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Critics say: "far and away the
greatest artist Britain has ever
Considered mad by
contemporaries for his
idiosyncratic views, Blake is
held in high regard by later
critics for his expressiveness
and creativity, and for the
philosophical and mystical
undercurrents within his work
Art is the tree of life. Science is the tree of
As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed,
such are its powers.
He who binds to himself a joy Does the
winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy
as it flies Lives in eternity's sun rise.
If the doors of perception were cleansed
everything would appear to man as it is,
Without Contraries is no progression.
Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy,
Love and Hate, are necessary to Human
existence. From these contraries spring what
the religious call Good & Evil.
The Marriage of Heaven and
Hell – explores the relationship
between the two opposites
The Songs of Innocence and of
Experience – two collections of
poetry exploring those who are yet
to be corrupted by society, and
those who have. Typically, children
are the innocent ones.
Auguries of Innocence –
exploring innocence and how it
can be corrupted (augury means
‘the practice of…’)
Blake’s poems and images
work together; he seeks to
represent through words and
pictures, the visions of his
He was also paid to illustrate
the works of others.
His method of illustrating also
proved a way of allowing
artists to connect with a mass
audience, preceding the rise of
literacy and mass
consumption of printed
Relief etching or illuminated printing.
Writing the text of the poems on copper
plates with pens and brushes, using an
acid resistant medium. Illustrations
could appear alongside the words,
almost like illuminations. He then
etched the plates in acid in order to
dissolve the untreated copper and leave
the design standing in relief.
Choose one poem written by William Blake and try to
read and analyze it;
Extension: Find what can be defined a contemporary
“poem” in Blake style ;