this ahead of time the audience can absorb the rest of the poem while reading, instead of focusing on figuring out the meaning behind the poem.

  63. The Chimney Sweeper (Innocence, then Experience)

    The most obvious reading of these two poems in sequence is that Blake
    is an atheist. But we know that Blake was not an atheist. Therefore,
    he must remember and value innocence despite his experience.
    When a person gains experience, s/he understands and rebels against
    life's injustices. It appears that Blake believes very strongly that
    the plight of the child chimney-sweeps was unjust, and that the
    adults who exploited the children were guilty (and, probably, damned).
    But i don't believe that, to Blake, the above fact implied that
    the stories about Heaven and Salvation were lies invented by the
    strong to oppress the weak. That conclusion, i think he's trying to
    say, is a false one arrived at by people who, because of their oppression,
    are never able to rise above their circumstances to see any good in the world.
    Thus, a person with experience can be just as limited in what they can
    see as an innocent (because of the mind-set the experience forced upon them).

    Now, to what extent does this pair of poems satisfy the stated criteria
    for being "Romantic"?

    Criterion D is an emphasis on "natural religion". It is hard to
    read the second poem and believe that Blake respected the Church.
    The religion of the children in the first poem seems "natural":
    God comes to comfort them in their dreams. No institution intervenes.

    Criterion A ties in neatly here: The innocent children are venerated.
    If my earlier interpretation of the second poem is believable, the
    experienced soul is seen as corrupted: to him/her, heaven is only
    a lie invented by the Church/Establishment to keep the masses happy.
    Still, we can't say that Blake devalues experience, since, without
    that experience, he could not see (and, presumably, take action to
    stop) injustice.


  64. The Sick Rose
    Due to the overlying themes of romanticism is nature being pure and humanity coming in and civilization coming in and ruining it, I believe that the rose is nature and the worm is humanity. Roses are not only a part of nature, but they are often used to represent virginity. Virginity and purity are, for all intents and purposes, synonymous, so not only is the rose is not only a metonymy for nature, but also as a symbol of nature's pure, untouched wildness. The worm that is humanity infects the rose, in an almost sexual way. The poem uses the phrases "bed of crimson joy" and "dark secret love," which suggest that civilization deflowers the sanctity of the wilderness.

  65. Tiger

    What starts out as a simple, pleasing rhyme turns into a deep, anaylitical poem by the end of the first stanza. As soon as "could frame thy fearful symmetry(,)" you know the deep path that this poem is about to take. Blake is strong in his romantic point of view, as he makes the tiger of his poem take on the apperance of a human by addressing it with "thy". Not just describing the physical apperance of the tiger, Blake dives deeper into the description of the tiger by writing, "the sinews of thy heart." With a question tone, Blake looks to find the answers that allude him. What strikes me is the powerful tone that Blake is able to create in such a sort poem, and by asking so many questions. Though short, this piece holds a deep dark meaning to the heavy questions asked in rhytmical form.

  66. "The Sick Rose"
    The beauty of this poem is in its brevity. Its few lines provide just enough imagery to begin becoming immersed in the poem, only for it to abruptly end. This left me thinking about its message long after I had finished reading it. As usual, this poet has uses personification to add depth to the actions of natural things, like roses and worms. However, this poem is clearly metaphoric. A rose is a thing of beauty, but Blake seems to be informing it of the danger it is in. This poem could represent any situation in which something pretty and pure is being destroyed by something rotten and revolting.

    - Casey Chorens

  67. In William Blake's "Sick Rose," the darker, more threatening side of love is exposed through the author's use of metaphors from Nature. The poem is concise and blunt, and Blake uses is no euphemism when discussing how the worm is destroying the rose. The tone in this poem is ominous, as though warning the rose that the worm is going to destroy it. A rose is an object typically used as a metaphor for beautiful women, as well as love. "Sick Rose" gives things in Nature human emotions in this poem, those things being the worm and the rose. The poem expresses the insight that not all love is rainbows and butterflies, but can be dangerous and even deadly, as it is for the rose.

