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Songs of Innocence and of Experience

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  27,996 Ratings  ·  518 Reviews
Songs of Experience is a 1794 poetry collection of 26 poems forming the second part of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Some of the poems, such as The Little Boy Lost and The Little Boy Found were moved by Blake to Songs of Innocence, and were frequently moved between the two books.[citation needed]

In this collection of poems, Blake contrasts Songs of
Paperback, 56 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by (first published 1789)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
I don’t think I would dare give any collection of poems that contains the above lines anything less than five stars. Luckily, although every poem isn’t a winner for me (cough*Laughing Song*cough), there are so many immortal poems in this collection that I don’t feel the least bit guilty for giving the collection the full five stars. I started collecting some of my favorite lines
Bookworm Sean
Blake’s poetry is marvellously deceptive; it appears so simple, but that’s the beauty of it. Hidden behind the innocent and childlike songs is a sense of irony and sarcasm. The narrators of the poems describe the world as they see it; it is a mere reflection of their own limited perceptions; they see the world through a childlike and predetermined state. In essence, they see what they are meant to see, and nothing beyond that. Well, not until they gain experience and look back on their own folly ...more
Dec 24, 2015 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Billy Blake Who Made Thee?


Poet Poet, burning bright,
In the stanzas of the night;
What romantic coquetry,
Could frame thy fearful poetry?

In what distant when or whys,
roll'd the epic of thine eyes?
On wet verse dare he aspire?
What poet's hand, robs Shelly's pyre?

And what meter, & what art,
Could twist the cadence of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread iambs? & what dread feet?

What the motif? what the type,
In what belly was thy gripe?
What the image? what simile,
Dare its
Mar 26, 2013 Brad rated it it was amazing
Well, one lousy review can't do Blake's poems any justice, not unless you're flush with time and the soul of a poet, yourself. :)

I can say, however, that the title kinda gives the whole gig away. :) The first section is rife with allusions to Jesus and the second is full of wry and rather sarcastic religious revolutionary insights that I *clearly* appreciate much more than the innocent ones. :)

Yes, love should be shown! No, life should not be this dreary and repressed thing. :)

I particularly l
Jul 28, 2013 Florencia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those in need of a peaceful place to breathe.
Shelves: poetry
...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.

- William Blake, "The Voice of the Ancient Bard"

The smile of a child. The face of a lamb. The purity of maternal love. Solidarity. These are images chosen by Blake to convey his thoughts on innocence. When I think of innocence, I cannot help picturing in my head the greenest mead
Oct 11, 2016 Fino rated it it was amazing
I adore William Blake's poetry and this illustrated collection is fantastic. Unlike other British poets from centuries back (like John Donne for example), his text is usually far easier to read even without a thesaurus and always delightful and full of imagery. a Must!
Lit Bug
Apr 09, 2013 Lit Bug rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, british
My first brush with Blake was through the impeccable poem London more than a decade back. Since then, I'd got to read more poems of his, all carefully chosen by the academicians, quickly putting him in my list of favorite poets. Then before I reached my twenties, I read this little collection, and liked it immensely.

Songs of Innocence was what I was looking for, with its naïve outlook on life, the idyllic pictures of innocence I was unwilling to leave behind on my trek to youth. I was enamored (
Mike Puma
Oct 23, 2013 Mike Puma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you know who you are
A review, of sorts, may be found in Message 1.
Apr 25, 2015 Carmo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poesia, inglaterra, bib-p
Esteticamente este livrinho é uma preciosidade. Edição bilingue, inclui reproduções dos poemas originais e gravuras alusivas a cada um deles, criações do próprio Blake, que antes de ser poeta já era ilustrador.
A boa conjugação das ilustrações com a simbologia e os jogos sonoros, fazem destes poemas uma obra única, a fazer lembrar os livros infantis que encontrava lá por casa guardados pelos meus pais. O ritmo e as repetições conferem-lhes uma deliciosa musicalidade, aliás, consta que o autor ti
Mar 06, 2014 Kimi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
That moment when your favorite Tv Show makes you read Romantic poetry of the 18th century.

