William Blake Poem
This is an analysis of the William Blake poem London. It will be analyzed using one of the literary aspects of poetry in this literature research paper. Custom research papers that value literature are Paper Masters specialty.
For Blake, "London" was the only city he knew and the largest in the world, yet it represented a "social evil that some create and all permit". At the same time, the poem's repetition of the word "every" creates a romantic sense of solidarity with all humanity and hope that this solidarity may help to overcome the suffering. The poem's conclusion, however, paints the darkest picture of the city, where girls are forced into prostitution and the marriage carriage is transformed into a hearse. Like many romantic poets, this poem expresses Blake's feeling that cities and modernization alienated man from nature, which was an unnatural condition with negative consequences.
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The poem "London" consists of four quatrains and describes the condition of men in the modern city. While some viewed modern cities as magnificent testaments to man's creativity, Blake's poem paints a dark picture of the city that is more like a prison than a community. Moreover, the city's darkness appears to affect everyone:
I wander through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every man,
In every infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear:
How the chimney-sweeper's cry
Every blackening church appals,
And the hapless soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down palace-walls.
But most, through midnight streets I hear How the youthful harlot's curse Blasts the new-born infant's tear, And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.
Elements to Examine in Blake's Poem
In the essay, analyze this poem using one or more of these topics as the basis of your paper:
- Words: Choice of words, dialects
- Figures of speech, or metaphorical language
- Form: The shape of the poem
- Symbolism and allusion
Artist and poet William Blake believed that the human spirit entered life on Earth full of happiness and vitality. Over the course of time, however, certain experiences challenged the spirit. Fulfillment in life therefore depended on how successfully one managed to hold onto his or her humanity amid inhumane social institutions and reckless authority. In witnessing and chronicling the misery of the gangs of youthful scavengers popularly known as 'mudlarks', writer Henry Mayhew made a few observations that affirm Blake's belief. Although they differed in opinions and ideology, Blake and Mayhew agreed on one key issue: spiritual death sometimes occurred very early in life, robbing young children of their humanity, and reducing them to little more than animals.