A student’s analysis of ‘Spring’, ‘Blossom’, ‘The Laughing Song’ and ‘The Fly’

Analysis of Blake’s poetry.

 

Spring

Spring is a poem that is used to “welcome in the year”, the fact that the poem is written in spring time makes the reader think that Blake’s new year starts in the spring time and that his new year is when nature is remade and renewed, it’s when nature starts it’s new life when Blake celebrates his new year. At the time the romantic poets led a movement to celebrate nature and natural environments and felt that nature embodied the human imagination, this could be why Blake celebrates his new year in the spring time because as a poet he feels that nature is key to his imagination and creation, this makes the poems key meaning more clear, as they celebrate nature the biggest celebration would come when nature starts its new cycle of life.

 

The Laughing Song

This poem describes all the different ‘laughter’ of nature and its surroundings, for example the woods, stream, air, hills, and meadow are each said to laugh just by being there, maybe the different sounds made by them are their way of laughing for example the stream trickling and the wind rustling through the leaves of the trees that make up the wood.

 

Blossom

This is another one of Blake’s poems that describes nature and life. It is full of many cheerful images such as “leaves so green” and “happy blossom”, this is representative of Blake’s view on nature, he sees it as key to life and something to cheer people up. This poem tells a story of two different birds and their experiences with their lives, the first a sparrow, who is content with its living and the surroundings it’s in, the other is of a robin, who is distressed in its existence, this makes the second stanza full of negativity. The two birds could be representing two classes of Blake’s time, the first a upper-ruling class who is content with itself, and a lower, poorer class who sees no meaning to their life and lives under the upper classes.

 

The Fly

The poem is told in a voice of mindlessness. The poem sees the narrator, being the fly, go from its thoughtless state to one of realization and mindfulness. It leads to the ending of “Then am I a happy fly, if I live, or if I die”, this makes the fly aware that can it really be happy and careless as it once was even if it dies, how the fly comes to this conclusion as the poem goes on is amazing because of how it comes to the quick conclusion it takes many to come to for an age.

 

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Blake’s ‘Spring’: “Sound the Flute! Now it’s mute. Birds delight Day and Night!”

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Sound the Flute!
Now it’s mute.
Birds delight
Day and Night.
Nightingale
In the dale
Lark in Sky
Merrily
Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year

Little Boy
Full of joy.
Little Girl
Sweet and small.
Cock does crow
So do you.
Merry voice
Infant noise
Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year

Little Lamb
Here I am,
Come and lick
My white neck.
Let me pull
Your soft Wool.
Let me kiss
Your soft face.
Merrily Merrily we welcome in the Year

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?

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

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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?

Blake’s ‘Spring’: “Merrily Merrily we welcome in the Year”

songsie.b.p18-22.100 songsie.b.p19-23.100

Sound the Flute!
Now it’s mute.
Birds delight
Day and Night.
Nightingale
In the dale
Lark in Sky
Merrily
Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year

Little Boy
Full of joy.
Little Girl
Sweet and small.
Cock does crow
So do you.
Merry voice
Infant noise
Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year

Little Lamb
Here I am,
Come and lick
My white neck.
Let me pull
Your soft Wool.
Let me kiss
Your soft face.
Merrily Merrily we welcome in the Year

You can compare different versions of the poem here and here

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?