Blake's Songs Of Innocence And Experience

1006 Words5 Pages
William Blake 's Songs of Innocence and of Experience present poems which provide a contrast between the contrary states of innocence and experience. This essay will explore these differences in relation to Holy Thursday from both Innocence and Experience. The analysis will be done focussing on a contrast between the thematic concerns, key imagery, tone and diction of both poems providing a justification as to why the poems belong in either Innocence or Experience.
In Holy Thursday from Innocence, the innocence of the children is contrasted against the "grey headed beadles" and "aged men". The children sing genuinely and have a "radiance all their own" which separates them from the adults. This indicates they are somehow different. They use
…show more content…
Holy Thursday from Innocence is dominated by innocent and untainted imagery. The children are described as being "little" indicating a vulnerability. These "boys & girls" are described as having "innocent faces" and "innocent hands". This notion of being innocent is furthered by the children being called "lambs" which links the children to Jesus, the Lamb of God.
The poem contains a series of images throughout which link the children to nature. They are first described as the Thames as they are walking into the cathedral. In the second stanza the children are called the "flowers of London town". The final stanza compares their singing to a "mighty wind". All of these comparisons have a sense of movement and vibrancy. By comparing the children to nature, perhaps Blake is making a comment on how the state of innocence is natural and pure, making this poem 's placement in Songs of Innocence appropriate.
The imagery in Holy Thursday from Experience is a lot more hopeless and cold. The comparisons with nature are also found in this poem, however they are static. For these children, the "sun does never shine" and "their fields are bleak & bare". Their lives are condemned to being an "eternal winter". All of these images are cold and
…show more content…
The tone in Holy Thursday from Experience is quite angry due to the use of rhetorical questions. The exclamation that " [i]t is a land of poverty" really exemplifies this anger and makes it clear that this society is selfish. The land is called "rich and fruitful" in the first stanza indicating that the people have money, yet morally it is a "land of poverty" as the adults, like in the Innocence poem, do not actually care for their fellow man. The tone in the final stanza is quite hopeless as it says the children would not have these same problems of destitution in a land "where-e’er the rain does fall". This gives a sense of hopelessness and doubt that such a place actually
Open Document