Lyrics Writing Style of William Blake

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      Introduction : Blake as a poet stands alone - he has no predecessors or imitators in his Lyric Writing Style. His style is unique, appropriate in a strange way to the thought and feeling she wanted to convey in his poetry. Blake believed poetry to be dictated by spirits"; in other words, entirely the result of inspiration. How ever, he did not minimise the effort to be made by the conscious mind in putting every word or phrase in its right place. The manuscripts are evidence to how some words were revised repeatedly in the effort to make them most suitable. At the same time, he was curiously reluctant to revise lines and stanzas which came all at once under some kind of inspiration, even if they contained obvious defects.

Influences on Blake's Style : Original though he was, Blake was also influenced by some writers. He incorporated in his poetry the largely anonymous tradition of popular verse-ballad, doggerel nursery rhyme, folk song and hymn. Wesley's style finds an echo in Blake's poetry. Isaac Watts is another poet whose work seems to have influenced Blake. Watts attempted to write in an "easy language and Blake developed this attempt further. In his use of the simple language, he is a precursor of the Romantic poets of the nineteenth century. The influence of the Bible too is not to be ignored while reading Blake's poetry from the point of view of style.
William Blake

      Influences on Blake's Style : Original though he was, Blake was also influenced by some writers. He incorporated in his poetry the largely anonymous tradition of popular verse-ballad, doggerel nursery rhyme, folk song and hymn. Wesley's style finds an echo in Blake's poetry. Isaac Watts is another poet whose work seems to have influenced Blake. Watts attempted to write in an "easy language and Blake developed this attempt further. In his use of the simple language, he is a precursor of the Romantic poets of the nineteenth century. The influence of the Bible too is not to be ignored while reading Blake's poetry from the point of view of style.

      Lyricism and Simplicity : Blake chose the lyrical style for his expression, but he modifies it to suit a variety of forms-fable, song, allegory, prophecy, satire or hymn. He makes use of lyric simplicity to achieve a poignantly satiric comment on what innocence expects and what Expericnce shows to be reality in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The lyrical quality, however, does not detract from the profundity of thought and meaning in Blake's poetry. Biblical ideas are so significantly used in Songs of Innocence that there is a richness and depth of meaning under the deceptive simplicity of expression. Words are used to evoke associations in the mind of the reader, 'Shepherd'. Lamb, Child are words which must perforce call up the image of Jesus Christ and the Parables.

      Symbolism gives Depth : The simple vocabulary and movement of Blake's verse should not lull us into a feeling that the thought too is childish. Indeed there is a complex thread of symbolism in his poetry that gives multiple layers of meaning to his words. Sometimes this symbolism even lends obscurity to his poems because it evolves out of Blake's own system of symbols. The manner in which words can be used - in different combinations and permutations - to evoke a particular mood is remarkably illustrated in the Nurse's Songs' in Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.

Then come home, my: children, the sun is gone down.
And the dews of night arise...

      Occur in both poems; yet the feelings evoked because of the accompanying words are in sharp contrast. In the first, the word dews evokes an image of harmlessness, but in the second context it evokes a feeling of chill and damp. In the first there is a feeling that the night will pass, but in the second poem the word 'dew' assumes further ramifications of meaning. It implies materialism, the philosophy of experience, the indifference to spiritual truth. Knowledge of these symbolic meanings enriches our understanding of the poem. Blake gives his own interpretation to traditional symbols. The rose traditionally associated with love and modesty assumes the aura of 'sickness' and disease in Blake. for he considered love to be free and honest and open in order to be good. The lily's purity assumes added depth in Blake's poetry, not because it is chaste but because it feels honestly. The sun flower's movement with the sun has deep meaning: on the one hand it represents a search for spirituality; on the other, it expresses a regret for being attached to the ground.

      Conclusion : The meanings in Blake's poetry are deep and varied though they are deceptively clothed in a vocabulary and style most suited for a child's understanding, At times the symbols become too individualistic to hold much meaning for a reader: but in the Songs this does not happen very often. We are left wondering at the subtle mixture of complex thought and simplicity of style which could have been grotesque but is not so.

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