    Mia Pfluger, 8th period

  68. London (from Delaney Vail's dad)

    Blake's imagery is of constriction and corruption - a corruption of innocence and strength that even constrains the Thames itself. Though written in a time of social and political upheaval, the poem can also be read as a heat-felt plea for an imagined time of purity away from man's cities of early industrial gloom and filth. The voice is personal, not social. People wander and cry. It is easy seeing Blake driven to wonder how his people's connections to his land came to be imprisoned in such an environment. That apparently ceaseless drive towards separation from the openness of nature and from "natural law" led in part to the romantic reaction.

  69. To me, the meaning of “The Tyger” is clear: it is a commentary on the destruction of the natural world by 19th (in this case, late 18th, but the process had already begun in earnest) century industrialization. What is “burning bright” are the furnaces and factories of England, which are in the process destroying all that the Romantic poets waxed eloquent about. The structure of the poem, as a series of rhetorical questions, is an interesting way (and, in its groundbreaking style, a uniquely Romantic way) of presenting this point of view; by Blake’s tone, it is clear that he knows the answer to each and every question, and the answer is as grim as you could imagine it to be. The questions each carry their own weight and meaning, including an allusion to the Greek stories of Icarus and Prometheus in the second stanza (“On what wings dare he aspire?/ What the hand dare sieze the fire?”); allusion to the classics was a common Romantic theme, and these cautionary tales about human advancement had become quite well-known by Blake’s time. It appears that the “dread hand? &…. dread feet?” are most certainly those of the progress that is going to destroy the natural world, and the references to anvils, chains, and hammers in the next stanza seem to support this. In the last stanza before the refrain, “When the stars threw down their spears/ And watered heaven with their tears,” the reference may be to the gas lights that have illuminated the nights all across England, banishing that sacred night, an integral part of the natural world revered by Romantic poets. In the closing of the poem, Blake brings the divine into the picture; his questions, “Did he smile his work to see?/Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” call to mind the “What hath God wrought” of Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, a hundred and fifty years later upon the transmission of the first message. And at the very end, “What immortal hand or eye/Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?” asks, “Can God control what we have done?” Can he accept His natural world, the one of the Romantic poets, being corrupted and destroyed by human force?” Of course, Blake knows the answer to this question too. And he would bid us only to look around at today’s world to find it for ourselves.

  70. The Sick Rose
    I think that this poem definitely plays on the more disorderly manifestations of nature. The very idea of the rose being sick presents a fallible facet of nature. Roses are such strong symbols in our culture, representing love and nature and beauty, that there is certainly a metaphorical meaning to this poem. I liked this poem a lot, even though the length makes it harder to analyze in some ways. The things mentioned in The Sick Rose (the rose, the worm, the howling storm) are very easy to imagine, playing on the concept of the power of the imagination.

  71. London

    This poem differs than other romantic poems, in that it does not use nature as the metaphors. It instead uses the city and it's people to tell the story.

    The streets of London are filled with unhappiness. The faces of everyone walking by are "marked by woe" and are chained by "mind-forged manacles". The poems also talk of the cries of men and children, of all the inhabitants of London. They all cry out in unhappiness and fear. London could not have been a nice place to live in.

    Blake feels that the city and all of it's constraints are not good for people, for it shackles them and also causes many horrors to occur. The palace walls "[run] in blood" like the depression and dejection of a soldier and the "midnight streets" are filled with prostitutes.

    This makes me feel that living in London must have sucked. It certainly is sad.

    Chris Wang

  72. "The Lamb"
    Albeit short, "The Lamb" provokes deep questions regarding spirituality and the creation of life. Blake uses the lamb as his instrument to explain creation, and his personal religious beliefs. Though normally religion would be written about in a human-centric tone, Blake encompasses nature into his views. His message at the end is that God is all around us, and God is everything. God is the life force embodying the world around us, as well as nature. There is little to no separation between man and animal, as all are part of the same world.

  73. "The Tyger"
    Blake begins with the beauty and perfection of a single tiger running through the night wind. The image this calls to mind is both beautiful and terrifying. The tiger burns bright as fire, and claws sharper than metal. Blake insists that such a beast must have been made by a creator. In this case, the creator is a smithy, who labors upon each creature to give them their uniqueness. Near the end Blake questions whether or not a tiger and a lamb could come from the same creator. Their differences so vast, yet each occupies the same world, at the same time. Blake leaves this question unanswered, but leaves us with a conviction that there is untold beauty found within nature, and that it rivals, just by existing, the greatest works of art wrought my human hands.

