Archives For William Blake

 

TODAY marks the anniversary
of William Blake’s death in 1827.

In remembrance of his life, we offer five of our favorite poems…

FREE Ebooks
With Blake’s Art & Poems

The Voice of the
Ancient Bard
William Blake

 

Youth of delight! come hither
And see the opening morn,
Image of Truth new-born.
Doubt is fled, and clouds of reason,
Dark disputes and artful teazing.
Folly is an endless maze;
Tangled roots perplex her ways;
How many have fallen there!
They stumble all night over bones of the dead;
And feel–they know not what but care;
And wish to lead others, when they should be led.

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WBlake

Today marks the anniversary of William Blake’s death…

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. (via Wikipedia)

Blake’s poetry is easily accessible for your e-reader, but it’s harder to come by samples of his art online. With the exception of Songs of Innocence and Experience (perhaps his most significant poetical work), the following ebooks were selected for the insight that they give into Blake’s life and the samples of his art they contain.

Here are seven illustrated books by or about William Blake that can be read in full here, or downloaded as FREE PDF ebooks via Google Books.

1) Songs of Innocence and Experience

 

FREE PDF ebook edition!
via Google Books

 




 

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“Whoever removes the Cross and its interpretation by the New Testament from the center, in order to replace it, for example, with the social commitment of Jesus to the oppressed as a new center, no longer stands in continuity with the apostolic faith.”
-Hans Urs von Balthasar
who was born on this date in 1905
 

Poem of the Day:
Earth’s Answer
William Blake,
who died on this date, 1727
 

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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
God Does Not…: Entertain, Play “Matchmaker,” Hurry
Brent Laytham, Editor

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The Wake Up Call – August 12, 2014

 

Allen Ginsberg Sings William BlakeOne of the oddest, and yet most extraordinarily fascinating poetry recordings that I have heard in recent years…

A reading by Allen Ginsberg performing William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.

Songs of Innocence includes: “The Shepherd,” “The Echoing Green,” “The Lamb,” “The Little Black Boy,” “The Blossom,” “The Chimney Sweeper,” “The Little Boy Lost,” “The Little Boy Found,” “Laughing Song,” and “Holy Thursday.”

Songs of Experience includes: “Nurse’s Song,” “The Sick Rose,” “Ah Sunflower,” “The Garden of Love,” “London,” “The Human Abstract,” “To Tirzah” and “The Grey Monk.”

Recording via Naropa Poetics Collection at Archive.org

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

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To Autumn
William Blake.

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayst rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

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“Turning One Back
To Blake Himself”

A review of

My Business Is to Create:
Blake’s Infinite Writing

By Eric G. Wilson

Review by Brad Fruhauff.

MY BUSINESS IS TO CREATE - Eric WilsonMy Business Is to Create:
Blake’s Infinite Writing.

Eric G. Wilson
Hardback: U of Iowa Press, 2011.
Buy now:
[ Amazon – Hardback ]
[ Amazon – Kindle ]

Eric Wilson knows William Blake really well. He has internalized the poet-engraver and learned to channel him in his (Wilson’s) own voice. This short volume is from the University of Iowa Press’s Muse Books, The Iowa Series in Creativity and Writing, a series designed to present a major author’s thoughts on craft in something like a guidebook form. Wilson presents a comprehensive primer on Blake, a “how-to manual for the aspiring or the already accomplished writer alike” (in the words of Jeffrey Kripal on the back-cover). Without forcing Blake’s idiosyncratic oeuvre into some simplified program, Wilson has boiled down the visionary’s prophecies and oracles into a series of brief discussions that help us see the textures and patterns that make up the whole. Wilson demonstrates an attention and reflection that can rightly be called a labor of love and respect for one of English literature’s most passionate and peculiar poets.

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The Garden of Love
William Blake

(As Featured in Tom Hodgkinson’s The Idle Parent)

I laid me down upon a bank,
Where Love lay sleeping;
I heard among the rushes dank
Weeping, weeping.
Then I went to the heath and the wild,
To the thistles and thorns of the waste;
And they told me how they were beguiled,
Driven out, and compelled to the chaste.
I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut
And “Thou shalt not,” writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.
And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.

 

Earth’s Answer
William Blake

Earth raised up her head
From the darkness dread and drear,
Her light fled,
Stony, dread,
And her locks covered with grey despair.

‘Prisoned on watery shore,
Starry jealousy does keep my den
Cold and hoar;
Weeping o’er,
I hear the father of the ancient men.

‘Selfish father of men!
Cruel, jealous, selfish fear!
Can delight,
Chained in night,
The virgins of youth and morning bear.

‘Does spring hide its joy,
When buds and blossoms grow?
Does the sower
Sow by night,
Or the ploughman in darkness plough?

‘Break this heavy chain,
That does freeze my bones around!
Selfish, vain,
Eternal bane,
That free love with bondage bound.’

 


To Nobodaddy
William Blake
(1757 – 1827)
(HT: David Dark)

 

Why art thou silent & invisible
Father of jealousy
Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds
From every searching Eye

Why darkness & obscurity
In all thy words & laws
That none dare eat the fruit but from
The wily serpents jaws
Or is it because Secresy
gains females loud applause.

 



THE VOICE OF THE ANCIENT BARD
 
 
William Blake
from “Songs of Experience”
 
 
 
 
Youth of delight! come hither
And see the opening morn,
Image of Truth new-born.
Doubt is fled, and clouds of reason,
Dark disputes and artful teazing.
Folly is an endless maze;
Tangled roots perplex her ways;
How many have fallen there!
They stumble all night over bones of the dead;
And feel--they know not what but care;
And wish to lead others, when they should be led.