Songs of Innocence and of Experience
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Songs of Innocence and of Experience

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  18,913 ratings  ·  315 reviews
Songs of Innocence and of Experience is a collection of poems by William Blake. This is an important publication for those who are fans of the writings of William Blake, and should not be passed up by students or scholars of poetry. Make sure to add this edition to your William Blake poems and continue discover the beauty and mystery to Blake's writings for longtime fans a...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published April 16th 2007 by Fq Classics (first published 1794)
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Lit Bug
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 (...more
Florencia
Jul 29, 2014 Florencia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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 mead...more
Mike Puma
Oct 23, 2013 Mike Puma rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you know who you are
A review, of sorts, may be found in Message 1.
Jason Gignac
Wow.

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...more
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...more
Knar   Avetisyan
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
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...more
Muhammad Khaled
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
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....more
Draven
William Blake, my favorite poet of all time. Always overshadowed by his fellow Romantic contemporary, 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.
Neha Chaudhary
This book is divided into two sections:
1. The Songs of Innocence: It constitutes of exactly 19 poems. It embellishes the primitive desires and frights that form the lives of kids (inexperienced) and follows their transformation as the kid turns to an adult. Some of the poems are written from the perspective of children, while others are about children as seen from an adult perspective.
I loved this part. It’s got metaphors, personification (my favorite), imagery, simile and other literary device...more
Mohamed Elshawaf
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
...more
Sara
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...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
binnudeya
Joy and sunshine.

THE DIVINE IMAGE.
THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER.
THE LITTLE BLACK BOY.
NIGHT.
THE ANGEL.
A POISON TREE.


And their sun does never shine
And their fields are bleak and bare
And their ways are filled with thorns
It is eternal winter there



Guang Tse
Experience>Innocence, but also interesting was the dialectic between the two parts. I noticed for the first time the fearful symmetry of The Lamb and The Tygre. There's so much more going on under the surface, beyond the childlike rhymes.
Manny
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
Shaindel
Blake is brilliant...brilliant...brilliant. Probably because the spirit of Milton was possessing him by entering the big toe of his left foot just like he thought. I can't come up with any other reason for it.
samar salman
This collection of poems will take you in it's rhythm and meaning to a delightful joy. It's divided into to parts: one is titled as "Songs Of Innocence" which is a soft, sweet, childish verses. And the second part:" Of Experience" is more virtual, real, gloomy, and painful. I have always loved William Blake strong unique paintings, and today I can say that I also loved his poems. Although, I may prefer his paintings more. All and all, these are some of the poems I liked most in this collection:...more
Cheryl in CC NV
This was my 'purse book' for over a year. Whenever I was caught waiting in line or at the doctor's office I'd read a poem or two. I wound up reading most 2-3 times, more if I needed to puzzle them out. Mostly the puzzling bits were due to Christian imagery & allegory and I was raised with v. little exposure to church or Bible.

I'm sure I would have preferred the illustrated edition, and probably given it five stars. I might look it up some day. I'm also considering getting a critical or annot...more
Elyssa Szkirpan
Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake

I don’t completely understand why some people choose to take the classics, respect them for what they are on the shelf, and then shove them into a box in the back of the closet. I understand that some may feel the classics are a little over analyzed, but the more you read them, the more you comprehend them and the more you understand how very important they are in the grand scheme of the literary world.

Hence why I pulled my weathered copy of the...more
Mallory
A short, lovely volume of poetry divided into “Innocence” and “Experience,” intending to show “the two contrary states of the human soul.” The Innocence poems are happy and childlike, full of hope for the future. I liked them the best. But they often have a corresponding Experience poem showing the darker side of life. There’s such a contrast spiritually between the two sections; it made me curious about Blake’s upbringing and how he saw God. I’d never read Blake before, so the poems were all fr...more
Ala'a  Muhammad
William blake is my favorite romantic poet without doubt, his poetry really gives me physical ache which I find strange!
From Songs of Innocence my fave poem is THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER every time I read it I ended either with tears in my eyes or a smile on my lips, maybe both, not sure. I just love it.
From Songs of Experience my favorite is the tyger, how silly I was when I thought it just a mere pleasant 'song' for ears. When in fact it was not a song at all, not even close to a one. I won’t go deep...more
Sarah
I absolutely adore William Blake. He is one of my favorite Romantic writers, as well as one of my favorite poets overall. Blake's transcendentalist undertones give his work an air of spiritual truth, which is both satisfying and thought-provoking. This particular volume is divided into two parts: innocence and experience. Some poems are included in both parts, but changed, to show the changes that one goes through as one leaves childhood and enters adulthood. Blake is not necessarily partial to...more
Raffi Hindoian
Its all balance.

I wonder what he would say if he saw the highly connected digital world of today.
Mariana Ferreira
Religious views aside, this was absolutely gorgeous. Great rhythm, simple language and fantastic intake on social issues that can still be applied to today's society. To be read over and over again!
Vivi Vocat
Sweet dreams, form a shade
O'er my lovely infant's head!
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams
By happy, silent, moony beams!

Sweet Sleep, with soft down
Weave thy brows an infant crown!
Sweet Sleep, angel mild,
Hover o'er my happy child!

Sweet smiles, in the night
Hover over my delight!
Sweet smiles, mother's smiles,
All the livelong night beguiles.

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Chase not slumber from thy eyes!
Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,
All the dovelike moans beguiles.

Sleep, sleep, happy child!
All creation slept...more
Michael Palkowski
Blake's writing demands performance. Reading it occasionally gives the impression that it's antiquated, romanticist doggerel but it comes to life when it's removed from the dreary page. Listen to Allen Ginsberg sing these poems: http://archive.org/details/naropa_all...
Shimaa
a wonderfull collection of poems ... for me the songs for experience were more beautiful
& overall i prefered the Lily :)

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat’ning horn:
While the Lily white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

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13453
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...
The Complete Poetry and Prose The Complete Poems The Marriage of Heaven and Hell The Complete Illuminated Books Poetry and Designs: Authoritative Texts, Illuminations in Color and Monochrome, Related Prose, Criticism

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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.” 194 likes
“The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.” 42 likes
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