Children in Blake Poetry

Essay by SolcitoHigh School, 12th grade June 2004

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Chidren in Blake´s Poetry

"Children" has been a prominent theme in a number of Blake's poems throughout the poems collection Songs of Innocence and Experience. Many of these were written from the perspective of children, while others are about children as seen from an adult perspective. What is clear is that the author firmly intended to draw attention to the positive aspects of human understanding prior to the corruption and distortion of experience.

In fact, the actual name of the poems collection makes obvious reference to the contrary states of the human soul: innocence and childhood against an adult world of corruption and repression. The section of "Songs of Innocence" can be then said to dramatize the naïve hopes and fears that inform the lives of children and trace their transformation as the child grows into adulthood. While the section "Songs of Experience"(written from a perspective of a more experienced person) highlights human decay as a consequence of all the evil and misfortunes in the world.

It is therefore crucial to keep in mind that many of these themes most certainly came from the author's belief that children lost their "innocence" as they grew older and were influenced by the ways of the world. Blake believed that children were born pure and that they grew to become bitter and experienced as they were influenced by the beliefs and opinions of adults. When this occurred, they could no longer be considered white and innocent.

In the poem "The Chimney Sweeper" from Songs of Innocence, Blake sees the world through the eyes of a child and embraces the innocence of the young. The same happens in the poem "The Little Black Boy". In this, children are shown as angelic and are compared with lambs (in clear representation of all...