Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reading Response #3 "Of Lambs and Tygers"

        In the article “Of Lambs and Tygers: Joseph Crawford succumbs to the questioning spirit of Blake’s ‘Tyger’ rather than seeking to confine its meanings,” written by Joseph Crawford, the author attempts to discover any meaning out of “The Tyger” by asking more questions and relating the poem to its sister poem, “The Lamb.” He takes all of the currently asked questions of “The Tyger” and inputs background information from Blake’s mythology, especially “The Lamb.” Crawford continually goes over innocence and experience and its importance in Blake’s writing and in life. This contrast and comparison lie within both “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” with the latter being of experience and “The Lamb” representing innocence. Throughout the article, the author slowly put together an answer, not to his original question of whom, why, and how the tyger was made, but of what Blake wanted this battle of innocence and experience to represent. A first step to his conclusion occurred when he realized how unanswerable most, if not all, questions of “The Tyger” are. The poem lies in a web of confusion and doubt while questions range forever about its meaning; it “is lost in forests of the night” (Crawford 4). He realizes there won’t be answers to the poem because in the tyger’s world of experience and doubt, the questioner spirit will always conflict with any possible guesses at the meaning of “The Tyger.”
         The important revelation of not being able to find answers in “The Tyger’s” world becomes a gateway to understanding the point of these two poems. As the author delves further into Blake’s different writings for possible explanations, an important question is revisited and never truly answered. This question as he stated was,” Is there one god for the lamb and one for the tyger or are they the same god, seen from the perspectives of innocence and experience, respectively?” (Crawford 4). The second part of this quote was the most significant part of the quote as it questioned whether or not perspectives could be the reason for such a gap of how God is seen. I see it as more realistic for there to be one god being seen from different views rather than polytheism for the differences of the innocent and experienced. This is because there are already many views in the world today on how faith and experience are seen, as well as how God is viewed and perspectives seem like the more reasonable outcome from this question. The perspectives of humans, especially when applied to the vast difference of innocence and experience, make the world what it stands to be today. Crawford finally attained a more distinct answer to the thousands of questions about “The Tyger” from looking into Blake’s other poems when one of the poems states,” It is right it should be so/Man was made for Joy and Woe/And when this we rightly know/Thro the world we safely go” (Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”, lines 55-58). Blake is trying to show the views of innocence and experience, with “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” still representing these different views. In this quote he says we must learn to live with both a balance of innocence and experience, “Joy and Woe.” The child meek and mild from “The Lamb” was innocent and responded to all questions with clear, concise answers, but these answers were not doubted for possible error or a different interpretation which could lead to mistakes. “The Tyger,” mixed with its web of doubt and questioning, never showed an answer to questions because there was no faith or innocence in its world so it led to a never ending string of doubt, spiraling into nothing. When combined, Blake attempts to show us that this is the way to achieve balance; in this way, humans will not try to purge one’s self of neither innocence nor experience and rather combine and live with both. Then we can attempt to reach the goal of enlightenment that Blake has set before us. I see Blake’s reasoning on innocence and experience as vital to our existence since it remains a continuous lesson that many never understand. It took forms from interpretations into different stories over time because of how important it is to live with that innocence of a child full of faith, like a lamb, and with the questioning experience of an adult, like a tyger; once again like joy and woe. 


