Ap English Poetry Essay

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1.) I would argue that the speakers of the “The Chimney Sweeper” poems are fairly ambiguous, but their levels of experience and innocence are quite apparent. Also, I think think that the age of the narrators (generally) are clear. For example, I think the poem’s narrator in “Songs of Innocence” is a child. From what I know, chimney sweeps were mostly small boys (they fit in the chimney easier), and the poem’s narration is a first person recollection of being a chimney sweep. For example: “So your chimneys I sweep and in soot I sleep” (Blake 121). Not only this, but some of the diction seems purposely childish. An example can be seen when the narrator explains that he was sold before he could say “‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘Weep!’” (Blake 121).…show more content…
However, their innocence and experience levels are clear and vivid. Fistly, in the poem in “Songs of Innocence,” there is a lot of pure and innocent religious allusions which may point to the narrator being innocent as well. For example, the narrator calls children walking down the street “lambs” (Blake 123). Lambs, of course, have a religious connotation since God is often paralleled to a shepherd. To build off this point, there is no cynicism in this poem. There is only happiness and biblical allusions such as “...lest you drive an angel from your door.” (Blake 123). This combination of happiness and God raises a possibility of the the narrator being innocent. If they were experienced, I suspect that the narrator would be much more witty and cynical. The narrator would notice the suffering that was actually taking place. The narrator would not call the clergy “...wise guardians of the poor…” (Blake…show more content…
The main thing we see in these poems is income inequality. These children are “poor” (Blake 127). The narrator in the poem in “Songs of Experience” calls England a “ of poverty!” (Blake 127). But, earlier, he calls England a “ and fruitful land…” (Blake 127). Essentially, I take it that there is enough wealth to go around, and yet there is so much poverty.
In the other piece, it is hard to find the Romantic Period’s historical context because it is so pure an innocent. But I think, perhaps, the “grey-headed beadles” (Blake 122) may point to a repressive and unhelpful church. These church officials are watching the children, always. If we pull in the context that these children are poor, we can conclude that the church knows these children are poor; they know that these children are suffering. Yet, only on Holy Thursday will the church help the poor
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