Category Archives: Experience, Earth, and Adulthood (9/11)

What do we expect to come out of the mouths of babes?

At first, the twin poems “Infant Joy” and “Infant Sorrow” seem to present contrary understandings of childhood. The infant in “Infant Joy” knows only happiness, presumably because he is just two days old and has no experience of the world. Indeed, the child’s separation from earthly reality is conveyed by the illustration, which suggests the […] Continue reading

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The Decay of Innocence

A prominent sinister undertone runs through Blake’s “The Chimney Sweeper” in Songs of Innocence as the reader sees the Sweep’s exploitation.  Though he is forced to work, Tom Dacre remains in a state of innocence, and his imagination allows him to find hope.  Without a known identity from his parents, the idea of a heavenly […] Continue reading

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Is Experience the Culprit? Sorrow as an Inherent Human Trait

I was intrigued to see Blake included a poem titled “Infant Sorrow” in Songs of Experience. Although I knew that Songs of Experience offered contrary poems to Songs of Innocence, “Infant Joy” was not a poem I expected to have a contrary poem. An infant is the epitome of innocence—he has absolutely no worldly experience, […] Continue reading

Posted in experience, Experience, Earth, and Adulthood (9/11), Humanity, infancy, Infant Sorrow, innocence, Songs of experience, sorrow | Comments Off on Is Experience the Culprit? Sorrow as an Inherent Human Trait