Running back and forth, being controlled by the strings that connect through my soul into his deceiving hands. I’m only a puppet in his mind, that he can use and abuse for his own gratification. He pulls each string with such force that I become numb, I become disconnected from reality. He forces his knife across my wooden arm, and thrashes his hand across my disoriented face. I feel nothing, I show no emotions. After all I am nothing but a toy to him, nothing but a puppet in this world. I tried screaming for help, it was silent. I felt alone, no one could hear me, no one would listen.
I learn to live half alive and I begin to kill myself slowly. I fall deeper and deeper into an illusion, my grave. I believe that he is punishing me for my own imperfections, I believe I deserve it. I become strapped down by the label he has embedded into me. He is my master.
 He cut my strings for torture, he enjoyed watching me squirm and struggle to my feet. He knew that I could not stand on my own without his control.
I become a prisoner of his mind. He took something from me that I will never be able to regain. I no longer have any strength. I fall into my make shift grave and begin to decay into the earth. I shed one last tear, a bloody tear. It rolls down my innocent skin and penetrates the soil. I begin to rise from the dead. I watch as I leave my dead corpse lying in the dirt. He watches in shock as my strings detach and I become human again.
 I try to run and break free, but there is no escaping my damaged body. But I escape him. He is no longer my master. I begin to recover and the injuries he has produced begin to scar over, but he refuses to let me heal.
 He visits my new life and threatens me with words and a single bullet. I hide in fear, I become afraid. Afraid of any man that crosses my path, forever I am changed. He took away the respect that I had for myself, and the trust I had for others. He took away my life. But each day I try to recover my missing pieces that I left behind in the struggle to break free, in belief that I once will be whole. I know that I will always be connected to him through the scars he engraved in my skin. However, these scars symbolize a battle that I fought, and all that battle left behind was a story to tell.

Reading Response #3 "An Interpretation of Blake's, 'A Divine Image.'"

Stephen A. Larrabee’s, “An Interpretation of Blake’s, ‘A Divine Image,’” shares his thoughts on the meaning of the poem. Larrabee separates the second stanza of “A Divine Image” and analysis each line. Larrabee believes that the first line meant, when man becomes involved with secrecy it disrupts the peace and causes war. He considered that the second line meant, man no longer creates love but plans ways of torture which creates terror. Larrabee suggests that the third line meant that the fear of others and change created jealousy, which sealed over the emotions of the human face. Only pity could destroy jealousy and unseal the emotions of the face, but man lacks pity. Larrabee reveals that the final line of the poem states that the human heart conceals cruelty, and that it can be portrayed through actions, thoughts, and deeds throughout the body. Larrabee believes “A Divine Image” has a direct contrast with Blake’s earlier poem, “The Divine Image,” by which “A Divine Image” shows the Satanist characteristics of humans rather than the divine or true characteristics. He shares how Blake’s, “Songs of Innocence and Experience,” connects the two poems by “A Divine Image” being experience, and “The Divine Image” being innocence. In the poem, “A Divine Image,” Larrabee suggests that the meaning of this poem meant that humans became influenced of the God Urizen or Reason. Being under this influence Larrabee proposes that humans build off of experience. In contrast Larrabee declares that in “The Divine Image” the moral of the poem meant humans stand created by the image of God and that innocence within man shapes man itself. Larrabee discusses how Blake believed that humans should develop characterization by Mercy, Pity, Love, and Peace, rather than Secrecy, Jealousy, Terror, and Cruelty when he states, “The ideals of ‘The Divine Image,’ he is convinced, shall ultimately overthrow the wordly reason of ‘A Divine Image’ (Larrabee 307, 308). Larabee explains Blake’s philosophy on his poetry in the sense that Blake wants humans to realize where reason has brought man so man can become the divine image.
William Blake’s poem, “A Divine Image,” described the human form as cruel and it seemed to mean the opposite of divine. The word divine relates to a God, so why would Blake title the poem, “A Divine Image,” if it did not mean that? “A Divine Image” showed four human characteristics that became influenced by experience. These four characteristics include Secrecy, Jealousy, Terror, and Cruelty. Blake tries to convey that humans have become Satanist by expressing these sins. The companion poem, “The Divine Image,” could compare to “A Divine Image,” because they both share a similar message. “The Divine Image,” consists of five stanzas rather than that of “A Divine Image,” which contains two stanzas that makes it have a larger significance to the meaning of the two poems. “The Divine Image” talks about the four virtues of delight: Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love. These four virtues exist in God, but they also originate in man himself. Mercy is found in the heart, Pity in the face, Peace in the clothes, and Love as the human body. Thoughts, emotions, and actions that the human body creates show these four virtues. Larrabee discuses these same beliefs in his article as well. Blake describes these four virtues in both human and man to show that humans create God. Much like Larrabee, I believe that Blake expected that “The Divine Image” would overrule “A Divine Image” so humans would remain affected by the thoughts of innocence rather than experience. Blake placed “A Divine Image” in “Songs of Experience” to show where experience has brought mankind. He uses unpleasant language in this poem to make humans feel immoral and change the ways of reasoning and experience because God wants the human mind to stay innocent. Blake shows how an innocent mind reflects God within humans by creating the poem, “The Divine Image.” When observing the two titles one starts with the word, “A,” in comparison to the other title that starts with the word, “The.” “A Divine Image,” meant how man portrayed themselves as experienced, while “The Divine Image,” meant what the Divine Image should be, which would be God. Each poem has two opposite meanings but connects by the detail that Blake expressed that humans remain the Divine Image that they create themselves.

