Essential Blake

Overview

From the introduction by Stanley Kunitz:

Blake speaks more directly to us, anticipating the issues, conflicts, and anxieties of the modern world, than any of his contemporaries. It could be argued that he dared, in fact, to be the first modern poet. . . .

Above all, Blake teaches us that the imagination is a portion of the divine principle, that "Energy is Eternal Delight," and that "everything that lives is ...

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Overview

From the introduction by Stanley Kunitz:

Blake speaks more directly to us, anticipating the issues, conflicts, and anxieties of the modern world, than any of his contemporaries. It could be argued that he dared, in fact, to be the first modern poet. . . .

Above all, Blake teaches us that the imagination is a portion of the divine principle, that "Energy is Eternal Delight," and that "everything that lives is Holy." Human liberty and imagination have never been better served.

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What People Are Saying

Stanley Kunitz
"Blake's imperishable songs have such purity and eloquence that the effort of close textual analysis seems almost superfluous. He speaks more directly to us, anticipating the issues, conflicts, and anxieties of the modern world, than any of his contemporaries." --Stanley Kunitz
William Wordsworth
"There is no doubt this poor man was mad, but there is something in the madness of this man which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott." -- William Wordsworth
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060887933
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/14/2006
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 943,771
  • Product dimensions: 4.58 (w) x 10.52 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley Kunitz was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1905 and educated at Harvard University. His numerous honors include the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, and designation as State Poet of New York. He has edited the Yale Series of Younger Poets, served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, and taught for many years in the graduate writing program at Columbia University. He is president of Poets House, New York, a founding father of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts. Recent publications include The Poems of Stanley Kunitz1928-1978 (Atlantic, 1979), Next-to-Last Things: New Poems and Essays (Atlantic, 1985), and Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected (Norton, 1995) for which he was awarded the 1995 National Book Award for Poetry.

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Read an Excerpt

Songs of Innocence

Introduction

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

"Pipe a song about a Lamb!"
So I piped with merry chear.
"Piper, pipe that song again;"
So I piped- he wept to hear.

"Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy chear:"
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

"Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read."
So he vanish'd from my sight,
And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water dear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

The Essential Blake. Copyright © by William Blake. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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