Nurse’s Song 1 and Nurse’s Song 2 by Blake
In looking at the poems Nurse’s Song 1 and Nurse’s Song 2, one has to look at the titles of the book in which they are in, the words themselves, and the etchings that go along with the poem. In the Nurse’s Song 1, the book that it is in is called Songs of Innocence. The title of the book shows to the reader that the narrator is writing from the point of view that she is watching children play, watching the innocence of the children in front of her. The second poem, Nurse’s Song 2, falls under the title Songs of Experience. In this poem, the narrator talks of the memories she has from her childhood.
In song one, the scenery is described in the very beginning of the poem. The narrator is sitting in a pasture, under a tree, in a valley, watching children playing. She sits in the shade of the branches as the children laugh and play holding hands. This can be seen not only in the verse, but also in the etching that the poem is written on. In the etching, the children playing a circle, looking much like they are playing the child’s game, “ring around the rosy”. The older woman, age is not mentioned in the poem, sits under the shade of a tree with what looks like cross stitching in her lap, or some sort of sewing. The children seem to be protected with a canopy of branched and the sun is setting in the back ground behind the large rolling green hills. The title of the poem itself is entwined with branches, green with being young. This sapling like title shows how young and inexperienced the children really are. The freshness of spring and young is throughout this entire etching.
The actual poem is very easy to read nothing in it seems to hide anything from the reader. It is very simplistic; much like a child’s thought process. The poem itself is simply about the care taker of the children telling them, at first, that it is time to stop playing, and then, after the children protest saying:
“No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all covered with sheep” (lines 9-12).
The children want to stay outside and play because they are not tired, and they see all the other young animals playing as well. The poems ends with a comparison of the children to the animals: “The little ones leaped, shouted, and laughed, And all the hills echoed” (lines 15-16).
The sheep that they see act much like the children are acting. The sheep run, jump, and “baa” (or shout) when excited. This could be what is “echoed” in line 16. Or, since the children are in a valley, the hills could be echoing their laughter back down into the valley.
The second song has a much different feel to it, both in it’s etching, and in it’s verse. The picture that the verse is written on it not a bright as the first song. The greens are much darker, and the only blue is in the background of the two children, and above the title of the...