Wednesday, January 5, 2011

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 naïve 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.

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