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Showing posts with label Romantic Literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romantic Literature. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

W. B. Yeats as a Romantic Poet

W. B. Yeats, a major modern poet, penned poems that are marked with modern human anxieties and crises, many of which contain romantic elements such as subjectivity, high imagination, escapism, romantic melancholy, interest in myth and folklore, etc. Influenced by the romantic poets, Yeats wrote many of his poems, especially his early poems, following the style that the Romantic poets followed. The poet felt so much influenced by the romantic poets that he characterized himself as one of the last romantics. A careful study of his poems will show that his poems that are written in romantic mode are as perfect in romantic qualities as those of Keats or Shelley.
“The lake Isle of Innisfree” is one of Yeast’s most famous romantic poems, containing almost all the romantic elements in it. It is a highly subjective and imaginative poem since the isle is not a real place situated anywhere in Ireland, rather an ideal land of romance. The poet has not only created the isle out of his imagination he has also imagined the beauties, sounds and comforts of the place. The isle is so peaceful and comfortable that the poet, tired of the tension and anxieties of town life, wishes to go there to get rid of the weariness of city life and to live alone in the close contact of nature. The place appears so beautiful, comfortable and peaceful to the poet that he decides to build a cottage there with clay and wattles. He also wishes to harvest his food from the isle by planting nine bean-rows and keeping a bee-hive there.
The poet reaches the peak of his romantic imagination when he visualizes peace dropping slowly in the isle from “the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings” and where “midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow and evening is full of the linnet’s wings”.
The poet is so fascinated by the charms of the isle that he cannot keep him away from the place. Even when he is busy with his daily life or is standing on the roadway or on the pavements grey, he hears the lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore.
The poem thus contains the essential romantic elements like escapism, love for nature, imagination, subjectivity, dreaminess, romance of imaginary sounds and beauties, etc. Because of the presence of these qualities the poem puts the poet in the direct line of romantics with Keats, Shelley and Wordsworth.
“The Stolen Child” is another famous poem of Yeats containing romantic elements. The environment of Sleuth Wood in the lake is so dreamy that fantastic things happen here. There is a leafy island here where flapping herons wake and where the water-rats feel drowsy. The poet along with these herons and water rats walk in the lake all night dancing and mingling hands with the faeries. They leap to and fro in the lake water chasing “the frothy bubbles”. But the real world is not so beautiful and not so free from troubles and anxieties. “While the world is full of troubles/ And is anxious in its sleep”, the rocky highland of Sleuth Wood is full of delights and dreams. That is why the poet invites the peace seeking trouble stricken people to come to this place:
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

This poem reminds one of Wordsworth who often, tired of the cruelties of the harsh realities of time, liked to be lost in the lap of nature. Like Keats, Yeats in this poem wants to escape to a dreamy land where he thinks there are no troubles and human anxieties, and the fantasy that the poet creates in the poem out of his imagination places him next to S. T. Coleridge.

“The Wilde Swan at Coole” is another romantic poem of Yeats. The poet appears to be Wordsworthian in delineating the beauty of nature. The poet gives an impressive description of the lake at Coole Park. The poet finds fifty-nine swans perching on the stones of the lake in a beautiful, serene, calm and quiet atmosphere. This bewitching scene of the swans perched on the stones in the lake leads the poet to think of the high quality of life that the swans possess. The swans are beyond the harsh realities of human life while human life here is full of problems and troubles. The poet says of the swans:

Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will
Attend upon them still.

This contrast between the swans and the humans reminds one of the contrast made by Keats between nightingales and humans in his “Ode to Nightingale” where he says of the nightingale: “Thou are not born to death, immortal bird”. Like Keats’ nightingales, Yeats’ swans are not born to death. If an individual swan dies, the race remain and continue. Their hearts remain ever youthful and they can fly wherever they like. They are free and moved by the idea of passion and conquest. Unlike human beings, they are never touched by the onslaught of fever and fret and they do not have to face defeat and broken dream. In this way they become the symbol of immortality and fulfillment.

Like these early poems, some of his later poems also contain romantic elements. One such poem is “Sailing to Byzentium”. Like the lake isle of Innisfree, Byzentium is an ideal place. The poet completely frustrated and fed up by the decadence and degeneration of modern life escapes to the ideal world of Byzentium. This poem also reminds us of Keats’ “Ode to Nightingale”. Like Yeats, Keats frustrated and fed up by the harsh realities of life escape to the world of the nightingale.

Like the Romantics, Yeats had an intense interest in ancient myth and legend. He frequently uses the Greek, Medieval and Irish myths and legends in his poems which take the poet to the remote past. We also find in his poems the use of magic and Irish folkloric beliefs. For example, the use of numbers such as nine, nineteen, fifty-nine, has a magical overtone. In “The lake Isle of Innisfree” he wants to plant nine bean-rows; in “The Wilde Swans at the Coole” he sees fifty-nine swans. In Irish folklore the number nine is a lucky number.

The Romantic poems were subjective poems containing the poets’ personal views and ideas on different things. Many of Yeats’ poems reflect his own personal views and ideas on different things and many of his poems directly take the subject matter from his own personal life. “A Prayer for My Daughter” is one such poem in which the poet prays for some qualities to be possessed by his daughter. “Among the School Children” is another personal poem in which the poet becomes nostalgic wandering in his childhood days. Besides, his personal love with Maude Gonne and his frustration in love with her have been the themes of many of his poems. His bitter feelings about Maude Gonne’s attitude towards him also have romantic overtone.
In the light of the above discussion, we can say that W. B. Yeats is a poet of the romantic mode. His highly imaginative mind, tendency to escape to the ideal world to get rid of the cruel realities of time, love for nature, desire to pass time alone and to find comfort in the lap of nature, use of myth, legend, magic and Irish folkloric beliefs, expression of his personal views and ideas, incorporation of his personal sufferings and frustrated feelings—all these put the poet in the direct line with the Romantics.

Friday, May 7, 2010

'Ulysses' by Tennyson as a Dramatic Monologue

A dramatic monologue is a lyric poem in which a single imaginary speaker or a historical personage expresses his thoughts and feelings to an imaginary silent audience. The distinguished features of dramatic are as follows.

In this kind of poem a single person, who is apparently not the poet, utters the entire poem in a specific situation at a critical moment.

This person addresses and interacts with one or more other people, but we know of the presence of the audience and its reaction from the clues in the utterance of the speaker.

A dramatic monologue concentrates on the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.

Robert Browning is well known for his dramatic monologues. His ‘My Last Duchess,” Andrea del Sarto,” ‘Fra Lippo Lippi’, Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’ and ‘Tittonus,” T.S Eliot’s ‘The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ are some of the best known dramatic monologues. Tennyson like another Victorian genius Robert Browing is good at composing dramatic monologues. His well known poem Ulysses is an excellent example of dramatic monologue in which he adopts a classical hero Ulysses or Odysseus as the main character for his work. Here he tries to focus on the adventurous as well as knowledge seeking spirit of Ulysses. But the philosophy of life given through the mouth of Ulysses is actually Tennyson’s own philosophy.

