These are some of the more specific ways in which Blake pursues the dialectic of Innocence and Experience. They are, of course, delivered explicitly and implicitly in his patterns of symbolism. He was never sentimental or naive about innocence. Innocence dwells with wisdom, but never with ignorance note written on the back of an edition of The Four Zoas.
But to consider the poem a presentation of binaries or opposing forces, discounts much of the Blakean aesthetic.
It begins with the presentation of innocence, focusing on youth and pastoral imagery as a kind of thesis, but intersperses challenges to the purity of innocence, such as slavery and child labor. Similarly, in Songs of Experience, we see the focus shift to the apparent corruption of innocence: But the balancing factor of this antithesis is the form, both the poetic and visual form of the work.
The ballad-esque forms that project the feel of a soccer supporters club singing in a crowded pub and the bright, Technicolor images that display a kind of childlike, Crayola vibrancy even in their depiction of dark subject matter both serve to illustrate literally the encroachment of Innocence upon Experience.
When I first read the work, I was expecting to see a kind of Hegelian dialectic take shape: Innocence needs Experience to care for it.
Through this disjuncture, Innocence offers its help to Experience. It seeks to show that reality is constructed through perception, through the imagination as WCW would claim over a century laterand that Innocence is ever-present and can be invoked at any point to act as a counterbalance.
In this manner, we get two contingent and interdependent forces, which can never devolve into one superseding the other, nor a Hegelian synthesis. Blake suggests that this process can be conscious—innocence can be recalled and applied to temper experience—in much the same way Williams calls upon the imagination to temper reality.
Starting from the first song, the introduction to Innocence, the poem describes a biblical divine inspiration, wherein a piper meets a messianic child on a cloud who is moved by his song.
From there, the child asks the piper to sing, and then finally to write.
The order here should not be overlooked. So the progressions goes: As discussed in the PoemTalk on this work, he becomes the bard who composes and sings these songs to us, through a divine inspiration.
The flute exists throughout the Songs of Innocence, and seems to become an aural symbol of innocence. Herein do we get an aural, non-Hegelian dialectic taking shape. Songs of Experience The music that started out sounding like a ragtag group of folk musicians in the introduction to Innocence now takes on a much more professional and produced feel, even moving toward including professional musicians like Elvin Jones on the track.
This move toward a manicured production is directly in parallel with the Romantic aesthetic of attempting to reach a kind of purity through form.
At the same time as the we reach the overwrought? So the Romantic aesthetic seems to chart a linear course with the growing hegemony of Experience. And all of this is made present by the aural facets and production choices made in the creation of the album.
Twitter Facebook About Chris Mustazza Chris Mustazza is interested in the intersection between the humanities and technology.In William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, the gentle lamb and the dire tiger define childhood by setting a contrast between the innocence of youth and the experience of age.
The Lamb is written with childish repetitions and a selection of words which could satisfy any audience under the age of . Blake's Dialectical Vision - Download as Word Doc .doc), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.
An analysis of Blake's poetic dialectics in relation to Hegelian dialectics. William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience () is a collection of illuminated poems separated into two groupings, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, that engage with their respective, eponymous forces and ostensibly present them as a dichotomy, or perhaps rather as a linear transition, with innocence giving way to experience.
But to consider the poem a presentation of . Blake’s dialectic is to be found everywhere in the Songs of Innocence and Experience – night and day, winter and spring, wilderness and Eden, etc.
As Mitchell writes (), ‘dialogue and dialectic of contraries constitute the master code of Blake’s text’. Now, is Blake’s vision dialectical in the Hegelian sense?
Not exactly, of course. Blake certainly has the habit of viewing things from two contrary angles. Hence, “binary opposition” becomes his way of thinking, and it engenders such contrasting pairs of concepts as Innocence vs. Experience and the Prolific vs. the Devouring in his mind. The Tribulation - Seven Years of 'terrible suffering' before the Day of Judgment and the Kingdom of God.
Many Christians believe that the tribulation is a future period of time that will be marked by unprecedented evil and persecution (Daniel ).