Poetry As A Vehicle Of Expression (Poetic Devices) William Blake

1326 words - 5 pages

Poetry has often been considered the highest form of art because it deals with the greatest abstractions we are capable of thinking, employing the most basic form of communication and interaction, through language. In his "Songs of Innocence and Experience", Blake attempts to 'shrew the contrary states of the human soul' distanced by the restraints of sexual oppression and restrictive morality. Believing that 'what is evident to the idiot is not worth his care', Blake employs a host of rhetoric techniques in an exploration of the value and limitation of two perspectives on the world. His altered perception on the construction of love (as defined by nature and society) can be traced through the poetic patterns evident in constructing 'The Blossom' of innocence and 'The Sick Rose' of experience.Blake fathered the art of 'Illuminated Printing' in which the visual setting of a poem aids in the construction of meaning, and contrasting visual patterns complement poetic themes. In this way, the patterned construction of stanzas creates an impression on the reader and functions to denote the themes and issues dealt with in the poem. In 'The Sick Rose' Blake explores the idea of natural and innocent love being destroyed by the selfish and deceitful agenda of man. This stern theme is reflected in the visual construction of the poem as it appears on the page; bound by sharp corners and abrasive forms, the text is almost offensive in its uniformity. In contrast, 'The Blossom' maintains an air of symmetrical dignity. It's soft, flowing shape unbound by a strict structure lures the reader into a rhetorically repetitive arena in which love is not subjugated by the laws of convention. The contrasting nature of the poems is initially reflected through their highly patterned aesthetic visual presentation.The title of a poem forms the basis on which meaning is constructed. In reflecting 'contrary states of the human soul', the construction of titles plays a crucial role in discerning poetic complements. The patterned duality of title in 'The Songs of Innocence' and that of 'Experience' not only links poems on a similar theme, but functions to generate stock images in the mind of the reader. For example, 'The Sick Rose' and 'The Blossom' are linked through the patterned imagery of the floral discourse yet evoke contrastingly oblique images. While 'The Blossom' conjures images of natural vitality and truth, that of 'The Sick Rose' sets a sombre tone hinting at the deception and dark corruption of nature (that an object of get beauty will be destroyed). In this way, deliberately derived titles not only set the tone of a poem but also function to connote interrelated themes and issues spanning an anthology.Through the intricate construction of a persona, a poet can connect with the reader- influencing their adopted perspective. In Blake's 'Songs of Innocence and Experience' there emerges a pattern in which a child-like innocent persona is adopted by the former and a...

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