In the poem Ulysses, Ulysses is supposed to be speaking and expressing his thoughts and feelings to the silent listeners. He is standing before the royal palace of Ithaca and speaks before the mariners, who had been his fellow sojourners during his long journey to Troy. The monologue begins with his cynical remarks towards life. .

It little profits that an idle king
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
That hoard and steep and feed and know not me.

Ulysses, the man of nimble wit, is not satisfied with his life among his subjects, who are unaware of his heroic mould. His aged wife ( Penelope) also cannot understand his heroic soul. But his intention is not clear until he says.

I cannot rest from travel, I will drink
Life to the lees.

Here by the word ‘travel’ he means the journey which he made to rescue Helen from Paris and the perilous journey after the destruction of Troy. But he refuses to take rest and is determined to take a life of adventure to the very end. He compares life to a cup of wine. Just a man drinks till he has reached the sediment at the bottom, Ulysses also will taste all aspects of life without leaving anything behind. Through these words, Ulysses’ insatiable passion for knowledge is expressed. He is the man who can never take rest from the pursuit of knowledge.

Ulysses has become old but it is the knowledge and experience which he has gathered so long urges him on even in the old age to sail in quest of knowledge. He knows that a life spent in idleness is no life at all. Just a sword losses its polish and gets rusty when if is kept out of use for longtime, so also vigor and energy will be dulled and blunted if we do not exercise then always. He is perfectly aware that knowledge is vast and unlimited and our life on earth is too short to learn everything. Even a number of lives taken together would be too short for gaining all knowledge. So far he is concerned he has a single life to live. And of this single life too a greater part has already been spent. Only a few years of life are left to him. Hence he is determined to make the best of every moment of the remaining years of his life. To him an hour spent in some profitable work means an hour saved from the silence of death.

But the monologue of Ulysses reaches to the point of climax, when he inspires his sailors and makes on appeal to them to enter upon a life of exploration with great courage. He says…

Death closes all, but something ere the end
Some work of noble note, may yet be done.

Ulysses knows that he and his sailors, being old are nearer death, but he has not given up hope and believes that old men also can earn great glory and achieve great deeds. So, he inspires his sailors to achieve some great deeds even in their old age before thy die. The paths of knowledge may be full of dangers, but he is strongly determined. And finally he makes a noble resolution to carry on his quest. He is not upset by the passing away of his youth and bodily strength. He knows that even old age cannot rob great men of their courage, bravery and other spiritual qualities. Therefore, he asks his sailors to show the same courage that they had in youth. He reminds then that everyone of them is brave and strong willed, everyone of them knows how to labor, how to struggle hard and how to pursue a great aim. Everyone of them will tough out any bad situation and never bow his head before hardships or troubles.

Thus, by the monologue Tennyson portrays the character of Ulysses. His portrayal of the character Ulysses deserves huge appreciation for there is a consonantal movement of thought, pervading the character Ulysses from beginning to the end. Every word Uttered by Ulysses helps to constitute the idea that life is short and knowledge is unlimited, so we must not stop from pursuing knowledge.

How Autumn is Personified in keats' To Autumn'

Personification is a figure of speech in which the attributes of a person are transferred to inanimate objects or abstract ideas. In other words, in this figure of speech inanimate objects and abstract ideas or qualities are spoken of as if they are persons or human being.

In keats’ ‘To Autumn’, Autumn is personified in various human shapes. Keats has used a number of imageries to give the autumn a concrete shape of a person.

The poem opens with the poet’s addressing to autumn. He addresses the season autumn in a way as if it were a living person. Then he considers it as the most intimate friend of the maturing sun. The autumn and the sun are given the human power of making friendship. Autumn has made a conspiracy or agreement with the sun ‘to load and bless’ the vines and frees with ‘grapes and apples’, and also to ripen all fruits to the ‘core’. So, in the first stanza autumn is seen to be an active person who is dutiful and enjoys his work very much.

In the second stanza, autumn is however given a totally different personality. Here autumn is in the form of a rural peasant woman, who is busy during the harvest. Autumn, at first is seen as a woman doing the work of winnowing that is separating the chaff from the grain. But she has become tired and is sitting carelessly which indicates her inactivity. She is careless because she is not afraid of the future as she has harvested abundant crops this year. She knows that much corn has already been gathered, threshed and winnowed. Secondly autumn is personified as a solitary reaper, who in course of her work is so overcome by the sleep inducing smell of poppies and falls asleep, with the result that the next row of corn remains unreaped.

Thirdly, autumn is personified as a gleaner. A gleaner is a woman who collects grains from the field when the crops have been removed. A gleaner may be seen walking along steadily with the weight of grains upon her head, crossing a stream. Giving the personality of a gleaner to autumn indicates that the harvest is almost over. Finally, autumn is given the personality of a cider presser, who sits by the cider press and watches patiently the apple juice flowing out of the press drop by drop.

Thus, in the second stanza autumn is given a concrete shape and a concrete personality. Autumn is seen in four different guises corresponding to the different occupations of the season autumn.

In the last stanza the poet is seen to be also speaking with the autumn. Autumn is seen to be as an unhappy man, because he is deprived of the beauties of spring. But the poet consoles the season, saying that it has its own songs which are no less individualistic.

Thus, throughout the poem autumn is given different personalities, related to the characteristics of this season.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ecstasy and Disillusionment in Keats’ Odes

In his Odes, Keats makes a balance between the flux of human experience and the fixity of art. Keats’ poetic imagination changes easily from the living world to the world of dreams, from art to reality, and from a place of ecstasy to a place of disillusionment.

In the poem, "Ode to a Nightingale," written by John Keats, the speaker attempts to use a nightingale as a means of escaping the realities of human life. The speaker wants to share his experience of listening to the song of a Nightingale and its effect on his mind. The time is night, a moon lit night and place is a green woods. There is a path in the woods which ends somewhere in the woods. In this romantic place and time, a Nightingale is “pouring forth” its soul. The song of the Nightingale has a hypnotizing effect on his mind. It appears in the poem that Keats is tempted into the nightingale's world of beauty and perfection. The speaker cherishes a longing to join the world of the bird which he wants to do through at first, country celebrations and secondly through drinks. The speaker visualizes the happy, excited, and ecstatic frenzies which he wants to have in order to join the happy world of the Nightingale.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee
,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,

But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:

The speaker also gives the description of his actual journey into the dim-sum woods. But as soon as the speaker in the deep woods he can’t see anything in embalmed darkness. He can only guess. In this imaginative forest he finds all the sensual enjoyment of his life. In the darkness of the forest he is surrounded by all the pleasures that he would think to have in the ideal world. There are flowers and fragrance every where and the summer season of woodland takes him to the extremity of joy of living.

