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Selected Poems

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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  1,827 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Writer and religious rebel, William Blake sowed the seeds of Romanticism in his innovative poems concerning faith and the vision that inspired him throughout his remarkable life. Whether describing his own spirituality, the innocence of youth, or the corruption caused by mankind, his writings depict a world in which spirits dominate and the mind is the gateway to Heaven. P ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Penguin Classics (first published 1827)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,614)
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Annie
It's hard to really find a good introductory book to Blake I think, because his body of work is fairly difficult to get into. To be frank, I often felt like I needed a map and compass to find my way through his epic poems. But what imagery! And what a world he had created! I much preferred his shorter poems, as they were more accessible to me. Among my favorites were: On Another's Sorrow, Grown Old in Love, How to know Love from Deceit, The Garden of Love, A Poison Tree, and A Divine Image. One ...more
Lachlan
Moments of brilliance amongst confusion. Definitely recommended.
Nora
Absolutely beautiful.
Kevin Albrecht
Mar 16, 2009 Kevin Albrecht rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes poetry
Shelves: poetry
Well, William Blake week has come to an end. Although I had already been a fan of Blake for a long time, I had never read a large body of his work, so my impression of his work was definitely changed by the experience. I discovered how his body of work is quite philosophical and political, which brought me to respect his work in a whole new way. Among the philosophical poems that I found particularly moving are "The Fly" and the particularly simple but poignant "Epiphany":

He who binds to himsel
...more
Linda
William Blake - name, which I first read in Red Dragon.Red Dragon
Unfortunately it was a reference full with violence and madness, so I thought this author must be completely out of my liking, but then again reading biographic introduction about Kahlil Gibran, it was mentioned that Blake has been great influence. My curiosity was raised. So I decided to try things out.
Right now I'm pleased I did. Although it was a challenge to read poetry in 19th century's English, it was worth it. There were pie
...more
M.I. Lastman
With Blake it's still the short poems that I like best. Is there anything in the English language more sublime than the Songs of Innocence and of Experience? Vaughan Williams made an exquisite setting of them.
Abrar Alnaseri
Blake, the dark angel of poetry!
With his amazing dark thoughts mixed with the beauty of nature and fancies from heaven and hell.
I cant favor a poem over the other
I cant believe he wrote them back in the 1790s !
It feels like he is a spirit from past with this scarlet and sophisticated language who came to write about now days!

Nadine
This is the first time that I have read a book of poems and I have to say so far this is not my cup of tea. Maybe I can blame this solely on Blake, I’ll have to hold back judgement on that until I have read other poems; I plan on reading Tennyson next, and I also have a book with German poetry sitting on my shelves so maybe it’s just Blake that I don’t get and not poetry itself. In the entire book there was only one poem that I liked. I didn’t care for most and some I abandoned half way through ...more
Stephen
Blake is a singularity. He speaks of lions lying down with lambs and the immolation of a little boy in almost the same breath. The poems from 'Songs of Innocence' are his most memorable because they capture the spirit of joy better than any poetry I know. His later work is reddened with the glint of ferocious zeal, and there is something truly terrifying about the 'Tyger tyger burning bright / in the forests of the night' and the old woman who nails a boy to a rock and grows young as he grows ol ...more
Hélène Lurçat
whenever suffering
English poets are the best
Dawn
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour"
-Auguries of Innocence

"Thine loves the same world that mine hates
Thy Heaven doors are my Hell Gates
Socrates taught what Melitus
Loathd as a Nations bitterest Curse
And Caiphas was in his own Mind
A benefactor of Mankind
Both read the Bible day & night
But thou readst black where I read white"
-The Everlasting Gospel
Lulu
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour"
-Auguries of Innocence

"Thine loves the same world that mine hates
Thy Heaven doors are my Hell Gates
Socrates taught what Melitus
Loathd as a Nations bitterest Curse
And Caiphas was in his own Mind
A benefactor of Mankind
Both read the Bible day & night
But thou readst black where I read white"
-The Everlasting Gospel
Laemeur
An easy introductory text to the work of Blake. Vaughn's short essay/bio is concise without being cursory, and the captions for the plates are informative, insightful, and accessible. The selection of plates is good, as is their reproduction quality, although with a selection of only 40 plates with which to represent Blake's oeuvre, I would have left-out a few of the unfinished pieces for Dante's Commedia and included other work.
Dawn Shanks
Kayla (the 2-year-old I nanny for) and I are reading this together. We try to do a poem or two before naptime, always ending with "The Tyger," which I absentmindedly recited to her one day when we were taking a walk, and she was completely transfixed. We checked this out at the library and I think she's pleased to have an "adult book" and likes to keep it in her bed with her picture books during naps.
Oneflwover
He who binds to himself a joy
Doth the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternitys sun rise

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more then enough.

Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained…
Jean Baptiste de Goncourt
Personally, my most cherished British poet... :) The perpetually up-to-date, inspirational, introspective, buoyant, non-conformist, mentally revolutional Blake with dark,wry humour and meaningful allusions, as well as with a distinct and singular wit! Joyous exaltation!
Cristina Contilli
Qualche anno fa l'avevo abbandonato, ma ora ritrovandolo mentre sistemavo i libri per il trasloco ho scoperto che invece non è così "male"... certo è una poesia visionaria ed ironica, però, ha un suo fascino...
Jessica Woodruff
From his allusions of angels to his hand-crafted painted plates, Blake is first generation Romantic poet sure to entertain. His most famous poem is: Tiger, Tiger.
Thomas
Feb 14, 2008 Thomas rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poetry Fans, Religious Nuts
Recommended to Thomas by: Blake (in a dream)
The master. He could speak to all the (dead) greats and put it back into his own art. Read this and expand your brain.
Adam
"He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise."
Anne
Sep 28, 2007 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those uninterested in totalizing systems
Shelves: 18th-century
Don't get this edition! Not having the pictures is *so* frustrating.

But, boy, Blake is crazy--it's all very exciting.
Stacy
William Blake's work is incredible. This book includes one of my favorite poems of all time, "The Tyger."
Adil Ahmed
just Beautiful, the emotions this book contains are indescribable. Loved reading it.
Sasha
William Blake was a fantastic poet! My favorite poem by far is The Tyger.
Shirma
The Poison Tree and A Clod of Clay are my favorite.
Justin Wiggins
Certainly a volume I will return to again and again.
Chelsy
I love William Blake!...
Catarina Conceição
Catarina Conceição marked it as to-read
Jul 31, 2015
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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
More about William Blake...
Songs of Innocence and of Experience The Complete Poetry and Prose The Complete Poems The Marriage of Heaven and Hell The Complete Illuminated Books

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