  74. Robert Wasmuth (Marissa Wasmuth's dad)-
    William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” is a powerful image of man’s fear of this creature of the natural world (a common theme of the Romantics). The poem gives a vivid comparison of the tiger (as much as its eyes) to a fire and, by extension, to an iron furnace (also the source of man’s weapons like spearheads). It also provides a question of why God would make both creatures of terror and of peace (the lamb). Blake’s language invokes war-like imagery with fire and twisting heart sinews while at the same time reminding us that man can be just as fearful (hammers, chains, spears, furnaces, anvils). Emotionally, it gave an initial exciting image of tigers, but in the end, gave me more of a thought provoking comparison.

  75. In The Chimney Sweep, William Blake uses a child speaker. He does this to depict an innocent ignorance, similar to, for example, a pair of glasses. He "looks" at the situation of London at that time through those glasses, producing a new view/opinion/(some noun) that had gone previously unheard/unspoken. The optimism by the child could be viewed one of two ways (or I suppose more, but for argument's sake, two.) Either it's a positive thing like, "Well at least the kid's cool with it," or a negative thing like, "Wow, that kid's so naive, it's sad," which is how I see it, personally.

  76. "The Chimney Sweep"
    The poem never states the age of the writer but it can still be inferred that he is still in adolescence. The first stanza may be in past tense, but language throughout the poem like "good boy" and "Little Tom" suggest that the writer and his subject have not yet grown into adults. This can be inferred when Tom awakes from his dream of being called a "good boy". The first stanza vaguely reminded me of my parents threatening to send me to boot camp. Similarly, the writer was sent off from his parents. The phrase "never want joy" reminded me of Buddhism, which teaches that all pain derives from want and need. Nirvana is attained when one can rid oneself of desire.

  77. "The Lamb"
    The language used in this poem gave very strong religious undertone. The first stanza gave me two impressions. One was one of god, in that god is the creator of life and existence. This interpretation slightly waned in the second stanza when the creator is describes as "meek". The second interpretation was one of my parents. Of course, they created me. They rule over me and made me who I am in every sense of the phrase. Thinking back on my thinking, I guess there is a parallelism between my parents and god. It is somewhat of a nuance joke, but then yet again, it isn't. In all seriousness, they are that big of figures in relation to myself. Note that I also live in a culture that revers ancestry.

  78. "The Tyger"
    This poem is in tune with the romantic interests in Nature. It depicts a majestic tiger dashing brightly through a nightly forest. All of this imagery can be seen in the first two stanzas. Blake proposes a question of creation. He postulates a creator and parallels the existence of the tiger and the lamb. He is amazed how such polar entities can exist within the same world. Though it was probably completely not the intention of the writer, this poem reminded me very much of martial arts. The tiger is often a idolized figure in various martial arts for its curiosity and power. Also, pulling "immortal" from the first stanza, that resonated with the sense of an immortal tiger spirit in some Asian cultures. The question of the creation of the tiger and lamb I thought of as a martial artist. With training, he/she is a "tiger" of vast strength, but he/she could easily been a lamb in an alternate setting without training. It also didn't help when the poem started talking about raining spears. The poem also could be interpreted to reek of martial arts like language. The third stanza questions "what art", and martial arts are often considered arts by their practitioners. The words "shoulder, heart, hand, and feet" in the same stanza also have considerable connotations in the martial arts. A completely random interpretation, yes, I know.

  79. The Sick Rose

    When first looked at, this poem doesn't seem like it could possibly hold anything of value. The poem is a mere 8 lines, the longest of which is 5 words long, the shortest 3. However, when actually read one finds startling depth. In eight lines Blake describes a common story startlingly well.

    This rose that Blake speaks of can be one of many things. Traditionally it would be a woman--for flowers (especially roses) are attributed to the female sex--and the story would be of a woman being preyed upon by a bad lover. The other thing the rose represents is the country. Blake could view corruption and hate to have crippled the land and be killing his country, hence "The Sick Rose".

