William Blake as a poet of mysticism, symbolism and Morality- Part I



William Blake, a mystic and visionary poet, is known for the personal myths and symbolism he employs throughout his poetry in general and in "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience" in particular. Though critics have often charged Blake for the inefficient, at times clumsy, use of grammar in his poetry, yet his poetry is rich in meaning and style. Blake's poetry is also considered as Romantic in Nature. In short his poetry is known for its characteristics of mysticism, imagination, visionary aspect, symbolism, treatment of religion and lyricism. Innocence and disillusionment are the two important themes his poetry hinges upon while symbolism and mystic element remain the prime means of the disclosing the ideas and beliefs of the poet. The poet has actually projected "innocence" and "experience" or "disillusionment" as contrary while projecting the evolution of man from one state of being, innocence, to another i.e. disillusionment. Blake dreamt of a world free from oppression, cruelty and injustice.

Mysticism of William Blake:




Mysticism and melancholy are often companions in poetry. But William Blake is a joyous mystic. Being a realist, Blake presents gloom as a companion and necessity of joy. He accepts this reality with a cheerful heart.

"Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
...It is right it should be so".

He wants us to be realistic and this leads to elevation of man's soul:

"Man was made for joy and woe
And, when this we rightly know,
Safely through the world we go."

He wishes to undermine the physical existence and wants to focus on the mind and spiritual purity. He is a mystic portraying the scenes of daily life. He transforms these everyday things into wonderful objects of importance with his mystic power. At times, he is a child uttering "little lamb God bless thee". While at other occasions, he transforms every spot of Nature in holy a place.

"I see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower;
Hold infinity in a the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."


Read Part II...


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