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Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul (Oxford Paperbacks) Paperback – 15 Oct 1970


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Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul (Oxford Paperbacks) + York Notes on William Blake's "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" (York Notes Advanced)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New Ed edition (15 Oct. 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192810898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192810892
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 1.5 x 13.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to Blake's art as an A'level art student and found his work to be beautiful and highly detailed. However at the time I did not fully appreciate the extent of Blake's tallent as I was somewhat unaware of his poetry. I bought this particular text on the advice of one of my tutors when studying degree English and I have to admit that he was correct when he stated that I would get more out of this beautifully illustrated copy than I would a standard copy of Blake's poems. The illustrations aid the readers understanding of the poems as well as show the works in their original forms. The illustrations lift the written word to greater heights and intensify the words of Blake. This is a must for any lover of Blake's work, and is also a fantastic introduction to both the poet and artist for those who know little if anything about William Blake.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By samlkelly on 27 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
Do forgive me if this review doesn't make much sense. I go all inexpressive when I try and put into words how brilliant I find Blake to be, you see. I shall keep it short and sweet - this book contains some of the greatest poetry ever written ("The Tyger", "The Little Boy Lost", "The Human Abstract", both versions of "Holy Thursday"... in fact I'm looking through the contents page of it at this moment and practically every one is truly memorable). Blake's paintings were, at times, phenomenal - the ones to accompany his poems, however, were sometimes comically childish (the tiger which stands underneath the poem of that name looks more like a child's stuffed toy). To see his best artwork, find it in the galleries in London.
I originally tried to find a nice, hardback, lavishly printed edition of this book with the prints all reproduced in the original size - then I discovered that this edition does, in fact, contain the originaly size prints - a suprise, because they're tiny. But unless you want to pay God knows how much (for they've not come on the market in my lifetime, as far as I'm aware - not that I could afford it) for one of the six surviving hand-printed-by-Blake-himself first editions, this is your next best bet. The introduction by Geoffrey Keynes is good as well, and if your interest in the man himself (Blake, not Keynes) is piqued, I recommend Peter Ackroyd's "Blake" - one of the best biographies or autobiographies I've read.
Just get this book. Read each poem in depth a million times and you still won't come close to getting every possible interpretation. Absolutely extraordinary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Till on 16 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being new to Blake I was initially not fully engaged by the poetry but I feel it really is important to consider the collection(s) as a whole. Some of the more seemingly chintzy poems in the "Innocence" section become significantly enriched when read in relation to specific counterparts in "Experience" and as part of the collection as a whole.

This is a very nice edition with lovely reproductions of the original prints which I found to be crucial for really appreciating the poetry as they really are intended as a whole. Not all editions have these so it is worth checking.

The endnotes were also great for elucidating the meaning for a beginner (like me) without being bogged down in extensive academic debate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By clo mc on 22 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
A beautiful work of literature, presented in a beautiful way.
Perfect for anyone studying the text as there is plenty of room for annotations around the poems. My only criticism would be the organisation of the book. The original image of the poem should be placed on adjacent page to the text. It would make it much easier when referencing the artwork.
Other than that, a great buy, at a great price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emily on 8 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice combination of the original plates the poems were published on as well as extra notes on each poem in the back of the book. The notes help summarise each poem as well giving some context to them. Recommend for students.
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Format: Paperback
Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake is a very nice book. The introduction is very useful for students in English literature in order to understand the poems better. The illuminated images that represent the poems are very clear and I would suggest this book to everyone who loves poetry and in particular Blake's. The two aspects of human soul are really well represented by these poems and it would be a pleasure to read them and compare them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A M Borgman on 23 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The illustrations and original plates make this book a delight. This pocket version of Blake's poems is a wonderful buy!
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By Nicole on 5 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
The quality of the book is really good - I like the texture of the pages and the colour prints aside each Song bring Blake's work to life. I reccommend this to any Literature student or poem enthusiast as Blake's poems are simple yet quite interesting to analyse. The only minus is that tehre are no page numbers - the Songs are numbered.
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