The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

At this point the speaker becomes so excited that he wants to die.

Now more than ever seems it rich to die,

To cease upon the midnight with no pain,

While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad

In such an ecstasy!



But all this ecstasy is followed disillusionment and the speaker comes down to reality. The world of imagination can shelter us for a short time, but it can not give us the solution of the reality of life.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.


Keats begins his “ode on a Grecian Urn” simply describing the various figures that are curved on its surfaces.

The first scene depicts musicians and lovers in a setting of rustic beauty. The speaker attempts to identify with the characters because to him they represent the timeless perfection only art can capture.

THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

The lovers will always love, though they will never consummate their desire. The musicians will always play beneath trees that will never lose their leaves.

The speaker ends the poem with "heart high-sorrowful." This is because the urn, while beautiful and seemingly eternal, is not life. The lovers, while forever young and happy in the chase, can never engage in the act of fertility that is the basis of life, and the tunes, while beautiful in the abstract, do not play to the "sensual ear" and are in fact "of no tone.

Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

In Ode to Autumn, the act of creation is pictured as a kind of self-harvesting Autumn is a season of ripe fruitfulness. It is the time of the ripening of grapes, apples, gourds, hazelnuts etc.


SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

It is also the time when bees suck the sweetness from “later flowers” and “make honey.” Thus the autumn is pictured as bringing all the fruits of earth to maturity in readiness for harvesting. Despite the coming chill of winter, the late warmth of autumn provides Keats with ample beauty to celebrate: the cottage and its surroundings in the first stanza, the agrarian haunts of the goddess in the second, and the locales of natural creatures in the third. Keats experiences these beauties in a sincere and meaningful way.

But the music of autumn is ‘wailful’ and “mournful”. Also we have in the last stanza the “soft-dying day” after the passing of “hours and hours’. Thus the poem’s latent theme of mortality is symbolically dramatized by the passing course of the day. “And gathering swallows twitter in the skies” and “Birds habitually gather in flocks toward nightfall” means that the day is coming to a close. Also, birds gather particularly when they are preparing to fly southwards at the approach of winter.


While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

The sense of coming loss confronts the sorrow underlying the season’s creativity. When Autumn’s harvest is over, the fields will be bare, the swaths with their “twined flowers” cut down, the cider-press dry, the skies empty. This means that the season too is drawing to a close. A feeling of disillusionment is inevitable because of these suggestions.

From the above discussion we an say that the strain and stress of practical life makes him fly o the world of imagination for the time beings but he thinks of the short coming of the imagery world and finally accepts life as it is.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Comparison and Contrast between Keats' “Ode to Nightingale” and “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

“Ode to Nightingale” and “Ode on a Grecian Urn” are finest examples of pictorial quality and sensuousness. There are both similarities and dissimilarities in these odes.
As the theme is concerned both of the poems are similar. Both poems seal with a universal theme – mortal and immortal, transience and permanence.

Similarities on the basis of structure

The structure of the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” has a close parallel is that of its contemporary “Ode to Nightingale”. The “Ode to Nightingale” with its eight stanzas is longer but has the same kind of plan and development. The first verse provides the introduction in which the poet, feeling like one numbed or drugged hears the Nightingale singing of summer. Though no explicit questions are asked, the contrast between the exhaustion of the poet and the rapturous song of the bird is itself a question and provokes what follows. In the second to seventh verses, Keats develops the main subject which is the effect of the Nightingale’s song on him. He wishes in turn to fade away with the bird, to dissolve and forget his fever and his fret, to cease upon the midnight; then he rises to a more positive theme. He sees that the bird’s song belongs to a timeless order of things and the climax comes at the end of the seventh stanza with its recognition that song like this is beyond the grasp of death. The eighth stanza brings the conclusion in which Keats returns to reality and relates his enrapturing experience to it, recognizing that he can not for long share the ecstasy of the bird’s song. He has come back to where he started but something has happened which makes him unsure of himself asking whether he is awake or asleep. Keats has understood the bird’s rapture and entered into it and he sees more clearly the ambiguous nature of his relations to all such experiences. And just as in the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” Keats deepens the significance of his poem by his contrasts between ideal beauty and actual life, so in the “Ode to a Nightingale”. At each stage of the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” Keats transforms poetry to which he had given prolonged attention and which are very much his own.

Similarity on the basis of the use of symbol

Both of the odes are rich in the use of symbol. The central symbol of “Ode to Nightingale” is Nightingale. On the other hand the main symbol of “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is Urn. Nightingale symbolizes happiness. As the poem progresses, the song does not remain the song of a particular bird it becomes a symbol of the eternal beauty for the poet. It is in this sense that the poet cries out:

“Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird.”

The song of the bird will never come to an end because it has become one with the universal beauty.

In “Ode on a Grecian Urn” Keats calls the Urn as ‘unravish’d bride of quietness. The Urn is a concrete symbol of some vast reality which can be reached only through knowledge of individual objects. The Urn is also the “foster child of silences and slow time.”

Addressing the Urn Keats says;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity:

In “Ode to a Nightingale” the world of Nightingale is a symbol of perfection, happiness with its fullness. The Grecian Urn is the symbol of immorality of art.


Similarity on the basis of Personification

In this poem “Ode to a Nightingale”, Nightingale is personified. To the eye of the poet, the bird is a symbol of happiness and perfection. The Nightingale’s world is the ideal world where the poet wishes to go to free him from the pings and sufferings of the world. But just one word “forlorn” is enough to call him back from the world of Nightingale to the world of those who are suffering from palsy, growing pale, spectre thin and then dying. The world of Nightingale with all its charm can not take away from Keats’ heart his sense of oneness with his earthly fellow beings who are suffering from “fever and fret” of the world.

Same is true in the case of the Urn. In “Ode on a Grecian Urn'’ the Urn is personified. It stands for beauty and permanence. It contrasts with the transitoriness of human life which is full of misery. The poet knows the value of the Urn as a beautiful piece of art but at the same time he realizes that beauty is not the only thing of importance. The Urn though immortal is speechless. It lacks the warmth and vigor of life.

Similarity on the basis of sensuousness

Keats expands the range of his sensuousness from pictures of physical love to the pictures of natural beauties. In “Ode to a Nightingale” the poet looks for eternal beauty. The beauty of the song of Nightingale is beautiful from time immemorial. It delights all people in all ages every where. The Urn itself is a symbol of everlasting beauty. The painter may die but the beauty of the painting is everlasting. The poet may die but poetry is undying.

