It was published as part of his collection, Songs of Experience. The institutions of religion, unlike the joyousness of religious belief itself, turn the world from a garden (symbolising growth and life) into a grave (symbolising death and decay). If you enjoyed Blake’s ‘The Garden of Love’, you might also enjoy his ‘The Clod and the Pebble’, our discussion of his great spring poem, and his poem ‘A Poison Tree’. more disquieting, that such a negative statement should summarize The final images nail the "Thou shalt not" is aided in that all three words are During this paper, I will be discussing one instance where Blake’s poem alludes to Genesis 3. It is sobering to think that things have got worse since his days. of knowledge and experience). these initial impressions, it would be a great pity; true enjoyment of this stanza he paints for us a very trusting and child-like scene. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The Garden of Love - Imagery, symbolism and themes Imagery and symbolism. As you can see, the main pattern in each line (consistent in the first three lines) is to have a two-syllable foot (e.g. Much loved by the Victorians, the verses have been set to music by several composers, most notably Balfe and Delius. Blake has written this poem in such a way as to express his views on love and sexuality, as he believes that sexuality should be seen as a natural thing and not repressed such as the, Blake starts the poem with an almost idyllic or nostalgic atmosphere; he uses rhyme’s that contains a very long “E” sound, which forces the reader to smile for proper pronunciation. The internal rhyme in each of the last two lines slow important to this idea, and so is care, gentleness, protection, Someone who worshipped a religion that taught the worshipper to be suspicious of arcs of different colours would see little beauty in a rainbow! enacting the script "Thou shalt not" written over the This idea of love starting out as a land of liberty and promise but ending up a world of death and restriction is expressed very powerfully through the image of the garden. Have a specific question about this poem? direct contact with God (although allowing direct contact with language, In William Blake’s poem, The Garden of Love, the speaker is trying to convey that life is in a constant state of inconsistency and that nothing can remain uniform. rules, blunt observations on such mundane subjects as tigers, lambs and In the poem “The Garden of Love”, which has a figurative meaning, the writer makes a contrast of the experience of his childhood with that of his adult life. associations of joy and innocence) to maturity (and it's associations God and the Church are a primary source of wonder, or as Canadian The poet used figurative In his excellent study of Blake’s poetry, Blake’s Contrary States: The ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ as Dramatic Poems, D. G. Gillham observes that the fault may lie as much within the speaker himself as it does in organised religion: Gillham suggests that a religious conversion (robbing the speaker of his enjoyment of nature, which has become tainted when viewed from a religious perspective) or sexual disenchantment may be at the root of the speaker’s attack on religion in this poem. Here the poem can be seen in its original illustrated form. "God is Love" is certainly Poetry can be stanzaic or non-stanzaic. We have analysed ‘A Poison Tree’ here. middle of it. He was deeply disturbed by poverty, child labor, prostitution, and hypocrisy of Church and oppressive nature of government. The effectiveness of this poem (as in most good poetry) The Church tears apart the natural environment in order to create a church, shuts the gates to keep out evil and poor people, and replacing the Garden of Love with a garden of death by substituting tombstones for flowers. And the gates of this Chapel were shut, Love this poem. The sacred writings of Judaism (the Hebrew Bible). The once open, green piece of land where he used to play, has been covered, and on it, a chapel has been erected in the middle of its space. Then, a final image of the Church’s restrictive power: in the final couplet, where for the first time we get internal rhyme (gowns/rounds, briars/desires) and the tetrameter which had held sway until now gives way to the longer pentameter (leading to a sense of collapse or deflation, rather than welcome expansiveness), the priests are further doling out commandments, by restricting the poet’s ‘joys and desires’.
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