William Blake
By: Briana MacLellan

    William Blake was an English poet born in the mid 1700's. Not only is he just a poet, but he was a painter and engraver. He brought and expressed many talents to his audience. Blake is a poet to remember because he is confident, full of expression and original poet.
    William Blake was born November 28,1757 in London. Blake was the third child of five. He died in London, August 12,1827. Blake's audience mostly reflected adults, but during the publishing of a few poems, the public thought of his poems expressed as more of a more childish outcome. The lyrical poem that Blake is highly recognized for is "Auguries of Innocence."
    Blake started writing poetry at the mere age of 12. He attended school just long enough to read and write. Blake then attended drawing school because as a child, he had a vision of becoming a painter. When he was 14, he was apprenticed to James Basire, an engraver. Soon after Blake's 7 year term was over he went to the  Royal Academy to study briefly. At the age of 25, William married Catherine Boucher. He then taught her to read, write and to help him in the shop. Blake set up a print shop, but unfortunately it failed after a few years. His wife Catherine helped him print the Illuminated Poetry book for which he is remembered for today. In 1800 Blake moved to Felpham, where he worked and lived in the seacoast town until 1803, under the patronage of William Hayley. While William Blake was living there he experienced intense spiritual insights that were to prepare him for his mature work that was written between 1804 -1820. William and his wife never had any children. William was a very busy man, he was not  just a poet but a painter and a engraver. One of Blake' s best known illustrations is Ancient of Days, which is the frontispiece of his poem Europe, a Prophecy (1794). It is an excellent example of the influence Michelangelo was to his paintings. Many of Blake's poems we about religious subjects and romance. German, Jacob Boehem and Emanuel Sweenborg were both great inspirations and influenced him while writing. William Blake died August 12, 1827 and the last few years of his life were lived in great poverty.
    Some of Blake's work that is known nation wide is the Songs of Innocence (1789), and Songs of Experience. Songs of Experience contains the poems  "Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright' " (1804-08) and "Jerusalem" (1804-20). One of the last poems published by Blake was "The Doctor" (1834). Blake wrote and published many poems.
    I think that William Blake's poetry is very good. His poems seem to be so meaningful and hold so many emotions. The poems discuss his spirituality. I find what he write to be very interesting, because it gives his views on life. When I read any of his poems it sets a picture in my mind, It made me see and feel what he was writing about. This I think it is because of the word choice he uses. William Blake does use figures of speech and imagery correctly.
    William Blake is a very great poet who speaks from his heart. He has a wonderful writing style, which has a lot of feeling and spiritual reflections. His poems are original and inspirational.

            The Tyger
                    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 seize the fire?

                    And what shoulder, and what art,
                    Could twist the sinews of thy heart,
                    And when thy heart began to beat,
                    What dread hand? and 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 water'd 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?


     I choose to use this poem because I enjoyed it a lot. I thought that it had a lot of rhythm to it. Every few verses the lines would rhyme. I liked the topic he wrote about, the Tyger. He seems to ask many questions through out the poem.