William Blake’s Poetry

An analysis of four contrasting William Blake poems from Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, demonstrating both the contrary states of innocence and experience and Blake’s social criticism.

A paper contrasting `The Chimney Sweeper` poems from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience with The Ecchoing Green and London. The paper focuses on the portrayal of the contrary states of innocence and experience, but the paper suggests that in a greater thematic sense all poems carry Blakes social criticism of the hypocritical Romantic society.
William Blake, from a young age, displayed a vivid imagination which was not looked upon favorably during the pre Romantic period. He continued throughout his writing to radically question religion and politics, especially critical of the church, putting forth his views on the world. Perhaps what Blake is most famous for are his contrasting Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence poems, which have either been paired by Blake himself, or by critics in their interpretations. In plate three of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Blake wrote, Without contraries is no progression, this statement defining the contrary states of Innocence and Experience, regarded as necessary to both human existence and human progress.