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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

English Comp III ~ William Blake ~ Poem ~ Titled: London

 William Blake 
                                                            My Insight

    I have chosen William Blake who wrote the poem titled: “London” which was written in 1794, which inspired me to learn more about this poem and the person behind it, because of how the poem grasped me as I read it. The reason behind my wanting to research Mr. Blake, is because I found his poem dark, but eye opening. I could feel that there was more to the word that met the eye, and I knew from that point, that I wanted to know more about the Author and the poem itself.

     To conduct my research, I went to the site: and found William Blake, and it was there that I found the information on him that inspired me even more.

     One Alexander Gilchrist in 1863 wrote a book titled: “Life of William Blake” and Gilchrist ‘believed that Blake felt that his poems were of national importance and understood by a majority of men.’ The American revolution had been in 1775, and the French revolution in 1789 changed the way men looked at their relationship to the church and state.

     It is said that William Blake was a Poet, a painter and an engraver. If you look at all of this, today this is better known as an artist.

William Blake

The poem I chose is shown below:

 Written by: William Blake

Written in: 1794

I wander through each chartered street,

Near where the chartered Thames does flow,

And mark in every face I meet

Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every man,  
In every infant’s cry of fear,

In every voice, in every ban,

The mind-forged manacles I hear.

How the chimney-sweeper’s cry

Every black’ning church appalls  
And the hapless soldier’s sigh

Runs in blood down palace walls.

But most through midnight streets I hear

How the youthful harlot’s curse

Blasts the new-born infant’s tear   
And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
     As you can well enough see, William Blake wants to share his insight as to how he sees London with the reader, and how he feels others should see it. You can see, that he has grown from his storytelling ability as a child, but now to an adult, and has changed his perspective of ow he see’s things.

     You can not only see, but with William you can visualize with him as he takes to walk the streets, and see things through his eyes, as he writes them down for all to see.

     In this particular section:
“And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every man,”

     As William is walking down the street he is looking at people and their faces, and perhaps their expressions. He sees their weakness and woe. Their sadness and sorrow, and maybe even their pain. So he decides to write it down, so that others can know, he sees it and feels it as he writes it. He wants the readers to know, that: “I feel your pain.” Research teaches us, that he is relating his visualization to the war, and the scars it has left behind, whether be on the men, but also on the minds of men.

     And then in this section:
“How the youthful harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s tear”

      I feel that William didn’t like the fact that the Harlot, (in proper term now of days, a whore) is cussing in front of an infant. He finds that upsetting, as would any person. That is my interpretation of this segment. Therefore, he wrote this down, so that when people read this, they know that he has feelings, and cussing around children offends him.

     However, when I posted my belief with my class, my teacher did retort a different thought, and I ask if there was a way to disprove either of our theories. But my teacher took it a line further with his explanation, bring marriage into it, and explaining it as the Harlot is the wife. Here:

How the youthful harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s tear         
And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.

     My argument, still, I contradict my teacher, and here is my theory: Yes, there is a married woman there with a child in her arms. In those days, in order to have a child, one must have been married. Point one. Number two, Harlots cuss, because they are out on the streets working and trying to make money, and if there is none, their feet hurts, and perhaps even the weather is you know—not co-operating. So the Harlot is going to be cussing. So this affects the marriages curse. My theory, and mine alone.

     In 1780 riots broke lose which affected William Blake deeply. These images gave him images of violent destruction and unbridled revolution for his work.

     In this section of the poem:

“And the hapless soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down palace walls.”

     After reading everything I have shared with you here, you can tell that this segment is from the time that William seen the violent destruction from the 1780’s that created his work, which as you can well enough tell, this poem is again from 1794. Therefore, as we recall. This is where that memory comes from and why William shared this with the world here, so that everyone can see and feel what he did. He wants the World to remember its History, as it should.

William Blake went through a lot, and although I could’ve went on and on about him, I chose not to, because I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone. However, you can obviously tell he put his life into his work, and wanted the world to see and feel what it is that he went through, through his writings. Which is exactly what most poets do.

I truly enjoyed this assignment, and learning about William Blake, it helped me to realize that the poet himself is a person, and that he too is a person. This was a truly learning experience, and worth the research. The only thing I didn’t enjoy about it, was the fact that we were only able to research from older style authors, and limited on to who we were able to research about. Other than that, I found this whole experience quite worthwhile.

I did find some of William Blake’s phrases and wordings a bit difficult to understand, but that is because of the century that he lives in, and where. Other than that, that is the only thing about William Blake is a great write artist, and I truly enjoyed researching about him.

From South University E-Text Work book Chapter 16:!/4/2/12/24/6@0:100
Web site: The Poetry Foundation

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