Tuesday, 19 May 2015

EXPLANATION WITH REFERENCE TO THE CONTEXT: WILLIAM BLAKE

SAMPLE ANSWERS - POETRY

QUESTION NO. 1

(a) To see a world .......... palm of your hand. 

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: Auguries of Innocence
(ii) Poet: William Blake
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Start of the Poem (Lines 1-4/132)
(ii) Content: This poem is a stark warning about the inevitable consequences for society when there is wanton mistreatment of people and nature. There is a list of situations and auguries about what might happen if these kinds of injustice continue. The poem also expresses Blake's political views about class structures, slavery, and inequality among other things. He condemns oppression and cruelties against the innocent and vulnerable members of society. 
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet propagates the concept of "inward and outward infinity of space and eternity of time". Firstly, he suggests to discover macrocosm in microcosm. Scientifically, a grain of sand is not the smallest particle. It consists of billions of atoms. An atom further consists of about a hundred particles like proton, neutron and electron etc and so on. Thus a grain of sand is a whole world itself, having infinity inwards. Secondly, he proposes to see microcosm in macrocosm. To see the whole world of God in a wild flower, we do not need eyesight but sight --- a transcendental sight that allows the individual to see beyond what is visible. Thus infinity can be held in the palm of hand and eternity can be contained in an hour. In short, our imagination can expand infinitesimal things into immensity and diminish gigantic things into miniatures.  

(b) O Rose, .......... the howling storm. 

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: The Sick Rose
(ii) Poet: William Blake
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Start of the Poem (Lines 1-4/8)
(ii) Content: This poem is about lost of virtue due to secret crimes or corruption. The speaker, addressing a rose, informs it that it is sick. An "invisible worm" has stolen into its "bed of crimson joy" in a "howling storm" and under the cover of night. The "dark secret love" of this worm is destroying the rose's life. 
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet describes the cause of the sickness of a rose. Literally, a rose is a beautiful flower. Here the rose symbolizes beauty, virginity, love, innocence and London. A canker worm has attacked this rose. This worm symbolizes lust, jealously, corruption, experience, decay and death. It also resonates with the Biblical serpent and suggests a phallus. The poet tells that this is an 'invisible worm'. The invisibility of the worm echoes that the devil lurks unseen and is master of disguise. This worm flies in the night. Traditionally, night is the time when demons, witches and wild beasts seek their prey and ghosts appear. It therefore suggests that this 'worm' is active at the time when people are most prey to their fears and fantasies. This worm attacks 'in the howling storm'. It suggests times of ungovernable, frightening turmoil and passion that are potentially destructive. In short, beauty, love and innocence is destroyed by lust, corruption and experience. 

(c) How the chimney .......... down palace walls. 

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: London
(ii) Poet: William Blake
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Stanza 3/4 (Lines 9-12/16)
(ii) Content: This poem is about disease, misery, child labour and prostitution - basically everything that Blake feels is wrong about London. The speaker wanders through the streets of London and sees despair in the faces of the people he meets and hears fear in their voices. The woeful cry of the chimney-sweeper stands as a chastisement to the Church, and the blood of a soldier stains the outer walls of the monarch's residence. At night, the cursing of prostitutes corrupts the newborn infant and sullies the "marriage hearse". 
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet laments over the cries of chimney-sweepers, inefficiency of churches and the sighs of soldiers. A chimney-sweeper is a worker employed to clean soot from chimneys. In Blake's day, this disgusting, dirty and dangerous job was usually reserved for children. This dangerous and exploitative job makes them cry. The job of a chimney sweeper and that of a church is same. The church is responsible to clean the people from sins, crimes and evils. However, the church itself is blackened. Thus the chimney-sweeper's cry and every blackening church appall the poet. The poet is also dismayed at the life of soldiers. The soldiers are drafted into war and have no choice but to serve their country. The walls of the palace of their country are stained with their sighs and blood. In short, both chimney-sweeper and the soldiers are in "forg'd manacles"; they are physically restrained by their seniors.

1 comment:

  1. plzzzzz plzzzzz plzzzz sir i need william blakes poetry references to contxt notes

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