Feb 17, 2015 Priyanka rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
William Blake’s short poems profess a narrative far beyond what actually exists on the page. They communicate with incredible power and economy, smashing to smithereens the false structures of existing beliefs and opinions. His poems are like gravel thrown into a pool, ripples radiating outwards indefinitely, stirring everything they touch.
Aug 25, 2015 Miguel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A poesia não se explica, a poesia implica , disse Sophia de Mello Breyner.

Canções de Inocência e de Experiência , poesia do século dezoito, cerzida com a doutrina religiosa, com o escrúpulo linguístico, motivada pelas dinâmicas e assimetrias da Alma humana casada com a Natureza.

A Tirzah

Todo o que Nasce de Mortal Nascer,
Co' a Terra consumido deve ser
Para se erguer de Geração liberto;
Tenho algo a ver contigo eu por certo?

Os Sexos de Pudor & Orgulho vindos
Floridos de manhã; à noite find
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
Maybe it's sacrilege, maybe it isn't, but I've never been a fan of Blake, artwork or poetry. *shrugs*

It could be b/c I studied him alongside many whom I felt were vastly superior: Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, BURNS, SCOTT (in caps b/c LOVE my Irish poets), Hopkins came a bit later and is considered Victorian, but I don't care b/c LOVE him, too . . . "The just man justices . . ."

Indeed, he does.

So yeah . . . for me, Blake doesn't measure up.
Jason Gignac

I know, I'm very purply in my prose when I talk about books, and I have a tendency to say everything is beautiful. I know this probably takes away from the impact of when I really find something life-changingly perfect. Do not let my larkety-la-ti-da writing style in reviews, however, stop you from putting down whatever you're reading, and immediately adding this precious book to the store of books you've read.

I can honestly say that, if the other things William Blake wrote are as beautiful
Dec 17, 2009 Manny rated it really liked it
Seen in this week's Private Eye:
Tiger! Tiger! Burning bright
In the middle of the night
What on earth was going on?
Perhaps we will never know
from Songs of Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Feb 22, 2017 Liam rated it it was ok
( 2.7 STARS )

I did really like some of these but the majority of them just went straight over my head to be honest..
Knarik Avetisyan
Apr 03, 2014 Knarik Avetisyan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience (1794) juxtapose the innocent, pastoral world of childhood against an adult world of corruption and repression; while such poems as “The Lamb” represent a meek virtue, poems like “The Tyger” exhibit opposing, darker forces. Thus the collection as a whole explores the value and limitations of two different perspectives on the world. Many of the poems fall into pairs, so that the same situation or problem is seen through the lens of innocence first and the ...more
Feb 18, 2015 Joey rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, poems, poetry
Full of beautiful poems which intend to express human spirit restrained by conservative rules.Besides, I could feel the burning desires the poet wanted to express.

Among the poems I appreciated :


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,
Δεν είμαι για ποίηση εγώ παιδιά, αφήστε καλύτερα.
Huda AbuKhoti
Aug 23, 2012 Huda AbuKhoti rated it it was amazing
Amazing read!

You might feel a bit bored of the overly joyous innocence poems, but when you start reading the experience poems, the book becomes perfectly balanced

My favorites were of course in the experience chapter:

I loved the Clod and the Pebble It really was the ultimate poem of contrast.

'Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a heaven in hell's despair.'

So sung a little clod of clay,
Trodden with the cattle's feet,
But a pebb
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Just for fun, let’s do A Blick* of Blake. Or, Spot The Blake Allusion.

