Blake’s ‘Earths Answer’: “Break this heavy chain, That does freeze my bones around”

songsie.b.p31-30.100

 

Earth rais’d up her head,
From the darkness dread & drear,
Her light fled:
Stony dread!
And her locks cover’d with grey despair.

Prison’d on watry shore,
Starry jealousy does keep my den
Cold and hoar
Weeping o’er
I hear the father of the ancient men

Selfish father of men
Cruel jealous selfish fear
Can delight
Chain’d in night
The virgins of youth and morning bear.

Does spring hide its joy
When buds and blossoms grow?
Does the sower?
Sow by night?
Or the plowman in darkness plow?

Break this heavy chain,
That does freeze my bones around
Selfish! vain!
Eternal bane!
That free Love with bondage bound.

Questions to answer on the poem

What effects are created when the poem is read aloud or sung?

What interests you most about the poem? Why?

What questions might you ask about the poem?

What is the poem about?

What effects does the language create?

What is the effect of the poem’s structure and form?

What are the similarities and differences between other texts?

How do other people interpret this poem? Find sources/links…

What might make a good creative response to the poem?

How might you teach this poem?

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