Similarity on the basis of temperament

In all his poems, the poet is Greek in temper and spirit. The poems convey the poet’s mind’s inborn temperamental Greek ness. He is a representative of Greek thought and culture in a sense in which Wordsworth, Shelley, Coleridge are not. In “Ode to a Nightingale” there are references of Dryad, Hippocrene, Dacchus, Lethe- which remind us of Greek mythology. The Urn itself is from Greek mythology. It immortalizes Greek joy, culture, religion. The Grecian Urn shows the poet as the true representative of Greek, as the Urn outlives Greek culture. The Urn is the beauty. It is as true as the Greek immortality.

Similarity on the basis of Disillusionment

Both poems show that escape from the real world is never possible. In “Ode to the Nightingale” it is the word “forlorn” that puts the clock black. In the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” it is the realization of the death like, machine like, warmthless, speechless silence of the Urn that brings Keats back into the world of reality.

Dissimilarities

The tone of “Ode to Nightingale” is pathetic and it is more subjective than “Ode on a Grecian Urn”. The tone is joyous and objective in “Ode on a Grecian Urn”. The overall tone of the poem is melancholic in “Ode to Nightingale”. The poem is also very subjective, because it draws reference from Keats’ own life. The expressions “fever and fret” the “spectre thin” etc clearly refer to the pathetic death of Keats’ brother. The poem is written immediately after the death of his brother. On the other hand Keats’ tone in “Ode to Grecian Urn” is very joyful. Here he celebrates the beauty of the Urn, the joyfulness of the lovers and the excitement of the religious sacrifice. He uses the word “happy” several times. More importantly unlike Nightingale it is not based on his personal loss. The poem was written after one of his visits to the British museum.

In these Odes the speaker wants to go beyond the better realties of the world by a kind of visionary imagination of the happy world. But when he comes to learn that the kind of imagination he is pursuing is a false temptation, he rejects the visionary imagination and comes back to harsh reality.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Views on Transience, Permanence, Art, Life, and Beauty in Keats’ Odes

Keats is a poet of beauty. But he is not a poet of sensuous and ephemeral beauty. He is a poet of permanent and ever-lasting beauty. As a poet of beauty, Keats considers art as the embodiment of that everlasting beauty. So, to Keats art represents a permanent, everlasting beauty which contrasts the transient human life. Keats’ view on art is mainly expressed through the contrast between the human life and art that are represented in the form of urn, song, and autumn.

Keats’ most significant views on art are expressed in his “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” In this Ode he makes a contrast between human life and the life of the Urn. Keats finds the Urn much superior to human life. As a work of beauty the Urn represents a permanent life.


In “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” Keats emphasizes the fact love, beauty and youth are all immortalized in the work of art. The beloved in the Grecian Urn is immortal; she will not lose her beauty.

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,

For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

The lady’s beauty and youth have been made permanent in the Urn which is a wrought piece of art. His final comment about the Grecian Urn is:-

When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"

The poet discovers beauty which is unfading and truth. This beauty is undying in excellent artistic creations. He gets the very taste of eternity in the excellent work of art.

Comparing the transience of life with the permanence of a work of art, ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ asserts the quality of both the real world and the world of art. In ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, Keats actually prefers the immortal nature of art over the mortal nature of human activities in the real world.

Although the urn exists in the real world which is subject to time and change, the life it presents and itself are static and unchanging; thus the bride is "unravished" and as a "foster" child, the urn goes through the "slow time" and not the time of the real world. The figures carved on the urn are not subject to time, though the urn may be changed or affected by slow time.
Keats views on art are also expressed in his “Ode to a Nightingale” as a work of beauty. Once again he makes a contrast between the world of the Nightingale which represents the world of art and the human world. In Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," he contemplatse the essence of the nightingale and contrasts it with his own worldly state and the nature of mortal life.

In Ode to Nightingale the poet spotlights the beauty and fascinating charm of the bird’s song. He simultaneously underscores the mast fleeting nature of human life. Human youth and life itself are quite transient. Human beings grow up, flower up into blossoming youths and then fade and die. This is the nature of all human passions. Human beings do not have permanent beauty and permanent joy. Human life on this earth is ever a stratum of happiness and contentment. Human youth and human happiness soon disappear leaving behind an arena of desolation and dry dreariness. Keats refers to life in this world in the following lines of Ode to a Nightingale.

The weariness, the fever, and the fret

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;

Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,

Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;

Here the poet refers to the importance of youth. Man’s weariness, his fret, palsy, grey hair, pale youth have been referred I order to show that life is just like a passing show on the earth. Again he says

Where but to think is to be full of sorrow

And leaden-eyed despairs,

Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,

Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

The poet has drawn the vivid picture of the mortal world. Here beauty fades, love pines, sorrow and despair seize men and to think is to be full of sorrow. Happiness in the earth is just a feeling thing. So, the idea of importance or transience is quite dominant in Keats’s poem.

But it is only the aspect of Keats’s poetry. He is occupied with the idea of impermanence, it is true. But that is not the only phase. We also represent the idea of permanence. He is searching of unfading beauty and permanence in the world of the Nightingale. Not with the help of intoxicating wine but with the fluttering wings of his imagination he will go to the world of the Nightingale, i.e the shelter of nature where he gets abode of permanence and then he will take refuge in the stratum of permanence. He says
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

Here we see that Keats passing from the world of transience to that of permanence. He discovers unerring permanence in the world of nature which does not change and betray.

According to Keats the Nightingale as a part and parcel of nature is immortal. A bird may die as individual but the species will continue from generation to generation. So, Keats adds:-


Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!

No hungry generations tread thee down;

The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown:

The song of the Nightingale has immortal delight because it is an integral part of nature and nature does not die. The song of the bird stirs the poet’s imagination ad opens the “magic” casement of poetry. This is the theme of permanence as we find in Ode to Nightingale where the poet is transported to imaginative ecstasy.


As a romantic poet Keats imagines a pure and enduring life for all natural objects and natural creatures. In “Ode to autumn” Keats celebrates the season of autumn. Autumn is abstracted and given a universal form. The beauty and the activities of autumn are true for all ages.

The basic tension of the poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is between art and the human life. Art though unreal has permanence of beauty and the power to enrapture us through fanciful experiences which are richer than those of artificial life. He clearly portrays the shapes of the Urn which have an eternal life. In “Ode to Nightingale” the speaker wants to share his experience of intensifying to the song of a Nightingale and its effect on his mind. He states the unrestricted, spontaneous happiness of the bird. By simultaneously using figures as personifies of autumn, Keats raises them out of their transient human bodies and eternizes them.

Use of Symbols in Shelley’s “Ode to West Wind “ and ' “Ode to Skylark”

The use of symbols is a remarkable aspect of Shelly’s poetry. The symbol Shelley uses in his poems has become the universal symbols. His symbols are very conspicuous and rich in metaphorical implication.

