William Blake: Songs Of Innocence And Experience

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The Little Black Boy In Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience the poet "illuminate" us by exploring and contraposing two different perspectives of the world, which are the innocent, world of childhood, that the poet personifies with the young piper, and the adult world contaminated by reason and morals, that is incarnated by the bard. In this essay, I will attempt to explicate the poem The Little Black Boy from the Songs of Innocence. I have enjoyed more the reading of this first book of songs more than the Experience ones, because to me innocence can be viewed as hope, or blitheness and I do not feel that we are condemned, that our earthly life should not be considered as a "lost paradise", but rather a journey where it is possible to reach a state of emotional well being.

The poem is written in heroic quatrains, and the stanzas are of pentameter lines rhyming ABAB.

The poem starts with the African boy "talking" to the reader, and immediately presents the central idea of the poem, the human soul, and in fact he is saying that even if his skin is black, his soul is white as the English child's soul. In this first stanza, the poet builds a clear contrast between light and dark, upon the contrast of the "black" skin and the "white" soul. This contrast could bear a double interpretation; the first one being the literal one, in which the poet is trying to reconcile and to bring to more closeness the two races. Idea this that brakes away with the Enlightenment positions of "race supremacy", and this "rebellion", was common for Romantic artists. I do also think that the two colors may symbolize different groups within the English society, the needy on one side, and the aristocrats...