  80. The Chimney Sweeper:
    Blake begins this poem with speaking about the individual which is a key concept in romanticism- "When my mother died I was very young, And my father sold me while yet my tongue, Could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep." this poem begins by bringing the reader into the poem on a personal level. Through out the poem, Blake also uses contradiction when he says that "coffins are black" and the children were "naked and white". This poem affected me in the way that by the end of the poem I felt hopeful that even though things may be hard, in the end you still need to go to work and you should make the best of it.

  81. The Sick Rose:
    In this poem Blake seems to describe the fragility of love against betrayal. The rose symbolizes a woman's innocent love and the "invisible worm" is betrayal. I thought that though this poem was very short it was very well written because it was able to depict a situation of betrayal and do it in a way which is interesting to read. Blake took a new look on the classic story of love which I found interesting.

  82. The Lamb
    In this poem, Blake focuses on the idea of individual exaltation and the needs of the individual to have room for a freer and more personal expression of thoughts and feelings. The little lamb whom the speaker is talking to is representative of all people who constantly long for a purpose or direction in life and wish to know where they came from or where they're going. The language in this poem has a strong religious connotation to it and the choppy line breaks suggest the similarity of the poem's format to a train of thought in someone's head. A singular thought of "Dost thou know who made thee?" leads to how beautiful the wool of lamb is and how gentle its voice is. The repetition of the first two lines to begin and end the first stanza provides plenty of emphasis on the main idea of the poem being the search to know where the little lamb came from. Personally, I found this poem to fit the description of some of my friends who are struggling to find their own answers to these kinds of question whether it be through religion or another source.

  83. The Chimney Sweeper (Second Version

    This poem illustrates romanticism because of its heavy emphasis on free expression. This is especially true in the last stanza when he's talking about how his parents and everyone else are out praying to god his priest and king who make up a heaven of our misery. This as well as the similarities between the snow and the cold bitterness of the weather and his view on religion and the fact that he's been left out working while everyone else is at church. This poem in particular doesn't have as much of an emphasis on nature as most of the other poems do. However, this is made up for with the new relgious views that this poem presents.

  84. The Tyger

    In this poem I noticed that scenery played a large role, this was largely represented in the 5th stanza. Nature, as well as in The Chimney Sweeper, didn't play as large of a role as I thought was shown in most of the other selected poems. I did see, again in the 5th stanza emphasis on natural religion. One of the most important things pertaining to romanticism was the power of imagination. This, played a major role throughout the entire poem, when Blake says things like "In what furnace was they brain?" and "When the stars threw down their spears."

  85. The Chimney Sweeper: I am fond of this poem because of the different tones that it switches between. At first, Blake tells of his life as a sad chimney sweeper in poor living conditions, setting the first tone as a depressing one. He then goes on to cheer up a boy who has had his head shaved by comparing the boy’s misery to his own, implying that you should be thankful for what pains you lack. The tone of hopefulness fully envelopes the poem when Blake tells us to do our duty, no matter how much we loath doing it, and to be kind to others to reach real happiness. Through this, the poem is able to show that although there is pain in life, we can not only feel grateful when we do not have the worst of pain, but even the people that have the worst luck in life can overcome their sorrows by doing their duty to eventually reach a state of happiness.

    London: In this poem, Blake dissects a city that is commonly thought of as glorious because of its culture, history and beauty. Contrary to these descriptions, Blake describes a city full of sadness. Blake describes people with sad visages who cry out in sorrow. He tells of the unfortunate chimney sweeper again and mentions the sighing soldiers. Blake also mentions in particular emphasis the harlots of London that ruin true love. This could be because he had trouble with love in the past or perhaps only because he has seen bad things in London.

    The Sick Rose: In this poem Blake claims that the rose, a once beautiful flower, is now sick with a parasite. A dark parasite has entered the rose and taken residence in its petals. Like all parasites, the worm is using the worm to sew his dark secret love amongst the recipients of the rose. The word choice for the worm’s “dark secret love” is very interesting. In London, Blake spoke in extra detail about harlots ruining true love and now he speaks of the rose, true love, being tainted by a parasite, a dark secret love. This could very well mean that Blake or one of his friends has had his heart broken by infidelity or adultery at some point in his life.