In “Ode to West Wind “ the west wind is symbolized as destroyer as well as a preserver. It is seen as a great power of nature that destroys in order to create, that kills the unhealthy and the decaying to make way for the new and the fresh. Shelley believes that without destruction, life can not continue. This symbolization of the wind as both "preserver" and "destroyer" furthers this hypothesis

He envisions the West Wind as a devastating force that has the strength to destroy the evils of the existing society and preserves the good thing of it. He sees it as a symbol of destruction and preservation, decay and regeneration death and resurrection. He invokes the West Wind to free his “dead thoughts” in order to prophecy a Renaissance among humanity “to quicken a new birth”.
In the beginning of the poem we find the destructive loon of the West wind.

In the first stanza of the poem the poet addresses the west wind as "Wild" and the "Breath of Autumn's Being." It is a powerful force which drives the dead leaves which are yellow, black, pale and hectic red, to distant places like ghosts from an enchanter. The west wind carries winged seeds to their dark wintry beds underground.

“Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead

Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,”

As a preserver west wind scatters the seeds and covers them with dust. Along with the dead leaves the West Wind scatters the seeds and covers them with dust. When the spring comes, the scattered seeds beget new plants. The new plants with their luxuriant foliage and flowers of bring colors and odors fill the landscape. Thus the nature gets a new life and a new look. So, symbolically the west wind is a destroyer of old modes of life and old customs and preserver of new ways of thoughts and new patterns of life.

He uses four kinds of colors namely “yellow”, ‘black’, “pale”, and “hectic red” in order to characterize the “leaves dead.” The colors are the colors of diseases. “The leaves dead” also symbolize all the aged practices, customs, traditions, institutions, rites and rituals.

The West wind also expresses the very spirit of Shelly. He envisions that the invisible West Wind scatters the clouds in the sky. These clouds are the signals of the coming rain. Rain carries away all the evils from the nature and brings a new look change. Shelley hopes that his “rain” of thoughts would cause regeneration among mankind sweeping away all the unjust. Thus, Shelley’s great passion for the regeneration of mankind and rebirth of a new world finds a fitting expression in the symbolization of the West Wind.

Shelly also symbolize the closing night as the dome of a vast tomb, in which the closing year will be buried. The accumulated water vapors also make the roof over the dying year and the atmosphere seems to be solid because of thick layers of dense clouds. The point is that Wind operates with the same and single point agenda: it destroys the dead and preserves the living.

Shelley also symbolize the Mediterranean as a person who is sleeping and dreaming of destruction of the palaces. During summer the Mediterranean and the Roman palaces and, the towers which remain submerged, are all quiet as if they seem to be sleeping because no storms appear to ruffle the surface of the sea in that season. But the wind agitates the sea and the palaces seem to quiver on account of the tremendous motion of the waves.

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,

And tremble and despoil themselves: oh, hear!



Shelly expresses the hope that his dead thoughts will quicken a new birth and bring about a new condition of human life. Thus the poem ends with a note of hope and optimism: -


O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

This “winter” symbolizes all the corruption, tyranny, superstition, social customs and social institutions of Shelley’s time. On the other hand “spring” stands for new life, free from all obstacles. Winter signifies death while spring brings us consciousness of regeneration of new life. Shelley believes that suffering will come to an end and joy and happiness will prevail as winter is followed by spring.

In the poem “Ode to Skylark” Shelley symbolizes the Skylark-“blithe spirit” as if it had the power to response. He offers a warm welcome to the Skylark.

The Skylark is unseen but still it is compared to a poet composing, a maiden in love, a glowworm throwing out its beams of light, a rose in bloom diffusing its scent, and the sound of rain on twinkling grass. Shelley finds the Skylark as the embodiment of all these qualities which can never be found in a single human being.

Shelley also symbolizes the human song as “an empty vaunt” comparing it with Skylark’s joyful songs. Humans also sing songs in praise of love or wine. They sing songs in order to celebrate a wedding or a victory but compared with the Skylark’s singing, all human songs would seem to be meaningless. We feel that there is some hidden want in human performance. Thus Shelley makes the bird Skylark a symbol of pure, unalloyed ad unrestricted happiness.

So, in conclusion we can say that Shelley uses the West Wind to symbolize the power of nature and of the imagination inspired by nature and makes the bird Skylark a symbol of happiness.

Shelley's Aesthetic of Creation and Destruction in his 'Ode to the West Wind'

Similar to other Romantics, Shelley also believed that the seeds of destruction and creation are contained each within the other. One cannot create something without destroying something else. Likewise, destruction leads to the creation of something new. As in The Rime of Ancient Mariner, after his destructive act, the Mariner gradually comes to realize the enormous consequences of his act and struggles to accept responsibility for it.

Ode to the West Wind by Shelly is a poem addressed to the west wind. It is personified both as a "Destroyer" and a "Preserver". It is seen as a great power of nature that destroys in order to create, that kills the unhealthy and the decaying to make way for the new and the fresh. Shelley believes that without destruction, life can not continue. The personification of the wind as both "preserver" and "destroyer" furthers this hypothesis.

Shelley creates a nature- myth in Ode to the West Wind. He envisions the West Wind as a devastating force that has the strength to destroy the evils of the existing society and preserves the good thing of it. He sees it as a symbol of destruction and preservation, decay and regeneration death and resurrection. He invokes the West Wind to free his “dead thoughts” in order to prophecy a Renaissance among humanity “to quicken a new birth”.
In the beginning of the poem we find the destructive loon of the West wind.

In the first stanza of the poem the poet addresses the west wind as "Wild" and the "Breath of Autumn's Being." It is a powerful force which drives the dead leaves which are yellow, black, pale and hectic red, to distant places like ghosts from an enchanter. The west wind carries winged seeds to their dark wintry beds underground.

“Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead

Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,”

The first movement of the poem is the clearing of the leaves of the previous year’s growth by mighty West Wind. The second movement of the poem is the West Wind’s preserving function, to clear the seeds to their wintry bed. Along with the dead leaves the West Wind scatters the seeds and covers them with dust. When the spring comes, the scattered seeds beget new plants. The new plants with their luxuriant foliage and flowers of bring colors and odors fill the landscape. Thus the nature gets a new life and a new look. Hence, the West Wind is a destroyer as well as a preserver. Symbolically, the dead leaves are the old customs and beliefs. The West Wind preserves the new ways of thoughts and new patterns of life that flourish in he new generation.

The attitude of Shelly’s mind is reflected in such characterization of the West Wind. In practical life he was keenly dissatisfied with the existing order of society. He uses four kinds of colors namely “yellow”, “black”, “pale” and “hectic red” in order to characterize the “leaves dead.” The colors are the colors of human diseases. “The leaves dead” also symbolize all the aged practices, customs, traditions, institutions, rites and rituals. Shelley wants the destruction of the old mode of thoughts like the dead leaves and preservation of new ideas and patterns. He logically finds a resemblance between his own nature and that of the West Wind.

