Poems

Poems

by William Blake
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

William Blake is one of England’s most fascinating writers; he was not only a groundbreaking poet, but also a painter, engraver, radical, and mystic. Although Blake was dismissed as an eccentric by his contemporaries, his powerful and richly symbolic poetry has been a fertile source of inspiration to the many writers and artists who have followed in his

Overview

William Blake is one of England’s most fascinating writers; he was not only a groundbreaking poet, but also a painter, engraver, radical, and mystic. Although Blake was dismissed as an eccentric by his contemporaries, his powerful and richly symbolic poetry has been a fertile source of inspiration to the many writers and artists who have followed in his footsteps. In this collection Patti Smith brings together her personal favorites of Blake’s poems, including the complete Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, to give a singular picture of this unique genius, whom she calls in her moving introduction “the spiritual ancestor” of generations of poets.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A visionary genius . . . There are passages of brilliance everywhere . . . The wonder of Blake is that he had an imagination that brought together words and images."  —Independent

"There was no doubt that 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."  —William Wordsworth

"The movement of his [Willaim Blake's] early verse are like the gambollings of some very powerful animal, still in its fluffy-footed and tottering babyhood."  —Samuel Butler Yeats

"Blake's blast against the injustices of his time—poverty, war, prostitution, child labour—resonates today as it did when he wrote it."  —Independent

"[William Blake] always insists on the importance of the pure, clean line that evokes and creates the figure on the background of the uncreated void."  —James Joyce

"Blake is a great liberating imaginative force."  —Tom Paulin

"The poems of a man with a profound interest in human emotions, and a profound knowledge of them."  —T.S. Eliot

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780099511632
Publisher:
Random House UK
Publication date:
05/28/2008
Series:
Vintage Classics
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
731,394
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.45(d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM BLAKE was born in London in 1757. He was educated at home and then worked as an apprentice to the engraver James Basire before joining the Royal Academy in 1779. In 1782 he married Catherine Boucher, and a year later began his career as a poet when he published Poetical Sketches. This was followed by Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1794), which he also designed and engraved. His other major literary works include The Book of Thel (1789), The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (c. 1793), Milton (1804–8), and Jerusalem (1804–20). He produced many paintings and engravings during his lifetime. Blake died in 1827.
 
PATTI SMITH is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary merging of poetry and rock. She has released twelve albums, including Horses, which has been hailed as one of the top one hundred albums of all time by Rolling Stone. Smith had her first exhibit of drawings at the Gotham Book Mart in 1973 and has been represented by the Robert Miller Gallery since 1978. Her books include M Train, Just Kids (winner of the National Book Award), WīttBabelWoolgathering, The Coral Sea, and Auguries of Innocence. In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor given to an artist by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Smith married the musician Fred Sonic Smith in 1980. They had a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Jesse. Smith resides in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >