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Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience (Collectors Library) Hardcover – 1 Sep 2012

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Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience (Collectors Library) + York Notes on William Blake's "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" (York Notes Advanced) + White Devil: York Notes Advanced
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Collector's Library; Main Market Ed. edition (1 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907360743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907360749
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.6 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,153,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A really beautiful and handy edition. --Tracey Chevalier --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet, painter and printmaker. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
My favourite edition of Blake's immortal poems. This book is in hardback and has the original paintings. It is small enough to slip into a pocket or bag so that you can have it handy to reach. Unfortunately some people will find the print too small, and so if you want a slightly larger print version with the illustrations I would advise you to look at other editions on this website.

Each poem is printed clearly in easy print with the facing page showing how it originally appeared when first produced in a painting. Over the years Blake has been considered both insane, and a genius. With this collection it is nowadays rightly considered that he was a genius. The title of the book gives you some idea what the poems are about, but although they are easy to read, and seem to just trip off the tongue they are deceptively more complicated that at first sight. Blake uses so much symbolism that every time you read one of these poems something extra appears, especially with the incorporation of the paintings.

Blake is so hard to pin down as specifically meaning this or that, so much so that his poems have a life of their own, coming to mean different things to different people. We all have our own favourites, mine being London and The Tyger, which I can just sit down and read over and over again. This is definitely a book that you come back to time and again, whether it is just to read them for pleasure or for inspiration.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ADAM on 8 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Words and pictures, some people claim words are pictures, i suppose they are, but words signify something a little more concrete, a specific idea, moreso than pictures can. A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say, thats probably because pictures are ambiguous, a picture can have more diverse understandings because there's no one right meaning. Whereas words can be defined, cutting off any opportunity for creativity of meaning.

This little book is one of the greatest art pieces ever, the poems which are like childrens stories, like fairytales, are accompanied by beautiful little paintings, and there's no attempt by Blake to make one bow down to the other, it all just fits. Its poetry, some people, like e.e.cummings, would have the words spread out along the page in strange patterns, and the arrangement of words would be important to the understanding. Here, the pictures are actually a part of the poems, and the poems of the pictures. No real distinction is made, and yet it causes absolutely no (visible) anxiety to Blake to break rules and rebuild new ones in such a way.

I guess that's William Blake though, a one of a kind sort of fellow, seems like the kind of person whose asides and throwaway lines would be golden to a lesser artist. And this book is a must.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stev White on 14 May 2006
Format: Paperback
William Blake is one of the most influencial poets in history, and would make my list of top five poets ever any day of the week. 'Songs of Innocence and Experience' is his most famous and highly regarded set of poems, and rightly so too. 'Innocence and Experience' is unique in so far as there are a lot of poems with duplicate titles, but both poems will be from a completely different viewpoint, a different time in life; the poems from 'Innocence' will often reflect happiness and optimism etc, whereas the counterpart 'Expreience' poem will refelct completely the opposite, this allows Blake of course to make rather poignant comments on the corruption of innocence, as well as a lot of rather biting observations on 17th century society and in particular on the concept of organised religion, as whilst Blake himself was, and evidently from many of his poems is, a very religious man, but often makes clear statements out against the oppressiveness of the church. I would say the best poem for illustrating this is 'The Garden of Love,' which I consider one of his best poems. I would also draw attention the the 'experience' version of 'Little Boy Lost', which is as far as I'm concerned, the most powerful poem of all the one's in the collection.

But unlike someone like Milton, Blake's poetry is accessible to everyone, his style is by no means complex, and 'Songs of Innocence and Experience' is something that just about anyone can enjoy and at least get a feel for what the writer is trying to do. I urge you to buy this now.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Richard Johnson on 3 Nov. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Songs of Innocence and Experience is a collection of wonderful poems. However this edition does not work on the Kindle at all well. The poems are not formatted into verses, as they should be. Also some longer poems disappear off the bottom of the page. These sections are inaccessible. It seems that the page breaks are not set correctly. All in all, it is most frustrating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 81641 on 27 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent little book to slip in your pocket. It's also Smyth-Sewn, so should last a lifetime if you look after it. I'm afraid I don't understand what people are saying about the small print. The print is fine, and easily readable. Blake's illustrations complete the book for me. I hadn't been aware he did anything in colour, only black and white engravings. I would highly recommend this book to buy for yourself, or as a gift for someone. I don't need to make any comment about the poems themselves, since they have stood the test of time and will continue to delight and challenge all who read them.
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