Thursday, January 6, 2011

Visions and Verses

Visions and Verses By Rachel Galvin is an article about the true meanings behind Blake’s poems and paintings  and what other poets think of them. This article goes deep inside Blake’s mind and what people think of it. It helps give you a better understanding of how Blake see’s the world and how the world sees him. Galvin proclaims that other poets such as William Wordsworth thought of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience were “undoubtedly the production of insane genius.” Wordsworth says this because the type of writing that Blake does has so many hidden meanings and ways to be translated in to something bigger than just a poem. Blake was called an insane genius because of how in depth his writing goes and the way he thinks when he is writing. “Blake was not thought of as a major romantic poet until after World War II” argues Morris Eaves, a professor at the University of Rochester.  “He’s a kind of modern invention”.  Although now, the most anthologized poem in the English language is ‘Tyger Tyger,’ which gives some indication of Blake’s popularity.  Blake was not a Major romantic poet before the second world war because of Romanticism poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge and their joint work on the 1798 volume of Lyrical Ballads caused Blake to be overlooked. With the help of Professor Morris Eaves, Professor Robert Essick, and Professor Joseph Viscomi came the Blake Archive. This is a website that gives comprehensive access to Blake’s Poems and paintings that are “rare, fragile or difficult to view.” The purpose of this website was to change the way that Blake was understood. Blake claimed to experience spiritual visions from an early age. “My personal opinion is that he suffered from a kind of schizophrenia,” Suggests Eaves. Some believe that Blake had such a disease that aided him in writing his poems and some people believe that Blake used drugs to help him get his ideas. “He saw visions, heard voices. 
Later in his life he claimed that he was not a poet, but that poems were dictated to him.” Eaves explains. This could be the connection that all the other poets are trying to see, that because Blake saw visions and heard voices he could then use that to write his poems and make his paintings.  This is why Blake says that his poems were “Dictated to him,” He expressed what he had seen in his visions and heard in the voices by writing such comprehensive poems. In 1788, Blake found out a new way to print and publish his own books.  This method included using an acid resistant varnish and copper plate. The way it originally worked was the design must first be pressed in to wax and then transferred to the plate with acid. Blake changed the method by painting his ideas directly onto the copper plate with acid resistant varnish, so when it was treated with acid the design was not burned away. This allowed Blake to write his poetry directly onto the plates. Blake was very opposed to an organized religion and believed that all religions are one and that there is no natural religion. “…He was a deeply spiritual poet,” Viscomi argues. Some may think that he was a spiritual poet because a lot his poems were based upon nature and imagination. In 1827, Jerusalem, the final epic poem that Blake created united his beliefs between religion, science, god, and nature.  “Even from the depths of Hell his voice I hear, within the unfathomed caverns of my ear… Heaven Earth & Hell henceforth shall live live in harmony” Blake writes. This is showing the connection between religion, nature, good, and bad and how it should all be able to live in peace.  On the last plate of this poem he gives his reasons for fashioning his own form of writing, and explains how poetry shapes and creates the human race. William Blake was one of the biggest romanticism poets of all time. His poems make you think on a totally different level and see things in a whole new way. Some say that his work was one of an “insane genius,” but I think that it was the way he saw life in his eyes.

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