How does Blake present humanity and the natural world?

Topic: AnimalsBirds
Sample donated:
Last updated: March 15, 2019

Blake presents humanity and the natural world in every poem of the Songs if Innocence.Introduction is a typical 18th Century pastoral poem, showing the strong relationship between adults and children. There is a definite feel of equality throughout the poem.The content of the poem with four demands and 4 answers shows a sense of trust and affinity in the natural world.The simplicity of language and form in Introduction are appropriate to the themes of innocence and nature. For example, the very regular rhyme scheme of iambic pentameter and rhythm. This was most likely due to Blake’s desire not to compromise message with form.

The simplicity of language in his poems are also adept for the theme of the natural world.Blake believed that both all things can be learnt from nature and that nature will provide man with all its needs. This is apparent in Introduction when he uses a hollow reed to make ‘a rural pen’.’A dream’ shows the interconnectedness of the natural world. It is a positive poem presenting Blake’s love, respect and affinity for all creatures, believing they each have a place on earth. There is a benevolence in which Blake writes, the intensity of feeling and passion are shown in his descriptions, “troubled, wildered, and forlorn”. In A Dream, animals are given human emotions allowing us to feel empathy for the creatures. The glow worm is seen as the good Samaritan, the benevolence of the creatures underlines the compassion and humanity of the natural world and its ability to heal suffering.

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The fact that this picture of serenity is a dream enhances the sense of innocence. However, another perspective could be that this dream like state only suggests a lack of reality within the poem.The laughing song shows an idyllic pastoral scene. The juxtaposition of all living things suggests harmony of the natural world in pastoral life.

This is emphasised with the repetition of ‘laugh’ showing the profusion and abundance of harmony in nature. The multitude of adjectives used are simple but effective and appropriate. Blake’s rare use of these enhances their effect.

The refrain of the laughing song is simple, silly and fun. It epitomises the feel of the poem: that against this idyllic pastoral scene is where true happiness and harmony is found.The poem has echoes of Psalm 65 which gives joy and thanks for the richness of creation.

In the Echoing Green, the relationship between children and parents is seen in terms of nature, like ‘birds of the bush’, demonstrating the harmony with the precious natural world.The dialogue of the elderly adds a sense of tradition and continuity to the poem when contrasted with the young people. The positive, vibrant images; aural and visual; present a harmonious society of which nature plays a vital role. The community spirit can be seen with both the young and old at play, sharing the happiness that nature has provided them.The poem ‘the divine image’ talks about the theme of humanity.

There is a strong moral to the poem and a sense of faith in human beings. Here, Blake speaks of God like qualities, mercy; compassion; pity and love. Blake explains his view that all creatures have the capacity for these qualities and we are united by them. Man is seen to be God like in the second stanza, referring to the biblical idea that man is made in Gods image.

The final stanza speaks of the brotherhood of man and the unity in humanity. This poem is very modern and would have been quite controversial for the time in which it was written. It neither criticises or condemns the variation in mankind. He speaks of a melange of people, creed, religion etc. this idea is again demonstrated with the irregular rhyme.

However, the regular rhythm shows the uniformity and regularity of humanity despite these differences.


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