Let me explain. This is inspired by Friend Dawrin8u’s Poem=Review of Songs of Innocence And of Experience. See, every time I hear “Blake” I hear “Daniel Amos”. See, Daniel Amos is/was an influential beatlesque artsy xian rock band who had their hay=day in the ’80’s. And they were slightly Blake soaked. It’s not like I’ve actually read Blake beyond a few things in that course on the Romantics, but, well, I’ve got this totally c
Jun 06, 2013 Khaled. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
يجب قراءة أغنيات التجربة بعد أغنيات البراءة، عدم قراءة ديوانا بلايك بهذا الشكل تجعل العمل ناقصا، كلوحة فنية غير مكتملة. بالنسبة لي، أنجذب إلى الشعر الذي يصنع المفارقة الذكية، لذا لا أميل إلى شعر الوصف، بمدارسها المتعددة، منها الرومانتيكية، لا أنجذب إلى أشعار لوركا كثيرا، وقراءة أغنيات البراءة لبلايك فقط تضيف لي تجربة مملة أخرى. الغريب، أن أغنيات التجربة تنضم لنفس المدرسة، ولكنها قلّبت الصفحة على وجهها الآخر، مما صنع المفارقة، النظرة الأخرى للأشياء، مهد لها بلايك، بعنوان ذكي ( في محنة الآخر )، آخ ...more
Matthew DeCostanza
Nov 24, 2010 Matthew DeCostanza rated it it was amazing
In turns heartfelt and alienating, warm and eerie.

The duplicity with which this book is written is its most defining characteristic, making it a direct reflection of the world we live in. It's short, but encompassing; it's safe to say that the breadth of emotions I felt in the hour I spent reading this book were more vivid and diverse than the emotions I'm going to feel this coming week.

My favorite William Blake anecdote says that when he was four years old he saw God peering into his bedroom wi
Mike Jensen
Jan 09, 2010 Mike Jensen rated it it was ok
I don't get Blake's reputation. I grant the genius of “The Tyger,” but 90% of the rest of the poems in this book are doggerel. The other 10% are doggerel mixed with a good idea gone wrong or a nice line or image mixed with some very bad writing. It is hard for me to understand why anyone but a Christian fundamentalist with a taste for trite rhymes or an English lit scholar would bother. This raises the question of why Tyger is so good. My blind spot, or did Blake strike gold once with most of hi ...more
Nov 16, 2016 Aleksandra rated it it was amazing
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
La Mala ✌
Jun 25, 2015 La Mala ✌ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: para-estudiar
Reseña cuando termine de analizarlo como se debe. (Y dependiendo de si apruebo el cuatrimestre)
Ryan Milbrath
William Blake is one of my favorite Romantic era poets. Shakespeare is the only Englishman that I have enjoyed reading more than Blake. England during the 1800s never gave its accolades to the genius of Blake while he lived. His paintings and his most important works like Marriage of Heaven and Hell and this one, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, never received their just do’s till after his death.

Songs of Innocence and Experience are poems composed on vibrantly colored and detailed plates.
Ayse Kelce
Nov 04, 2016 Ayse Kelce added it
Shelves: 2016, poetry
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 & in soot I sleep.

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved, so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of swee
Aug 27, 2011 Draven rated it it was amazing
William Blake, my favorite poet of all time. Always overshadowed by his fellow Romantic contemporaries, such as Wordsworth, much to my dismay and the detriment of poetry lovers everywhere.

Songs of Innocence and Experience is a must-read period, regardless of genres. Anyone with an artistic soul will only benefit from its beauty and perfection. It is truly an enriching experience.

The Chimney Sweeper is my personal favorite. I cry every time I read it without fail.
Jul 16, 2016 Nick rated it really liked it
"How can the bird that is born for joy,
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing
And forget his youthful spring?"


"Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold
But the Ale-house is pleasant and warm."
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  • Lyrical Ballads
  • John Donne's Poetry
  • Collected Poems
  • Four Quartets
  • Selected Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Lady of Shalott
  • Goblin Market
  • The War Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Complete Sonnets and Poems
  • Dover Beach and Other Poems
  • Collected Poems
  • Poems and Songs
William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake's work is today considered seminal and significant in the history of both poetry and the visual arts.

Blake's prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the language". His visual artistry has led one modern critic to proclaim h
More about William Blake...

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“Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.” 270 likes
“The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.” 58 likes
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