Shelley further develops his idea in the forthcoming stanzas. He envisions that the invisible West Wind scatters the clouds in the sky. These clouds are the signals of the coming rain. Rain carries away all the evils from the nature and brings a new look change. Shelley hopes that his “rain” of thoughts would cause a regeneration among mankind sweeping away all the unjust. Thus, Shelley’s great passion for the regeneration of mankind and rebirth of a new world finds a fitting expression in the West Wind.

By the expression “the dome of a vast sepulchre” Shelley here refers to the closing night which will serve as the dome of a vast tomb, in which the closing year will be buried. The accumulated water vapors also make the roof over the dying year and the atmosphere seems to be solid because of thick layers of dense clouds. The point is that Wind operates with the same and single point agenda: it destroys the dead and preserves the living.

In the third stanza the realm of the ruling West Wind is the sea, both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and both the surface and the vegetation beneath. Shelley here has personified the Mediterranean, which perhaps in its sleep is dreaming of destruction of the palaces. During summer the Mediterranean and the Roman palaces and, the towers which remain submerged, are all quiet as if they seem to be sleeping because no storms appear to ruffle the surface of the sea in that season. But the wind agitates the sea and the palaces seem to quiver on account of the tremendous motion of the waves.

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,

And tremble and despoil themselves: oh, hear!

This may be easily taken for allusions to Shelley’s hope for political change in Italy, for the collapse of the kings and kingdoms. Shelley here must have tried to bring home a political philosophy. The old palaces and towers symbolize corrupt, degenerate and old power, old order and institutions. All these should be destroyed, the poet dreams along with the sea, in order to make way for new beginning.

As the scene shifts to the Atlantic, “the somnolent summer yields to the ruthless autumn”. The reader is taken not only to the Atlantic, where its smooth surface has turned into a deep waves, but under it, where woods and foliage are forced to dispossess themselves of foliage upon hearing the Wind’s voice.

As an idealist and as an extremely sensitive soul, Shelley was in much distress to see mankind exploited and being dehumanized by the corrupt, degenerate and old political powers and institutions. He wanted to see mankind reach an ideal state of life based on fraternity, equality and democracy. And that is why he was seeking revolution, which he refers to as his “sore need”. He wishes that if he were a leaf rather than a human being the West Wind or the revolutionary force could carry him like dead leaves. The West Wind is uncontrollable and possesses unlimited freedom though he is not as free as the West Wind. The poet says:-

“Oh! Lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!”

His revolt is against the bond of human existence which makes life helpless, weak and miserable. The poet feels suffocated with the burden of life and desires relief from it. He appeals to the West Wind to raise him as wave, a leaf or a cloud. He thinks that the West Wind has the power to bring a revolutionary spirit in the poet. He prays to the West Wind to life him out of his social bondage and urges it to scatter revolutionary usage for a better social change in the world.

Again, the poet worships the West Wind to treat him as its lyre just as it treats the forest, which means that the poet wants to bring a harmonious tune in the course of human life. The poet thinks that his life has become gray, dull and barren. He appeals to the West Wind to be his spirit and drive away all dead thoughts. He also wants to announce the invitation to build the world in new form and design. Only the West Wind can do this by the poet. Shelly expresses the hope that his dead thoughts will quicken a new birth and bring about a new condition of human life. Thus the poem ends with a note of hope and optimism: -

O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?


It becomes clear that the poet invokes the example of the operations of the west wind in nature because, in turn, he wants to spread his message of resurrection through this poem. Thus Shelley’s West Wind is a “spirit” “the Breath of autumn’s beings” which on earth, sky and sea destroys in the autumn to revivify in the spring.

William Wordsworth's 'Michael' as a Pastoral Poem

William Wordsworth’s first attempt at a pastoral poem can be seen in “Michael,” the concluding poem of Lyrical Ballads. A pastoral poem is defined as poem set in idealized, often artificial rural surroundings. “Michael” begins with Wordsworth taking us to the mystical place near Greenhead Ghyll, where Michael and his family live.

Wordsworth vividly describes the land on which Michael lives, making it seem like paradise. Michael lives in a solitary place in the valley among the high mountains. There is a small river and by the side of that small river there lie some uncut stones.

“Upon the Forest-side in Grasmere Vale
There dwelt a Shepherd, Michael was his name.”

The story in the poem is very simple and it is connected with these pieces of stones. Michael is then described as a shepherd who has worked the land all his life. Michael faces many storms in the company of the flock of sheep. He can understand the meanings of the winds. He can easily understand when a storm is coming. Michael has a deep love for his fields, rocks, stones and nature.

Hence he had learn'd the meaning of all winds,
Of blasts of every tone, and often-times
When others heeded not

We feel that Michael is the creation of the poet’s mind. Like, Wordsworth, Michael is the great lover of nature. The character of Michael is dear to Wordsworth because such a man is very close to Wordsworth’s heart.

As the poem continues, Michael’s wife, who is twenty years his junior, and Luke their son are introduced and thoroughly described. Michael and Isabel have lived on land he inherited for many years. Isabel as the perfect cares greatly for her family and works hard to care them. She has two spinning wheels.
Michael, his wife and his son are found to be busy in domestic affairs along with the sheepdogs. They work from sunrise to till sunset. The son remains busy repairing the plough of the sickle.

two wheels she had
Of antique form; this large, for spinning wool;
That small, for flax; and if one wheel had rest
It was because the other was at work.

The poem is really a poem about humble life. We observe that Wordsworth is dealing with rural man with rural occupation.



Wordsworth describes the cottage and the household with picturesque language. The cottage is on a high ground and during the evening the housewife lights the lamp. The house is named “The Evening Star.”

Down from the cicling by the chimney's edge,
Which in our ancient uncouth country style
…………………………………….
………………………………………..
Of day grew dim, the House-wife hung a lamp;
An aged utensil, which had perform'd
Service beyond all others of its kind.


As the poem continues we watch Luke grow up. At the age of five he is given a shepherds staff from his father. Love or passion is the part and parcel of rural life. The poem deals with the domestic love. The deep love of Michael for Isabel is emphasized throughout the whole poem. But what is extraordinary important is the old man’s love for the son. His son is the entire of all his hopes. Michael is linked with the boy as body linked with the soul.


Michael’s heart
This son of his old age was yet more dear
………………………………….
………………………………….
Than that a child, more than all other gifts
That earth can offer to declining man,
Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts,

Michael is used to have Luke by wherever he is working in the field, at home or under the shad oak tree in front of he cottages. The father keep the son safe from the burning son.

