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Blake and Volpone Revision

Blake ­ Songs of Innocence and Experience: language/form/structure
Introduction (innocence)
ABAB ­ Regular rhyme scheme. Ballad form - the poem is itself a song like the ones described
within it. Reinforced by the use of repetition and imperatives from the child that tell the piper

Page 2

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`Seven summers old' ­ the number which connects the new Eden to the creation which is was
said in Genesis, to have taken 7 days.
Repetition of `sleep' and sibilance contribute to the dreamlike quality of the poem
`Loosed her slender dress' ­ removal of the physical so the soul…

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The first stanza is full of images of nature ­ `by the stream', `o'er the mead', `all the vales'
and of happiness ­ `clothing of delight', `softest clothing woolly bright, `tender voice', `vales
In the second stanza where the child answers the question `who made thee?' there is a…

Page 4

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`He becomes an infant small. / He becomes a man of woe.' ­ Incarnation. Again focuses on
God in human form to demonstrate his love for us
Seeming naivety creates the atmosphere of childhood innocence appropriate to te season.
Spring is th time for new life and for the emergence…

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implied warning that this cannot last. Supported by the engraving which shows a group, not
of carefree children, but of young adults, apparently led by a yung man with a glass of wine
in his hand. All are fully clothed rather than th nudity that Blake often used to establish…

Page 6

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Blake makes intensive use of sounds in the first stanza to present the happy innocence of
The sunrise is symbolic of youth and immaturity and the `merry bells' set the tone for the
birds, which are the skylark and thrush ­ both noted for beauty and cheerfulness of their…

Page 7

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o `to these virtues of delight / return their thankfulness'
o `For Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love / Is god our father dear' ­ God IS these virtues
`Man his child and care' ­ capitalisation makes it clear he is talking simultaneously about man
and creation and Jesus as a…

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Changes from present ( `sweet dreams form a shade') to past tense (when he was an infant
`heavenly face' ­ becomes an image of Jesus
Overtly religious references, such as `infant smiles are his own smiles' ­ showing Blake's
equation of innocence with Jesus, the lamb
The Little Boy…

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The connotation of the `ancient trees' may be the tree of life (associated with the cross and
therefore redemption) or the tree of knowledge, which created the need for redemption as
adam and Eve ate of its fruit.
`fallen man' can refer to the biblical fall of adam and Eve…

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`It is a land of poverty!' ­ spiritual poverty, as he has already established that it is a `rich and
fruitful land'
`and their' stanza 3- anaphora emphasises bleakness
`And their ways are fill'd with thorns' ­ allusion to Christ's crucifixion? They are a sacrifice for
man's sins?
The illustration…




There is a huge amount of relevant information in this pack that could be useful will studying and revising these poems; identifying the important and key points for yourself from this wealth of information would be a good way of using the resource to enhance your own understanding of the poems.



Cheers Metcalf



This has saved my life!!! I had no idea where to begin with revision and then I discover this!! Thank you :-)






MiaRB who kept you hostage/?



MiaRB who kept you hostage/?

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