Friday, 4 October 2013

Meme: turn right down school lane (October)

Hello, and welcome to turn right down school lane, if you want to join me looking back at books and trips down imagination road! And leave me a link so I can check it out!
literature that you studied at school/university then please do! All I ask is that you link it back to

Today I'm going to be revisiting the poet that I studied for A2 Level English Literature; William Blake, and more specifically his Songs of Innocence and Experience.

William Blake wasn't just a poet, he wrote his poems onto beautiful ink plates (you can see examples of the two poems I'm going to talk about below!), and they are stunning (though slightly difficult to read!). I bought myself a book of the plate drawings while studying because I wanted to see what they really looked like, rather than just the poems that the others were reading!

Poems from Songs of Innocence and Experience often came in pairs, as the two I've chosen to share are, The Lamb is from Innocence and The Tyger is from experience. Even though it has been 3 years since I studied it, lines from The Tyger still pop into my head every now and again (it was my favourite poem in the collection), and that is why I decided to share it.

Below are the original ink plates, the poems as text (so you can actually read them!)

The Lamb (from Songs of Innocence)

Little Lamb who made thee 
         Dost thou know who made thee 
Gave thee life & bid thee feed. 
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice! 
         Little Lamb who made thee 
         Dost thou know who made thee 

         Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
         Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb: 
He is meek & he is mild, 
He became a little child: 
I a child & thou a lamb, 
We are called by his name.
         Little Lamb God bless thee. 
         Little Lamb God bless thee.

THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire? 

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet? 

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp? 

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see? 

Did he who made the Lamb make thee? 
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?