Response to "The Life of John Keats, A Romantic Poet"

John Keats really never seemed like an important romantic poet to me until just this morning, I stumbled on Period 7's "The Life of John Keats, A Romantic Poet." This blog immediately captured my interest with its appealing design and attractive colors. After starting to look through the initial blogs, the detailed analysis was evident in every one of them. Darian Washington, Nicole Brown, Andrew Torrey, and Kylie Hutchinson have eloquently translated the detailed scripts and poems of John Keats into an easily understandable, yet still obviously scholar worthy, summary of great poems such as "Isabella; or the Pot of Basil" or "Ode to a Nightingale." These poems became much easier to comprehend after reading this group's analysis and summary. A significantly important blog post to me was "When I Have Fears," detailed and analyzed by Kylie Hutchinson. This post stuck out to me because of how powerfully the poem and summary connected with Keats' writings and I feel it's very important for bloggers to write blogs and view poems as much alike the poet as possible. Fears impact our lives immensely as they shape our actions based on what we are and are not scared of doing, saying, or even thinking. Another point in the blog that makes it more useful to anyone who views it is the list of poems, all being direct links to that poem. This can make it easier for the viewer to access more of Keats' masterpieces and delve farther into his opinions. The stream of YouTube videos was a nice addition to the helpful information located on this blog. Darian Washington's "The Rose," was a lovely interpretation of the cruel, corrupted society in which we live. This stupendous poem related the overbearing detail of love with the harsher side of beauty. This beauty is the rose and its flaw is the thorn. This thorn represents the hard times of love, “like a storm” bearing on the world of one person. Overall, this blog and its authors make Keats’ work comprehendible and very entertaining to read to the masses.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Identity Theft

The world says I can do it, I wish I could agree. On the good days, I feel like I can achieve anything, create anything, and finally become the man I want to be. Those good days are rarer and rarer as time goes on. My own worst enemy is the mirror. Looking back I see the failed boy to his parents, his teachers, friends, her, and least importantly, himself. I know the truth of how I’m not the real me yet. Of how I cannot achieve, become, or state the things I want. Those days are gone when writing my name wasn’t a lie to anyone reading it. I lost myself, I do not know when or how, but I did.
What is left after I cannot even say I’m living for myself anymore? Let alone as myself. When will the world give a new meaning? How will I interpret it and through what? A girl? A sign? What if I don’t recognize it, am I lost after that?
These questions fill my head every day, continuing the onslaught of negativity I create for myself and those who surround me and don’t deserve it. I hope this day of revelation for me comes soon because my patience is thinning. Not the patience to wait for this change, but the patience for when that day comes; I will still have a chance and enough faith to accept the change and embrace it. I feel like that day is long coming though and every day it gets harder to put on the mask for everyone around me and look through that mirror and not tear apart its endless lie that it beholds.
Maybe, just maybe, the change will be gradual, and starting today I will become who I want to be and am supposed to be. I doubt it but who knows. But this dying hope reminds me of the oil miracle that Hanukah revolves around, yet I feel like I’m on that 8th day, and my candle is about to go out. 