  86. The Tyger: The poem is composed of the narrator asking a series of questions about the orgin of the tiger. The narrator compares the creator of the tiger or god to a black smith to create a sense that the tiger was forged rather than born, commenting on the tiger’s strength and ferocity. The poem also has romantic associations in the vivid imagery used to describe nature. The quick lines and stanzas of the poem increase the readers pace throughout, in turn increasing the intensity of the words. In terms of metaphors, I believe the tiger symbolizes the inner strength in us all, laying dormant and caged but still threatening.

    The Sick Rose: This poem is concise and short, so as simply display the story without clouding details. The rose might represent a woman or more generally love, tainted by worm’s dark secret love. The poem might also depict a personal experience of Blake’s, because he uses the pronoun his in describing the worm, possibly reflecting on adultery committed by Blake’s companion. Also, it seems that his lover was taken and seduced by a rather devious other. In all, the poem is deeper than it first appears.

    The Lamb: This poem emphasizes the romantic concept of natural religion in its Christian references. Blake uses the lamb to signify Christ and praises the virtuous aspects possessed by the lamb. However, the poem is not solely Christian praising. Blake uses short and repetitive lines to create a quick, upbeat tone. The tone also creates a sense of innocence in the lamb and youth.

  87. The Lamb: The Lamb is one of Blake's "Songs of Innocence" that does not, to a modern reader, have the same dramatic irony of the rest. Excluding the point of view that the speaker is erroneous in his Christian religious views (as Blake was a devout if unorthodox Christian), this poem alone does not seek to make any point beyond the understanding of the speaker. There is a certain humanization of the lamb that occurs with the questioning of it, yet the question can obviously be applied beyond the scope of the lamb to humanity itself. The "Songs of Innocence" seek to reveal the most optimistic, even idealistic, views of the world, and the associations of Christianity and humanity with the precocious and unique innocence of the child and the natural purity of the lamb is the epitome of ideal in the romantic era.

    The Tyger: One of Blake's "Songs of Experience," The Tyger, on the surface, fits better with its companions than does The Lamb. There is a quizzical horror present throughout the poem about the nature of a God that could create the Tyger, and consequently, a world with evil in it. Yet, the speaker is also in awe of the beauty of the creation. This awe is beyond a healthy respect for its power. The speaker is horrified by the capacity for destruction and violence, but acknowledges with reference the perfection of the creation, the immeasurable power contained within it. The Tyger depicts perfectly the more feral aspect of nature that was such a focus of the romantic period. The poem describes perfectly the facination with the "Noble Savage" characteristic of romanticism. Ultimately, the reader is left with the impression that a God that would create such a creature possesses an infinite power and that such a God should be respected. However, it does not indicate the goodness of this God.

    Together: When these poems are looked at as a pair rather than individuals, a fuller, less simple, view of the subject matter can be achieved. The reference in The Tyger to a lamb indicates that the two were indeed intended as a pair. On one hand, there is the child's view of a benevolent and simple God. It suggests a God that is as innocent and childlike as the speaker, and consequently does not command the respect nor the power of the God of The Tyger. This God however, is a God that creates a world with evil in it. This God intentionally crafted such a killing machine as the Tyger. The God depicted in this poem should be both feared and respected for the power he commands. Yet somehow, Blake's God was both. A God that contains a tremendous power with the capacity and motivation to create both evil and good. A God of contradictions that evades definition. Such concepts have been the subject of debate for centuries. Blake's poems seek to explain such apparent paradoxes by forming the concept of a God that is beyond understanding, and indeed not meant to be understood. Some aspect of Him can be gleaned from the perspective of innocence and experience but both have their failings, and both miss a vital aspect of both God and of life.