In the following lines Michael is forced to pay back a debt which he owes, and the only way he could do this is to either sell his land or have Luke work off the debt in the city. Before he goes his Father takes him to the brook with the many stones and asks him to lay the cornerstone for the Sheepfold. He wants him to come back one day and finish what he has started, and to leave a permanent mark on the land. He hopes that he will get back his property and built the sheepfold with collected stones.

The son is ruined. Soon Michael dies and his wife follows him. After some time the cottage is pulled down and the unfinished sheepfold is no longer seen. The Evening Star vanished and there emerged only the oak tree.

yet the Oak is left
That grew beside their Door; and the remains
Of the unfinished Sheep-fold may be seen
Beside the boisterous brook of Green-head Gill.

In the light of the above analysis we can say that the poem deals with the success and failure, hopes and despair of the rural people and for this he uses pastoral setting. Wordsworth is very much simple, candid and spontaneous in his creation and everywhere there is the touch of nature.

William Blake’s Treatment of Childhood in his Poems

The glorification of childhood is dominant romantic feature of Blake’s poetry. In his poems child is a figure symbolizing God or Christ. His world of innocence however is not entirely untouched by unpleasant elements.

In the opening poem of Songs of Innocence “Introduction” the child is shown to be a source of heavenly inspiration. In other words, he is a Christ- figure who brings divinity into the world.

In the poem “The Lamb” the same kind of divinity of children is portrayed. Here innocence of child connects him with innocent lamb as well as God.

I a child and thou a lamb
We are called by His name.

Thus, the child is treated as having divinity within his soul and the poet visualizes the holiness of the child and unifies him with the lamb and Jesus. According to Blake the innocence of a child disseminates from the simplicity of his heart and feelings which are not tempered by the elements of worldliness, customs and rule. Possessed with this nature the child is akin to God and he feels the presence of God in all the objects of God’s creation.

The childhood is marked by absolute freedom and excessive joviality. Happiness and joy are omnipresent in the world of children.

Songs of Innocence celebrates these natural raptures of the children and their sports, shouts ad play. In the poem “Laughing Song “the inanimate object such as the streams, the meadows, and the woods become the part of the joviality of such children as Mary, Susan and Emily.

When the medows laugh with lively green
And the grasshooper laughs in the merry
Scene/when Marry, and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing Ha Ha Ha

To Blake childhood is a period of innocence since the sophistical social set up has not affected the children. Since they are free in their pursuit of joy, they are pretty aloof from the mannerism and divided aims of the world. They want to play and frisk in the greenery until they are tired and satisfied. This state of children is portrayed in “Nurses Song of Innocence.”

“No, no let us play, for it is yet day
And we cannot go to sleep
Besides in the sky he little birds fly
And the hills are all covered with sheep.”

The happiness of the children is overt and excessive and they don’t want to go to steep until the day ends. They are happy in playing, singing and dancing and they speak even to the inarticulate creature such as the lamb, bird and flower. Blake also uses some set symbols such as lamb and shepherd in his Songs of Innocence in order to symbolize the innocence of the children as well as the sense of security.

But Blake was not blind to the sufferings of the children. He showed that sometimes children become the pathetic victims of the unjust behavior of the adult. The suffering of the children is manifested in three poems-“the Chimney Sweeper,” “Holy Thursday” and “The Little Blake Boy.” Here he shows the victimization of children by society.

‘Holy Thursday’ is an indictment of a society which allows children to depend upon charity. The poet speaks of “babes reduced to misery” and ‘fed with old and usurous hand.’ There is “eternal winter” in the life of these children.

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

Blake means here that all children are angles, not scapegoats to be the butchered on the altar of the society. How can England call herself rich and fruitful land if she has hunger children waiting for food from the so-called benefactors of society? In this poem Blake sings a revolutionary message. The satire here is bitter and Blake shows the class-conscious hatred which a revolutionary feels. He experiences a sense of indignant shame at the state of things.

In ‘The Chimney Sweeper’,(songs of innocence) Blake throws light upon the miserable life of young children who are subject to inhuman treatment in the society of industrial England. A carefree child is a natural symbol of innocence. But the children are thrown in the eternal hell of suffering. The boys named Dick, Joe, Ned and Jack are sold to the master’s sweep when they are very young. They are treated like animals. They have to wake up in the night and go on sweeping the soot of chimneys even when fire is burning below in the fireplace. They put soot in the sooting bags and come out like little black spirits. At home they sleep on poor beds and are fed poorly. They are the victim to the inhuman atrocity of the society. Thus their radiant innocence is completely shattered.

In ‘The Chimney Sweeper’,(songs of experience)The child is telling society that his pain is being caused by those in whom he put his trust— his parents. They abandon him and go ...to praise God & his Priest & King (Blake, 11). Perhaps they do this, because on the outside their child looks happy and they probably think that they are helping him more than anything:

‘ And because I am happy, & dance& sing
They think they have done me no injury,’

In the meantime, the church is also playing a part in his misery. How? Because it allows the parents to come inside its building to pray when they should be protecting their child from all harm:

‘They are both gone up to the church to pray
………………
………………
a heaven of our misery “


In “The Little Black Boy” Blake also points out the sober innocence of the black children in the hands of color conscious English society. The little Negro boy laments the dark color of his skin in contrast to the English child’s white skin. He is black and sun burnt while the English boys are angelic in the fair skin. The Negro boy is exposed to the scorching heat of the sun and patiently suffers everything.

In simple and yet golden diction, Blake expresses child’s first thoughts about life. For him all human beings are in some sense and sometime the children of a divine father but experience destroys their innocence.

William Blake as a Lyric Poet

William Blake is a lyric poet. He was born in the neo- classical age, but the things that distinguish him from other poets of his age are the lyrical qualities of his poetry. By the lyrical qualities we understand such poetic features as subjectivity, melodiousness, imagination, description and meditation. Moreover a lyric poem is usually short and may fall into such genres as elegy, ode, ballad, sonnet etc. A lyric poem expresses a poet’s private thoughts and emotions rather than telling a story. From all these perspectives the poems of Blake in Songs of Innocence and Experience are lyrics.

The first quality that makes his poems lyrics is subjectivity. The neo-classical approach to poetry was objective. Blake on the other hand took a subjective approach. Blake was a disturbing prophet who desired social change. He was personally against all kinds of repressions, materialism, institutional corruption, racism, worship of money and hypocrisy.

Blake voiced against repression and constrains. He did not follow the neo-classical restrains of writing poem. He also expressed his hatred towards institutional and personal repressions in such poems as- The Holy Thursday, The Nurse’s Songs (Experience),

In Blake’s time many children had to depend upon charity. In his poem ‘Holy Thursday’, Blake raises his voice against such repression.

