Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake” as Want to Read:
The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  13,042 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Since its first publication in 1965, this collection has been widely hailed as the best available text of William Blake's poetry and prose. It is now expanded to include a new foreword by Harold Bloom, his definitive statement on Blake's greatness.
Hardcover, 1022 pages
Published July 7th 2008 by University of California Press (first published 1965)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick Gibson
Blake was a printer and published his own poems—many illustrated. In fact scholars debate which pantheon to place him: artist or poet. Because of the labor intensive and time consuming manner in which type was set my hand, Blake’s poetry is extremely economic. It is this conservation of words expressing such an abundance of ideas that makes his writing profoundly simple. That combined with the fact he had visions and was probably insane makes for great poetry.

"Hear the voice of the Bard!
Who Pres
William Blake became one of the most highly regarded writers and painters during his time--after his death. He was opinionated and luckily he was afforded the opportunity to express views that others were persecuted for expressing during that time in history. To fully understand his work, study his life and the societal norms of the day. Otherwise you can't fully appreciate the beauty of his ideas.
Nov 30, 2008 James rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any lover of Blake.
Erdman's edition of the complete poetry and prose is now the standard edition of Blake's complete works and is the edition referenced by the Blake concordance online (as well as being available online, but Bloom's commentary is not). It is superior editorially to Keynes's edition, but the organization of Keynes's edition always made more sense to me, being more strictly chronological. Furthermore, the Erdman edition heavily edits The Four Zoas to make it a coherent text, so I recommend direct st ...more
“The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”
[…] If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear
to man as it is: infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro'
narrow chinks of his cavern.

[autograph:] William Blake: one who is very much delighted with being in good company. Born 28 Nov 1757 in London & has died several times since.

“Auguries of Innocence”
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet delig
I haven't read ALL of it, but I've read most of the poetry and a few of the shorter prose pieces. I'm a fan of Blake's. His poetry is amazing.
Sep 12, 2007 Irene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I will never be done with this book.
When I first saw William Blake's paintings I thought they were naive, in bad taste, and so child-like as to elude serious consideration. But somehow over the years I have gotten into them to the point where I might even put a post-card version of "Urizen creating Adam" on a living room bulletin board and in doing so invoke the oft verbalized consternation of my Blake-hating wife. The trouble with the mass-market prints of Blake though are that all the original darkness has to get brightened and ...more
I borrowed The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake through the Arrowhead interlibrary loan system, which serves northeast Minnesota. I must return it by Feb 4, 2013. Literally, it is a very heavy book in paperback. You could prop up an end of a bookshelf with it, or use it as a doorstop.

I like it so much, I may buy a copy. I knew Blake composed beautiful work. I knew little about how radical he was for his time. He created most of his work during the period from 1784 until his death in
Like other Romantic poets, Blake’s themes include nature and the imagination. His originality is in the mythic system he creates and employs in his major “prophetic” works (The Four Zoas, Milton and Jerusalem The Emanation Of The Giant Albion, for example; Northrop Frye’s book Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake is a study of development of this mythic system). Songs of Innocence And of Experience are more accessible to readers reading Blake for the first time (but they, too, have their a ...more
Mary Overton
the apocalypse, from The Four Zoas: Night the Ninth:

"... rivn link from link the bursting Universe explodes
"All things reversed flew from their centers rattling bones
"To bones Join, shaking convulsd the shivering clay breathes
"Each speck of dust to the Earths center nestles round & round
"In pangs of an Eternal Birth in torment & awe & fear
"All spirits deceasd let loose from reptile prisons come in shoals
"Wild furies from the tygers brain & from the lions Eyes
"And from the ox &am

Cruelty has a Human Heart
And Jealousy a Human Face
Terror the Human Form Divine
And Secrecy, the Human Dress

The Human Dress, is forged Iron
The Human Form, a fiery Forge.
The Human Face, a Furnace seal'd
The Human Heart, its hungry Gorge.
Alex Obrigewitsch
Truly a paragon of artists and the arts.
A master, a mystic, a teacher and a tempest.

