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Poetry and Designs: Authoritative Texts, Illuminations in Color and Monochrome, Related Prose, Criticism

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  1,666 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
This generous selection from Blake's poems, prose, notebooks, marginalia, and letters is accompanied by many of Blake's illuminations for his own works, some in full color. The spelling and punctuation have been modified for greater intelligibility to modern readers.

Almost all of Blake's published writings are here, as well as most of his best shorter poems that remained
Paperback, 618 pages
Published June 1st 1979 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1979)
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A World of Verse by Christopher  ShieldsDuino Elegies by Rainer Maria RilkeSelected Poems and Fragments by Friedrich HölderlinPoems of Schiller by Friedrich SchillerAutumn Sonata by Georg Trakl
58th out of 411 books — 254 voters
M Train by Patti SmithThe Sheltering Sky by Paul BowlesThe Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathJogo de espelhos by Stefan ZweigO Morro dos Ventos Uivantes by Emily Brontë
Patti Smith indica em Linha M
32nd out of 65 books — 1 voter

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May 06, 2013 Lynda rated it it was amazing
They called him mad,insane,and blasphemous. Like many geniuses, William Blake was long dead before he was appreciated. "Songs of Innocence" was the first work of his that I read. Over the years, I have read most of his works. There are some so rare, they are not available to the public.

I really enjoyed this edition of his works and "designs". If you haven't read Blake's breathtaking poetry, please don't miss out on it. I think that you too will be drawn back over and over through the years.
Tina Dalton
Feb 01, 2014 Tina Dalton rated it really liked it
Shelves: romanticism
William Blake received nominal recognition in his own lifetime, and when he did get attention it was often to call him a madman. Nowadays his work is widely regarded as genius, one of the most influential and talented of the Romantics, indeed of all British literature.

I'd never read Blake before and didn't realize exactly what I was in for. I adored his "Songs of Innocence and Experience." Simply beautiful and so profound. I honestly struggled with most of the rest of what I read, particularly
Jan 22, 2014 Robert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended, own
Indispensable guide to one of the greatest and most misunderstood Romantic poets of all time. More here: []
Nancy Bielski
Aug 22, 2009 Nancy Bielski rated it liked it
I wrote some incredible papers on Blake in college.
daniel hughes
Jul 24, 2016 daniel hughes rated it liked it
The joy of this book was Blake's talent as a painter. Some of the plates, although I didn't care for the constant religious imagery, were quite beautiful. The epic/balled style prose at age 55 leaves me cold. I simply have no more use for the "romantic individual striving against all odds" ethos.
May 30, 2010 Kristopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grossly underappreciated Blake's poetry before I slogged through all of it. He's easy to write off based on a superficial reading of his "Songs of Innocence and Experience." But it's the development of his thought and writing that is so astounding. Taken together, his life's work is an incredible testament to a highly individual mind writing at a time such individualism should have been wider appreciated. Blake is the great bridge between the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Blake is the great u ...more
May 25, 2011 Juju rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great text for this spring's course on Blake, containing most of his written work, helpful comments on the texts, a good selection of illustrations from his Illuminated books, and an interesting range of essays in the back, which often gave me a fresh perspective when I was feeling lost or overwhelmed. Overall, a really good way to study William Blake's written work, but especially insightful when read in conjunction with the actual Complete Illuminated Works edition.
Blake himself is an unparalleled writer. This edition features all of his major poetry (except "Jerusalem" has only an excerpt), important essays he wrote, and letters to friends, as well as helpful annotations, introductions to each work, and a few insightful critical essays.

If you want a good Blake experience for $20, check this out.
Jan 05, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing
Lived in this book for three months at OSU. Robert Frank, prof. Can't say Blake is or was one of my favorites, but this book and the prof made this madman very accessible. Still think he's a better mystic than a poet.
Sep 26, 2011 James rated it it was amazing
I'm always revisiting this book so I might as well list it. Took it with me on our trip to England where we got to see some of his original drawings. Can't imagine not having this one within arms reach.
Apr 05, 2012 Madeline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Always had a soft spot for Blake. His poetry is special, and my favourite especially is "The Age of Innocence". The first four lines are haunting but excellent.
Blake is an engaging and questionable Romantic poet; I enjoyed his visual art more than his written word. Four stars.
Tina Romanelli
Feb 17, 2008 Tina Romanelli rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Kaeff
Aug 07, 2012 Chris Kaeff rated it it was amazing
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.
Jul 30, 2007 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This edition has some beautiful color plates of Blake's weird and wonderful watercolors.
The kind of literary collection that you leave always at hand so you can return to it...
May 08, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
My favorite of Blake's are his prophecies and his art work.

Truly an amazing mind.
Larry Ratcliffe
William Blake is the most intriguing poet I have ever read voluntarily.
Oct 01, 2012 Emily rated it liked it
Some of the poems are really sort of cryptic, nonetheless I sort of enjoyed it
Jana Peden
Oct 11, 2011 Jana Peden rated it it was ok
Shelves: swapped-away
Not a fan. Tried really hard to buy into it, but I just couldn't.
Jun 18, 2008 Archer marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
recommended by f.fathi, just your average coffeehouse book.
Feb 10, 2013 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my most favorite poets of all time!
Christopher Patton
Jul 24, 2009 Christopher Patton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exam-lists
quirky ecstatic genius marginalia
Apr 08, 2009 jordan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nce
Something to be achieved.
Jake marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2016
Dan Varrette
Dan Varrette marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2016
Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2016
Allison Hayes
Allison Hayes marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2016
Javier Contreras
Javier Contreras rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2016
Linda rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2016
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  • Coleridge's Poetry and Prose (Critical Edition)
  • Byron's Poetry
  • Poetry and Prose
  • Keats's Poetry and Prose
  • The Riverside Milton
  • Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake
  • The Major Works
  • Poetry, Drama and Prose
  • Robert Browning's Poetry
  • A Blake Dictionary: The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake
  • John Donne's Poetry
  • Selected Poems and Fragments
  • In Memoriam
  • Leaves of Grass and Other Writings (Norton Critical Editions)
  • Complete Poems of Stephen Crane
  • The Major Works
  • Poems of the Late T'ang
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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