  88. The Sick Rose
    I'm not sure what Blake's emotional state was like when he wrote this poem, but it has a extremely apparent depressing unertone that is fitting for the message of 'love sickness' or a distraught lover. This poem definitely exalts the individual and his needs for a freer and more personal expression. The rose represents a person that has been infected by love and all of the beauties and atrocities that come with it. Love is the invisible worm that secretly inches its way into the rose, silently ambushing the individual and clouding all senses and judgement until that person's life is destroyed. The comparison between love and worms is unusual and peculiar to me because I think of love as a positive emotion and not a squirming, slimy, disgusting animal that invades a rose's bed of crimson joy.

  89. The Chimney Sweeper
    The poem the chimney sweeper illustrates one of the key ideas behind romanticism, an interest in the natural and primitive way of life. not only are the lives of the children in the poem very simple and primitive, the child's father who sells him shows mans primitive nature for survival. Blake uses literary devices, such as hyperboles ("coffins of black"), to portray the lives of the children as simple as they can get, breaking them down to show how terrible they are. by doing this, Blake summons sympathy and ethos for the horrible lives of the children.

    The Lamb
    The short poem the lamb emphasizes the importance in simplicity and nature in romanticism. the language of the poem implies that the speaker is a child, and by using few large and complicated words, the image increases. The interest in the uncivilized grows with idea that the speaker is the child. the author creates the mood of simplistic happiness through the language.

    The poem London describes the scenery of Blakes London, portraying it as complicated and disorderly, showing the romantic ideas in the work. throughout the poem, Blake repeatedly uses the same word in adjacent or concurrent lines. While one word may be repeated, the lines are very different, each describing very different scenes. this adds to the disorder the poem creates. the emotional reaction that this poem draws may be different based on the nationality of the reader. while a londonite may feel homesick and wistful, another reader may feel overwhelmed and almost disgusted by the barrage of imagery to ones senses.

    Max Peers

  90. The Tyger
    Throughout the poem, Blake questions the meaning of the tigers existence and the reasoning for the creation of the tiger. He sees the tiger as a terrifying creature and wonders how whatever created the tiger could create a lamb. A lamb is a sweet, gentle creature, whereas the tiger is a rough and frightening creature. Blake uses the lamb to show what the opposite of a tiger is. This poem follows romanticism because of the scenery Blake uses. He talks about the deep skies and where the thing that created the tiger exists. He also opens and closes the poem with imagery, "Tyger! Tyger! burning bright/ in the forests of the night". This vivid imagery shows the intensity of the tiger and the urgency of the questions Blake has. All of these pieces of the poem contribute to Blake's tone, which is an intense and fearful tone.

  91. The Tyger
    The tiger is, to William Blake, a magnificent being that is used by his poem as an image of strength and power. He uses imagery of forging and anvils to create symbols of the perfection and strength of steel weaponry that the tiger's magnificence is intended to rival. Blake is using such imagery to bring forth his thought that nature's strength is no less powerful than that of humanity's. Blake continues to put the tiger on a pedestal, describing it as the most powerful machine, that even the stars lay down their arms to. I believe that this tiger that William Blake has built up and complimented is meant to symbolize nature as a whole and that humans are not nearly as fearful as the wild animals that are out there.

    The Sick Rose
    The rose is, as it is usually in literature, a symbol of love and the poem is meant to describe the constant contradictions of love. The poem largely rests on christian undertones about the biblical taboo and shame that is sex. With the invisible worm being symbolic of the private sex life that is within all love, the poem is describing how love, a beautiful thing, is tainted by sex, a shameful thing (according to Christianity). The poem's last stanza also could convey adultery and the pain it causes, with "crimson joy" being the early fun of it, "dark secret love" being the secrecy of the act, and "does thy life destroy" meaning that adultery will only end in pain. Either way, the poem is very symbolic and highly religious, as Christianity criticizes both adultery and sex.

    The Lamb
    The Lamb is a poem about the creation of men and God's creation of all children. With Blake creating a series of questions in the first stanza, he depicts the lamb to be a small child, by using a simplistic tone that would be used to speak to a small child. The second stanza, being the answer to the earlier questions, depends heavily on Blake's use of capitalization. In every case, pronouns such as "he" and "himself" are always capitalized, implying that whoever "he" is, is of higher standing compared to normal people. Also, the use of pronouns instead of names implies that he is God due to the fact that throughout the bible God is never referred to by name, only God and the Lord.