Reading Response 3 "Blake's The Chimney Sweeper"

  The article “Blake’s The Chimney Sweeper” by James Harrison explains how Blake’s poem “The Chimney Sweeper” is expressed in a way that makes it seem as though it could have been written by an innocent child. The way Blake writes is an art; it can make the reader feel as though it is completely realistic. According to Harrison this is what Blake wanted. Harrison states that “The meter is, in fact, such that we feel a child might have written the poem, or is at least reciting it. More than anything else, it is skillfully na├»ve of Blake. The way he exploits hymn-like measures in the preceding “Holy Thursday”, co-opting as it were a child to write or speak the poem for him, which convinces us of the authenticity of its innocent, non-ironic point of view.” Harrison explains in his writing that it’s necessary for the readers to believe the point of view Blake is writing from. The authenticity of this poem would be questioned and not taken seriously if written from a different point of view. Harrison stresses this point in his writing. He continuously praises Blake for how the poem is written. Harrison says “The secret of this poem lies in the extraordinary multiplicity of viewpoints and tones of voices. “ This means that the way Blake wrote the characters into the poem gives it more depth. This article helps explain why I chose William Blake for my blog project. The whole point of having a blog on Blake was to try and show the readers that he was a talented writer who knew how to capture an audience. The blog demonstrates how this is done by analyzing different pieces by Blake and figuring out their deeper meaning. Blake had a way of writing that could make it seems as though many different people were speaking in one poem. Harrison understands that and wrote a good article about it.
                I agree with Harrison on this subject. After reading “The Chimney Sweeper” (both Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience) I finally understood that Blake knew what he was doing. I was amazed that he could take the one poem “The Chimney Sweeper” and turn it into two different tales. Blake does this with multiple poems. One was from the view point of an innocent child, and one from an experienced child. However, I didn’t realize that this was such an accomplishment until I read Harrisons article. Harrison helped me to understand that the tone in a poem can make it flow together or clog it up and ruin it. Blake’s common theme throughout his poetry is that it has two sides. Most of his poems can be taken from an innocent side or one of experience. I began to discover that this occurred frequently once I took a deeper look into Blake’s poems. Harrison has a valid point that Blake’s writings could not be taken as seriously if it was written from a standard point of view. I have come to appreciate Blake’s writings more as I read them because I understand now that its not all about speed reading though it. With Blake I have to take my time and really try to comprehend with what is being said. Harrison helped me to understand that this is not a bad thing, like I originally thought it was. He helped me to understand that things can have more meaning if they are written from a more artistic point of view as Blake does. I’ve noticed throughout Blake’s writing that it seems as though he is making some words and things up this gives his writing an edgy and creative style that a lot of writers don’t have. I also don’t always understand what type of message he is trying to convey, but that is one of the things that makes him so popular. His poetry has lots of different interpretations and I learned this through researching him and reading James Harrison’s article, I feel like this article was beneficial to understanding why Blake wrote the way he did. Overall, William Blake was a talented poet who just takes some time to understand. Once there is that understanding there can be a greater appreciation for his writing.

Blogging Response to "The Best of Blake"

While looking through all of the blog names on Mr. Keen’s website I stumbled across a blog with the name, “The Best of Blake.” Out of all the blogs that I looked at, I thought this one had the most sophisticated and intriguing title. This blog is about the same poet I am researching for my blogging assignment, William Blake. I realized this blog could potentially help me, and my team members, with our blog assignment. I opened up this blog and I automatically liked their set up. It was very well organized and something that stood out the most was the welcome note at the top of the page. It gave a brief description on their blog and made William Blake sound interesting. This blog site had many videos that were interesting and unique. One video that I found most captivating was in a post called “William Blake is an Artist,” by Kendal Kern. This video showed all of Blake’s art work, and she gave a description of Blake’s life below the video. She gave some incredible insight on William Blake’s life, and she talked about how he became an artist and what inspired him. She wrote, “Many people believed he was a mad man, but later he became known as one of the greatest English Literature contributions of all time.” I thought it was interesting to hear about how people despised him, yet he was a huge part of the development English literature. Another thing that I thought was interesting about this post was that it talked about all of Blake’s interests. I never knew that Blake engraved most of his poetry. I thought this was extremely interesting because most poets wrote their poetry with pen and paper, this truly showed his artistry. This blog is very insightful and creative; it gives plenty of information about Blake as a person, an artist, and a poet. If someone never knew about William Blake, this blog would be a good place to go for information because it teaches you about Blake in a fun, original way, that helps someone engage in this topic, the topic of William Blake. 
 CLICK HERE to access this blog site.