William Blake was born in London on November 28, 1757, Blake passed away on 12 August 1827. James Hess father, a hosier, and Catherine Blake Hess mother. Two of his six siblings died in infancy. From early childhood, Blake spoke of having visions at four he saw God “put his head to the window”; around age nine, while walking through the countryside, he saw a tree filled with angels. Although his parent’s tried to discourage him from “lying,” they did observe that he was different from his peers and did not force him to attend conventional school.
He learned to read and write at mom. At age ten, Blake expressed a wish to become a painter, so his parent’s sent him to drawing school. Two years later, Blake began writing poetry. When he turned fourteen, he apprenticed with an engraver because art school proved too costly. One of Flake’s assignments as apprentice was to sketch the tombs at Westminster Abbey, exposing him to a variety of Gothic styles from which he would draw inspiration throughout his career. After his seven-year term ended, he studied briefly at the Royal Academy.
Flake’s first printed work, Poetical Sketches (1783), is a collection of apprentice verse, costly imitating classical models. The poems protest against war, tyranny, and King George Ills treatment of the American colonies. William Blake and his works have been extensively discussed and criticized over the twentieth and now this century, until then he was barely known. He started to become more popular around 1863 with Alexander Gilchrest biography “Life” and only fully appreciated and recognized at the beginning of the twentieth century.
It seems his art had been too adventurous and unconventional for the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, maybe you could even say he was ahead of his time? Either way, today he is a hugely famous figure of Romantic literature, whose work is open to various interpretations, which has been known to take a lifetime to establish. As well as his works being difficult to interpret, him as a person has also provoked much debate.
Henry Crab Robinson, who was a diarist and friend of Flake’s at the end of his life asked the question many students of Blake are still unable to conclusively answer: In his life, Blake rejected conventional religion. His poems are influenced by this. Blake wrote a poem called ‘The Little Black Boy’ ‘My mother bore me in the southern wild, And I am black, but O! My soul is white; White as an angel is the English child: But I am black as if bereaved of light. My mother taught me underneath a tree And sitting down before the heat of day, She took me on her lap and kissed me, And pointing to the east began to say.
Look on the rising sun: there God does live And gives his light, and gives his heat away. And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive Comfort in morning Joy in the noonday. And we are put on earth a little space, That we may learn to bear the beams of love, And these black bodies and this sun-burnt face Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove. For when our souls have learned the heat to bear The cloud will vanish we shall hear his voice. Saying: come out from the grove my love & care, And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.
Thus did my mother say and kissed me, And thus I say to little English boy. When I from black and he from white cloud free, And round the tent of God like lambs we Joy: Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear, To lean in Joy upon our father’s knee. And then I’ll stand and stroke his silver hair, And be like him and he will then love me. ‘ Summary: A black child tells the story of how he came to know his own identity and to now God. The boy, who was born in “the southern wild” of Africa, first explains that though his skin is black his soul is as white as that of an English child.
He relates how his loving mother taught him about God who lives in the East, who gives light and life to all creation and comfort and Joy to men. “We are put on earth,” his mother says, to learn to accept God’s love. He is told that his black skin “is but a cloud” that will be dissipated when his soul meets God in heaven. The black boy passes on this lesson to an English child, explaining that his white skin is likewise a cloud. He vows that hen they are both free of their bodies and delighting in the presence of God, he will shade his white friend until he, too, learns to bear the heat of God’s love.
Then, the black boy says, he will be like the English boy, and the English boy will love him. Shows the conflict between races in religion, suggesting that people of black nationality are of a lesser standard and inferior to whites; throughout the poem the black boy is comparing himself to the white child and wanting to be friends. This Poem has several techniques a few being Rhyme (ABA), personification example of this is when he sass “for when our souls have learned” . Metaphor an example of metaphor is shown when he writes “And I am black, but O!