The writer reviews what Wordsworth himself said about his poetry and his intentions in the 'Preface to the Lyrical Ballads' which was published with the poems.
The thematic poetry of Alfred Tennyson, William Wordsworth and William Blake is often seen as quiet and pastoral, dealing with the gentler aspects of existence.
It is common to connect Blake and Wordsworth because of their ballads about babies and sheep. They were utterly opposite. If Wordsworth was the Poet of Nature, Blake was specially the Poet of Anti Nature.
Reading William Blake and William Wordsworth back-to-back brings to mind the similarities and differences between them. As they are contemporaries, and both are considered key figures in the movement in poetry, it’s natural to assume that they have much in common. But any close reading of the two reveals a different story. G.K. Chesterton sums it up in his :
David's Day by Gillian Clarke and Daffodils by William Wordsworth 'Daffodils' was written by William Wordsworth approximately a century before 'Miracle on St.
48, Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Library of Congress, Rosenwald Collection.
DENNIS M. WELCH It appears certain that William Blake’s Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793) was partly inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792).
Further light is shed on Blake’s attitude to his great Romantic contemporary in the annotations he wrote into his copy of Wordsworth’s 1815 Poems:
445-574. In the following paragraphs I discuss the character of the governess, showing how Blake reacted to her kinds of attitudes and concerns in (1) his own writing, (2) some of the designs for his illuminated works, and (3) the illustrations for the novel itself.
William Blake, in his work There Is No Natural Religion, and William Wordsworth, in his poem 1799 Prelude, challenge John Locke’s understanding of the nature of the self by offering alternative theories as to the ways in which we as humans perceive and interpret our experiences. Blake—and to a lesser extent Wordsworth—refutes Locke in his work An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, offering contrasting opinions as to how the self is formed. Locke’s view of the self is rooted in his belief that humans are born into the world as tabula rasa, a blank slate. He believes formation of the self is passive and empirical in nature, consequent of tangible experience. This suggests that as we perceive our experiences with the objective facts of the material world, our mind is passively constructing complex ideas from our perceptions, resulting in a reality that is limited to what has been directly experienced. Wordsworth and Blake oppose Locke’s tenet of a passive mind, asserting a mutually exclusive theory: the presence of an active mind. Through the presence of an active mind, a creative imagination emerges, therefore allowing perceptions beyond Locke’s empirical worldview to appear. Thus, while Wordsworth and Blake agree with Locke...
The subsequent quotations from Blake’s writings are from this edition (E), indicated with page or plate and, where appropriate, line numbers in parentheses. With this attitude it is no wonder that the mother in the illumination of “Infant Sorrow” appears so solicitous, wishing like Mrs.
Keats invented the ten-line stanzas of his odes
"Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World.”
Poet, painter, engraver
Radical religious, moral, and political opinions in his poem -- frequently veiled by a complex symbolic and allusive style
Illuminated printing (relief etching): interaction between image and text
Only 28 copies (some incomplete) of
Songs of Innocence and Experience
are known to exist
When he died, he was little known as an artist and almost entirely unknown as a poet.
Songs of Innocence and Experience
"Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul"
Published separately and together, 1789-94
Relationship between Innocence and Experience: many kinds of shifting tensions
How do you read these poems?