Scot's Reviews > Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience

Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience by William Blake
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Aug 02, 11


I am not sure I chose the right entree into Blake's work. My interest sprung from the vast number of references to his poetry that elevate it as prophetic. If these two collections are in that category, the only possible route is the telling of the stories from two sides - innocence and experience. The Songs of Innocence are relics of a time past, probably even in Blake's time. They are sing songy, pastoral and mostly sweet, though definitely not my cup of tea. I mostly breezed through this set, hoping that I would find more. In the Songs of Experience there was much more to discover as for most of the poems (though not all) were a turn of dark reality layered upon the Songs of Innocence, though some were new creations. Here Blake dropped the sweetness in favor of an alternate and darker appearance. Both are wholly legitimate glimpses at a moment in time, though the latter feels more realistic in this day and age filled with war, disease, famine and more. Unless you are digging deep or called to this one, I am not sure that I would recommend it.
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