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Oppression in Poetry - Book Report/Review Example

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Oppression by definition means condition of being ruled by unjust or cruel government. However there are also other kinds of oppression, and no matter which kind of oppression we are talking about when it comes to poetry, it must be said that many poets in different times throughout history have written about oppression…
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Oppression in Poetry
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Download file to see previous pages His poetry is characterized with his insisting on total freedom for the individual, thus expressing his rebel and revolutionary spirit. His rebellion is directed toward two things. First, he rebels against kings, tyrants, clergy, etc. His collection "Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience" consists actually of two collections, but Blake himself combined and joined them in one under the title "Songs of Innocence and of Experience, showing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul". In his "Songs of Innocence" Blake sees the world through the eyes of an innocent child, that is, children see only the sunshine and do not notice the dark clouds, meaning that children know only of joy, laughter and happiness. Some of the poems that deal with this subject are "The Little Boy Lost, The Little Boy Found", "The Chimney Sweeper", "A Dream", "The Divine Image", "Holy Thursday", etc. In "The Little Boy Lost, The Little Boy found" Blake describes a boy lost in the swamp, that cries all alone in the dark night, and the good God shows in his father's face and takes the boy home to his mother. In his longer poem "The Chimney Sweeper", the boy recounts to the readers how his father sold him to "chimney sweepers" and he has to work long hours and very hard. The boy is always dirty. However, one night the boy dreams of an angel that takes all of the children chimney sweepers to Heaven and awakes comforted and joyous. In "A Dream" a child dreams of a small ant that has taken the wrong road and is worried about the well-being of his children, but a glow-worm shows up and shows him the way home. In his only ideological poem in this collection "The Divine Image" Blake points out that God lives in everybody and that God and man are one and the same:
"For Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress"
However, the same title in "Songs of Experience" that is "A Divine Image" is a clear contrast to the above mentioned in "Songs of Innocence". According to "A Divine Image" in the "Songs of Experience", man is the bearer of evil passions as much as he is the bearer of virtues in the poem under the same title in "Songs of Innocence".
"Cruelty has a Human Heart,
And Jealousy a Human Face;
Terror the Human Form divine,
And Secrecy the Human Dress."
Here we can understand "jealousy" as "envy" and this personification has its origin in the Old Testament idea about the "jealous God" who envies its creatures, that God to Blake is the devil himself, or the principle of evil.
We can also compare another poem under the same name in the two collections and that is "Holy Thursday". While in "Songs of Innocence" this poem presents the Christian message of Charity to those in need, to the poor through the characters of children on a holiday procession lead by distinguished elders, and the children are happy, dressed in clothes of vivid colors, their song reaches the sky, and the elders are all wise, good, dignified, in "Songs of Experience" it has no similarity to the first one, that is, it is totally different and it presents a severe protest against oppression, misery of children, etc, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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