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Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience (Unabridged Start Publishing LLC) Kindle Edition
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I recently bought the a new copy of the Dover Thrift Edition of William Blake's Songs Of Innocence & Songs Of Experience. And it is everything you would expect from a Dover Thrift Edition; the printing and binding are fine. There is a Contents page as well as an Alphabetical List of First Lines and Alphabetical List of Titles.
As you can guess by the title this takes us through poems that are about youth and innocence, onto those of experience, although that doesn’t mean that you have to be old, it is just when you develop you see things differently. Always a wonderful book to read this is something that will stay with you and is always great to come back to from time to time. Lest we forget, William Blake is still one of our greatest poets, and his influence still lives on, inspiring others and making them think.
The lyricism in these poems is fantastic, and as you read them you start to notice how much rhythm there is in the English language. Historically these poems also give us an idea of what life was like in this country at the time, especially within the great metropolis of London itself. In all this is always a rich and rewarding read and is something that if you have never read before is something that should be on your books to read list.
An inspiring poet - for a poet like me -
The kind of poetry and illustrations which I may well try and
emmulate with some of my own work.
Tyger is the one everyone knows - but its not the best poem there -
For me Experience holds its own compared to innocence -
the only troubling part is the faintly racist poem - but in context, like all older literature -
it holds up a fascinating light on how the artist strived in difficult times, when
I'm pretty sure most of the population didnt even think or consider racism
as a problem. Blake seems to either confront this bravely - and he aknowledges
different parts of himself honestly from what I can see.
He comes across as an artist in his own high tower - but sometimes that's where artists find powerful art forms.
1. It contains the Poems
2. the poems are the work of genius
3, it is a cheap edition
Less Good Stuff
1. unlike the "look inside" preview the illustrations are not in colour
2. The spacing of the poems is bizarre "the Fly" has one line at the bottom of page 32, the the majority of the poem is on page 33, interrupted by a black and white illustration and two lines on page 34.
nothing on spine so difficult to pick out on a bookshelf
-The front cover is an incredibly pixelated/blurry JPG file. It is so bad that the name of the book is not even legible!
-The interiors lack the illustrations that are key to enjoying Blake's poetry.
-The overall production value of the book is very low. It arrived water damaged simply from being stored in a damp warehouse - a clear sign that this book is print on demand and not built to last. To put it in perspective - it even lacked writing on the spine.
Blake's poetry is best read in conjunction with his illustrations. I suggest you take the time to find a version of the book that has them. I suggest this pocket-sized version: Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The resolution of the illustrations is enough to be able to read them despite the small size. For a wider look at his work, this book is also good: Blake's Poetry and Designs: Illuminated Works, Other Writings, Criticism (Norton Critical Editions).
I can't say either of the books I've suggested are the best books on Blake, but they are certainly better than this monstrosity by Red Axe Books.
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This 'Dover Edition' is nothing of the kind - but has been mistitled by its publisher...Read more