William Blake Books

Easton Press William Blake books:
The Poems of William Blake - 1995

Franklin Library William Blake books:
Songs of innocence and experience - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1980
Romantic Poets From Blake To Poe - published in quarter bound and imitation leather - 1982

William Blake biography
William Blake, (1757-1827), was an English poet and artist, born in London, and largely self-trained. He began writing poetry at the age of twelve, and at fourteen was apprenticed to a London engraver by his father. William Blake began to earn his living as an engraver at the age of twenty-one, and for the remainder of his life he supported mainly by illustrating books. William Blake's first literary work, Poetic Sketches (1783), is a collection of verse written before his twenty-first year. In his mature literary and artistic work William Blake is concerned principally with describing and interpreting visions which he claimed to have experienced of God, Jesus Christ, angels, and the spirits of great men of earlier times. Thus, his  engravings, book illustration, and paintings are characterized by the elimination of realistic detail and the infusion of his supernatural subject matter with intense, mystical emotion. William Blake's early poetry is notable for great purity and simplicity of diction, in his mature work, these lyrical qualities give way to power and grandeur, designed to express his complex personal theology.


Songs of Innocence and of Experience
This book appeared in two phases. A few first copies were printed and illuminated by William Blake himself in 1789; five years later he bound these poems with a set of new poems in a volume titled Songs of Innocence and of Experience Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul.

The work compiles two contrasting but directly related books of poetry by William Blake. Songs of Innocence honors and praises the natural world, the natural innocence of children and their close relationship to God. Songs of Experience contains much darker, disillusioned poems, which deal with serious, often political themes. It is believed that the disastrous end to the French Revolution produced this disillusionment in Blake. He does, however, maintain that true innocence is achieved only through experience.

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