"Energy is eternal delight."
Dustin Lewis
William Blake is not my cup of tea. I'm not saying that he's not right for everyone, but it didn't do it for me.
Gabriel Oak
I love the Songs of Innocence and Experience. But man, Blake gets weird with the long, mystical-fantastic allegories.
I reconnect on so many levels when I read Blake. Let me quote from the Song of Los:
Times rolled o'er all the sons of Har, time after time
Orc on Mount Atlas howld, chain'd down with the Chain of Jealousy
Then Oothon hovered over Judah & Jerusalem
And Jesus heard her voice (a man of sorrows) he received
A Gospel from wretched Theotormon."

All things change, decay, and are reborn. That is only a part of Blake's message.
Highly Recomended!
F.F. White
Often, I enjoy Blake. His more inspired work is really great. However, he was a printer, and in this volume you shall find the many hundreds of pages he wrote, which he does not appear to have edited. So, I recommend a more concise volume, because reading this one is often laborious. One can only read so many poems about Rembrandt that use no imagery or flavor.
At what point does someone get to put a 900 page collection of Blake on their READ shelf? I'm calling it, with the concession that OF COURSE I have not read the entire thing. The 5 stars is awarded to the editors, principally based on the merit of the annotations and intro. It would be odd and churlish to award Blake some number or other of stars.
Unfortunately, Norton restricted the editors in this edition to a purely editorial function. That is too bad, since they are good scholars and have a lot to say about Blake from their side; sometimes opinionated but always lively. I suggest reading the new criticism in this edition but going back to the old edition for the fuller footnotes.
Apr 17, 2011 Gregg rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English speakers
Growing up I hated poetry, but Blake was the one that changed that. I found Blake's rhymes pleasing to the ear and I could understand how poetry could convey more than simple prose alone. What I enjoy most about Blake's poetry is when he creates poems in opposition to each other, such as in the Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.
Blake is arguably the best poet of the Romantic era. However, I doubt I would have tackled him by myself-- I have a profound understanding of him only due to an amazing professor (who had a major man-crush on Blake, by the way, so my opinion of Blake is probably biased as well).
Adriaan Krabbendam
What can I say? Blake is the uncrowned master of interactive poetry, with a mind and energy to examine all things happenin in his times. A visionary with a smile, with an open wink to the devil, witha deep knoledge of the material, sexual and poetic world.
I really wish I could understand Blake. I took a class on his works in college and out of a whole quarter of reading, I only felt I could unravel a few poems. I'm disappointed in myself for this so that's the only reason I don't like this book.
Larry Ratcliffe
...the only book I have ever stolen...and it was from a library in college! Man what a nutcase. I didn't understand a word but I thought he must have been one wild guy. Later I found out he was.
Chad Gibbons
William Blake has got to be my favorite poet. Read 'Songs of Innocence' to your kids and read 'Songs of Experience' for yourself.

This guy was a genius. And he was probably insane.
Read and reading... I flip through this book like I used to flip through the pages of the NIV, looking for my favorite passages and the ones I need at the time.
Nick Black
William Blake works best when being cleverly quoted by Aldous Huxley. There's an awful lot of chaff in this mighty tome.
I think Blake was a genius, but I don't seek him out. He is not one of my favorites. Maybe too mystical.
Dr Jose
Feb 09, 2011 Dr Jose marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: desktop
I have been doing research on William Blake. So this book is going to be very helpful for me.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The 2 14 Sep 03, 2012 03:08AM  
Black Maven: The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake 1 2 Aug 17, 2011 09:50AM  
  • Poetry and Prose
  • Collected Poems, 1909-1962
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Major Works
  • Collected Poems, Prose, and Plays
  • The Complete English Poems
  • The Collected Poems, Vol. 1: 1909-1939
  • Collected Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • Robert Browning's Poetry
  • The Collected Poems, 1945-1975
  • Selected Poems
  • Poetry (Norton Critical Editions)
  • Poetry and Prose (Library of America)
  • Collected Poetry & Prose
  • The Complete Poems and Major Prose
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Complete Poems
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...

Share This Book

“The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.” 45 likes
“Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!”
More quotes…