28 November 2017 Susannah

William Blake – English poet, born on 28, November 1757

William Blake quote by Susannah Fullerton

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – William Blake, born 28 November 1757

“Love seeketh not itself to please.”

William Blake by Thomas Phillips

William Blake by Thomas Phillips, oil on canvas, 1807.

William Blake was hardly known as a poet during his lifetime, but he is now considered one of the great English poets and an important figure in the Romantic movement (though in many ways it is hard to categorise Blake, who stands in a class all his own). He was a true eccentric – his work has mystical and philosophical elements, and in his life he was a radical, disapproving of many forms of authority (such as the church, the army, royalty, the government).

Blake was an artist and is unusual as a poet in that he illustrated his own writings. His art forms a fascinating commentary on his poetry. He attended the Royal Academy and was a talented engraver and etcher.

I love the poems of innocence and experience, where he pairs various works, such as the chimney sweep poems, and the famous Tiger and Lamb poems. My favourite of all his works is his poem on London. You can listen to it read by Tom O’Bedlam on Youtube:

Blake was a dissenter when it came to religion. I have visited his grave in the historic Bunhill Fields burial grounds in the City of London – it’s well worth a visit.

William Blake died on 12 August 1827 at age 69.

Tell me your thoughts in the comment area below.

  Susannah Fullerton: Poem of the Month, September 2017 – London
   The Complete Poems by William Blake, Alicia Ostriker (Edited by)

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Body image credit- William Blake by Thomas Phillips, oil on canvas, 1807. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116437/

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