Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Songs of Innocence and of Experience” as Want to Read:
Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Songs of Innocence and of Experience

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  26,274 Ratings  ·  463 Reviews
This, the second volume of the collected edition of the Illuminated books, reproduces for the first time a copy of the Songs... which is particularly associated with Blake and which shows evidence of the highest degree of care on the artist's part.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1794)
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
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
Jan 15, 2016 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 16, 2016 Florencia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 mea
Lit Bug
Nov 17, 2013 Lit Bug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Carmo Santos
May 18, 2015 Carmo Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poesia, inglaterra
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
Feb 17, 2015 Priyanka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 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
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
Feb 18, 2015 Joey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Knarik Avetisyan
May 25, 2014 Knarik Avetisyan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 17, 2009 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Δεν είμαι για ποίηση εγώ παιδιά, αφήστε καλύτερα.
Huda AbuKhoti
So my sister told me I am enjoying this because I have no experience in English poetry.. I assure you though, that this is no ordinary poetry book.

The book of contrast, I like to call it. Full of extremes at both ends. A joy to the heart in the innocence chapter. Then destroys it all and more with the experience chapter.

Amazing read! purely amazing!

You might feel a bit bored of the overly joyous innocence poems, but when you start reading the experience poems, the book becomes perfectly balance
Matthew DeCostanza
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
Muhammad Khaled
Jun 06, 2013 Muhammad 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
Mike Jensen
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
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
La Mala  ✌
Mar 30, 2016 La Mala ✌ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Abdelrahman Badran
خمسُ نجومٍ أقلُ القليل لهذا الديوان الساحر لويليام بليك ... تندمج كلياً معه
Laura Verret
Blake's poetry, flanked as its literal imagery is with symbolic interpretation, is a source of never-ending wonder to me.
Oct 05, 2015 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: university
“It is words as with sunbeams – the more condensed, the deeper they burn!”
- Quote Robert Southey

The Romantics were considered ‘glorious luminaries’ of an age wherein societal, totalitarianism and conformist suppression ruled supreme. The constraints not only pertained to the literal; social status, literacy, religious expectancies etc. but most significantly to the internal; the oppression of the free thinking spirit.

For instance, Quoting Goethe ““Someday perhaps the inner light will shine
Jan 31, 2015 Draven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mohamed Eshawaf
تلك هى تجربتى الثانية مع الشعر المترجم وغالبا الأخيرة...
تجربتى الأولى كانت مع شاعر أمريكى معاصر هو تشارلز سيميك، وهذه الثانية لشاعر إنجليزى من القرن الثامن عشر، كلتا التجربتان مريرتان ومخيبتان للآمال، ومضيعة للوقت.
ترجمة الشعر هو أسوأ ما يمكن تقديمه للقاريء والشاعر على السواء، فأقل ما يمكن أن تقدمه الترجمة للشعر هى السخافة..
روح الشعر فى اللغة.. إن فُقدت اللغة فُقدت الروح
إليك مثلا هذه القصيدة:
(آه أيتها الوردة، أنتِ مريضة!
الحشرة الخفية،
التى تطير فى الليل،
فى العاصفة التى تعوى،
قد عثرت على سريرك
ذى الب
Nov 17, 2015 Ela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alevel
'And we are put on earth a little space.
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.
And these black bodies and this sun-burnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.'

-The Little Black Boy

I have been studying Song of Innocence and Experience for over a year now, in preparation for my A2 Lit exam. I have really enjoyed looking a Blake's poetry and I know that this collection will stay with me. Blake's simplistic style heart-breaking juxtaposes the complex social issues he discusses; his use of
Jul 05, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L'attenzione, l'amore e la dolcezza che william Blake rivolge ai bambini orfani, abbandonati e ammazzati dalla società mi ha fatto commuovere come poche poesie al mondo.

Ricordando che furono scritte in un tempo in cui i bambini orfani venivano utilizzati, senza scrupoli come spazzacamini ed infilati in canne fumarie spesso ancora roventi, molti morivano o ne rimanevano gravemente ustionati ...
In un tempo in cui i genitori abbandonavano i loro figli nella nebbia non potendoli sfamare ...
In un tem
Nov 27, 2015 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2009, poetry
These poems are beautiful and thought-provoking, as are the accompanying illustrations. "Innocence" describes scenes of love and trust and light, while "Experience" looks to the shadows. My favorite will probably always be "Night", but "On Another's Sorrow" and "The Human Abstract" struck me as well. Blake can be very subtle, creating an array of possible meanings, and even the poems that seem like children's rhymes have much more depth than one might at first suspect. Blake was a bold, fascinat ...more
Sivan N.
Dec 12, 2015 Sivan N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From "The Tiger": "Did he who made the lamb make thee?"

A very intriguing collection. I'd recommend to every person to read this collection of poems. It'll only take one to two hours, however these poems are like a tangible collection of life. The book is split in two parts: Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. There are many parallels between the two which expresses how childhood and adulthood contain many similarities, and everything is the same yet it is so different.

I enjoyed this boo
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Lyrical Ballads
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems
  • John Donne's Poetry
  • The Complete Poems
  • Poetry and Prose
  • Selected Poems
  • The Complete Sonnets and Poems
  • My Last Duchess and Other Poems
  • Collected Poems
  • Manfred: A Dramatic Poem
  • Poetry (Norton Critical Editions)
  • Sonnets from the Portuguese
  • The Rape of the Lock
  • Goblin Market
  • Sonnets to Orpheus
  • Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (Faber Library)
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

“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.” 258 likes
“The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.” 53 likes
More quotes…