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

Blake means here that all children are angles, not scapegoats to be the butchered on the altar of the society. How can England call herself rich and fruitful land if she has hunger children waiting for food from the so-called benefactors of society?
Blake believes that children should be free and their life should be colorful. But the guardians always try to restrict them. Blake opposes such kind of restriction. In Nurse’s Song, the nurse keeps a constant watch over the children and her instincts reflect her disposition. From her angle of view, life is aimless, a useless waste of time in childhood and in old age, a shame. It has no purpose as she says:
Our spring and our day are wasted in play,
And your winter and night in disguise.
She sets all her views in a depressing background such as winter, night, and dew darkness and so on. She looks back with frustration on her childhood, and instead of feeling merry she grows pale. Her ‘spring’ and “day” seem to express the agony of growing up to a regretful maturity. She is hostile and insensitive to innocence. She takes the children back home, leaving them unable to protest, to play and enjoy.
 William Blake dislikes Industrial Revolution and in his poems he focuses how the Industrial Revolution represents the devil and that it must be purged. Blake focused on child labor and prostitution-the two adverse effects of Industrialization Revolution in his poems The Chimney Sweeper and London.

Blake hated the exploitation of children's labor because of Industrial Revolution. Blake believed in the innocence of childhood pleasures. The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake expressed the difficult lives of working children. As the title reveals it, the children are cleaning chimneys all day long in unimaginable conditions. Blake gives his readers a clear understanding of the harsh conditions of these young chimney sweepers. He says:

“There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curl’d like a lamb’s back,” ( lines 5-6)

Blake focuses how badly these children are left powerless and with no escape. On another instance, the poem relates the misery felt by these children when it says:

“A little black thing among the snow/
Crying “ ‘weep, ‘weep,” in notes of woe!” (lines 1-2).

Blake is here pointing out that man is responsible for evils of society. The picture drawn by Blake is disturbing and heartbreaking at the same time.

In his poem "London," from his work Songs of Experience, Blake describes the woes of the Industrial Revolution. He describes the Thames River and the city streets as "chartered," or controlled by commercial interest. He refers to "mind-forged manacles"; he relates that every man's face contains "Marks of weakness, marks of woe"; and he discusses the "every cry of every Man" and "every Infant's cry of fear."

In “London” Blake describes a world during and after the industrial revolution in which there have been many ill-fated side effects as people move away from the traditional farming families and their beliefs.

Blake vividly portrays another worse effect of Industrial revolution, “prostitution”, in his poem “London”. A prostitute or an unwed mother is unable to rejoice in her child’s birth. It tells of a married couple looking down upon her for what she does in order to make a living. This is ironic because the business of prostitution is caused in part by the restrictions placed upon the married man. It is also ironic because the married man is what has created the need for, and use of prostitutes. The harlot curses the respectable and polite society because it is they who have created the demand for her, and then look down upon what she does. “Blights with plagues” implies that perhaps she also infects them with some sort of venereal disease. The final words of the poem, “Marriage hearse” compares marriage to death. The narrator sees marriage as another type of restriction placed upon man by society, marriage is a sort of death in man’s ability to be free to do as he wishes.
 Blake believed in equality for all men, and this is reflected in his poem. William Blake's The Little Black Boy revolves around the theme of slavery and the ideal slave's mentality. Blake wrote about a black African-American and his experience with slavery. Blake probably expressed his own feelings towards the whites' racism and suppression acts towards African-Americans through the black boy, which is the speaker of the poem.
The poem is about an African-American, who is the speaker of the poem, who remembers his childhood with his mother where she used to indoctrinate her child with the racist beliefs of slavers. The black boy has a dream, that all humans will be equal.

 Blake stands against puritan hypocrisy. Two of his poems from Songs of Experience present his views on the matter: ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ and “The Garden of Love’.

In ‘The Chimney Sweeper’, the child (Blake) is telling society that his pain is being caused by those in whom he put his trust— his parents. They abandon him and go ...to praise God & his Priest & King (Blake, 11). Perhaps they do this, because on the outside their child looks happy and they probably think that they are helping him more than anything:

‘ And because I am happy, & dance& sing
They think they have done me no injury,’

In the meantime, the church is also playing a part in his misery. How? Because it allows the parents to come inside its building to pray when they should be protecting their child from all harm:

‘They are both gone up to the church to pray
………………
………………
a heaven of our misery “

In another of his poems, ‘The Garden of Love,’ Blake portrays religion as the oppressor of human kind. Blake sees the church as an obstacle between men and God. He attacks the Priests because, instead of offering God's comfort as they were meant to do, they become like judges or police officers telling men what they can or cannot do.

“And priests in lack gowns were walking their round

And binding with briars my joys and desires.”

Blake asks society to take a second look at the way the church treats them and to realize that God cannot found among oppressions.

 All of Blake’s poem are short, some very short indeed. All are written in apparently simple style, and the most usual verse form in the rhymed quatrain. (stanza of four lines). A lyric poem is usually melodious. In many of Blake’s poem like “The Tyger” we find melodious tone.

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

For Blake “imagination” is that gift in man, which can hear the prompting’s of God, or “spiritual sensation”. ‘Introduction’ is a canonical poem of the romantic period. In it lies the key romantic element: imagination, emotion, idealism. In “Introduction” to Songs of Innocence Blake as a poet, playing his simple and innocent music attracts the attention of a muse or spirit that appears to him as a child on a cloud. The child encourages him to play a song about a “Lamb” and being impressed with the musician asks him to drop his pipe and write a book “that all may read”. In this way the spirit is asking Blake to share his inspiration with a wider audience, an audience that would not depend on his presence to experience the happiness his imagination can bring.

 Sometimes Blake asks question about creation: how can we understand a God who is capable of creating the innocence of the lamb and the fury of the tiger? The Tyger (Songs of Experiece) is Blake’s famous meditative poem. The tiger is Blake’s symbol for the “abundant life”, and for regeneration. Centrally, it Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful smmetry?

 Nature was not the central focus of Blake's poems, but it was a theme that did occur in many of his works, such as "Nurse's Song" "The Lamb", "Earth's Answer", "The Garden of Love", "To Spring" and "To the Evening Star".

In "Nurse's Song" (from Songs of Innocence), Blake describes children playing outside, enjoying nature and having the time of their lives. In this verse, time is marked by signs in the natural world. The nurse implores: "[t]hen come home, my children, the sun is gone down / And the dews of night arise. . ." (lines 5-6). Nature acts as a gentle guide for the children. Their only concept of time comes from the luminaries and the light they give. The children respond to the nurse, wanting to play until the last lights in the sky are gone. Again, scenes from nature appear.

"Besides, in the sky the little birds fly /
And the hills are all covered with sheep."


Each of his poems is a vehicle of expressing his personal emotion. It seems his art had been too adventurous and unconventional for the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and we may even say he was ahead of his time.

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