In each stanza, Blake reflects the various behaviors society exerts upon these deserted orphans. To begin, In, the first stanza, Blake begins his poem with, “Is this a holy thing to see, In a rich and fruitful land, Babes reduced to misery, Fed with cold and rouses hand? ” Blake uses the lines, “Is this a holy thing to see” and “Babes reduced to misery” that indicates the homeless kids that attend these religious ceremonies are socially expected to appear perfect and happy even though emotionally, they are not satisfied.
He introduces the country as a “rich and fruitful land” which suggests that country is immersed in wealth, but yet, there are many orphans living In poverty. He continues to state they are, “Fed with cold usurious hand” which Implies the institution Is only motivated by self-interest, hinted by the minimal care the children receive and the lack of love. Additionally, the lack of heat is literal and also symbolic of the warmth of love they will never feel. In the next stanza, Blake states, “Is that trembling cry a song?
Can it be a song of joy? ‘ This Is a rhetorical question. These orphans are socially pressured Into singing “song[s] of JOT, but when they begin to sing, It sounds like a “trembling cry”. The songs sung at this church are meant to be Joyful, but due to the emotional emptiness, he songs are heard as cries rather than cheers. Secondly, the poem continues, “And so many children poor? It is a land of poverty! ” Blake is angered that there are countless children that live in poverty while most of the country is showered in wealth.
He claims it should not be considered a “fruitful and rich land”, but rather a “land of poverty. ” In the third stanza, “And their sun does never shine. And their fields are bleak and bare, And their ways are filled with thorns: It is eternal winter there. ” Once again, Blake uses warmth as a literal and as a symbol by claiming the “sun does never shine” for the orphans. Therefore, the children will never feel the warmth of love, nor feel the comfort of the heat. Additionally, the “bleak and bare” fields are another symbol of wealth.
In Dalton to the quotation, “rich and fruitful land”, this shows the while those who live in poverty struggle for those resources. The “[ways] filled with thorns” is an allusion to Jesus Chrism’s suffering that were placed upon his head. Furthermore, The thorns in relation to the poor are the suffering they endure. Also, the “eternal winter” is another symbol for the warmth they lack. Lastly, the final stanza tells the reader that when finally the “sun does shine” and the rain does fall”, it is sufficient for the children to survive, but it is not enough.
The basic needs in the poem are depicted as sunlight, rain, and food. Even after receiving what they sought, they still lack the warmth and love that they were deprived of from the beginning hence the quotation, “Babes should never hunger, Not poverty the mind appall. ” Blake fears that this generation will suffer and so will the next due to the lack of care they required. “Holy Thursday’ written by William Blake is a 4-line Ballad that expresses an omniscient perspective since the poem begins with, “Is this a holy thing to see” which offers to a man’s direct observations, which could be Blake himself.
Like most narration Blake uses in his poems from “Songs of Experience”, he uses an impersonal narration. Impersonal narration is defined as an all-knowing narrator who is non- intrusive and does not add personal comments. Blake uses an aggressive and angered tone throughout the poem due to his rage of how the poorly the deprived are treated. He describes his surroundings with little detail, but uses certain words that are sufficient to illustrate an image for the reader, which is demonstrated throughout the poem.
In conclusion, the poem itself is in reference to the first Holy Thursday poem that Blake wrote which has a far more lively tone and seems to celebrate this rather hollow religious ceremony. William Blake was writing during a time of extreme poverty, a defined class system and through the backdrop of both the French and American revolutions. In this poem we see the orphaned and abandoned children participating in an organized religious event that holds little meaning to them. They are living in a country that is very rich, but affords them; the abandoned live with no remises of a better life. Expand or reword) They are in an institution that gives them no love or comfort. They are fed very little, given poor living conditions and are given no luxuries. These orphans are attending a celebration and singing a song that is filled with hope and Joy, but truly it is nothing but empty words. In the end we see that the sun does shine, the crops do grow, but again for them nothing comes of it. For the poor children all they see is darkness, poverty and twisting thorns that represent the obstacles they face growing up in a state or church run home.
This mom is trying to show us the reader what a bleak and hopeless future these lost and forgotten children have, and these children who are suppose to be the hope and future of a nation. Blake, himself, did not embrace or support organized religion, nor did he support the human fallout that resulted from the greed of the Industrial Revolution. People were getting rich off the backs of the poor and downtrodden, which these poor orphans were a part of. Blake believed that to parade them off to a enduring and the fact that no one cared or was even willing to step in and try to solve it, angered him further.