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Songs of Innocence (Contains the Poem The…

Songs of Innocence (Contains the Poem "The Echoing Green") (original 1789; edition 2011)

by William Blake, Mary H. Robinson (Illustrator), Charles Robinson (Illustrator)

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436524,126 (4.11)3
Title:Songs of Innocence (Contains the Poem "The Echoing Green")
Authors:William Blake
Other authors:Mary H. Robinson (Illustrator), Charles Robinson (Illustrator)
Info:Dover Publications (2011), Hardcover, 80 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:CCSS Exemplar Text (Grades 4-5), Poetry

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Songs of Innocence by William Blake (1789)


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This was my 'purse book' for over a year. Whenever I was caught waiting in line or at the doctor's office I'd read a poem or two. I wound up reading most 2-3 times, more if I needed to puzzle them out. Mostly the puzzling bits were due to Christian imagery & allegory and I was raised with v. little exposure to church or Bible.

I'm sure I would have preferred the illustrated edition, and probably given it five stars. I might look it up some day. I'm also considering getting a critical or annotated edition. In any case, see my review of [b:The Little Prince|157993|The Little Prince|Antoine de Saint-Exupéry|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1367545443s/157993.jpg|2180358] for a transcription of one poem that I did appreciate.

Meanwhile, consider also these: You probably know that Blake wrote Tyger, tyger burning bright..." and "Little Lamb, who made thee..." But did you know he's the creator of "I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end..."? And "...mercy has a human heart, pity a human face..." is also in here, as is "Pretty joy! Sweet joy, but two days old...."

Well, I could go on. But I won't. Read it for yourself, and make your own discoveries." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
The Echoing Green is an excellent poem by William Blake. It is a great meditation on the playful nature of youth and the inevitability that, eventually, we all do grow older and age. It has good metaphorical imagery and demonstrates different elements of poetry extraordinarily well, such as rhyme scheme and slant rhyme. However, I am unsure if children in the 4th-5th grades will be able to really attach themselves to it. The language is very archaic and slightly verbose. If children had the opportunity, as an activity of some sort, to put this poem into their own words, I think it would prove to be very beneficial in the classroom. ( )
  brandonachey | Nov 4, 2012 |
Oh my God, you guys, did you know William Blake didn't have any children? The author of "Infant Joy" and "Laughing Song," of lines like "Pretty joy! / Sweet joy, but two days old. / Sweet joy I call thee: / Thou dost smile, / I sing the while, / Sweet joy befall thee!" That is the most heartbreaking thing I hope to hear today.

Anyway, the lyric power of Blake's short, thumping lines makes for a lot of instantaneous tear-jerkers here, although these poems could also have done with a dash of his mystic philosophy: I'm all for the innocence of children, but the worldview on display here is sort of carpingly simplistic for the most part. Where it rises above is in the first previews of Songs of Experience, like "The Chimney-Sweeper"--which I refuse to read as anything other than proto-Marxist--where the towheaded children are lost in a deeper sense than their peers who are lucky enough to get found by lachrymose lions and angels, and there's no happy reunion with M and P. Where it sinks below is in poems like "The Little Black Boy," which though well-constructed and doing som enice play with the heat of the African sun and the heat of God's love still just fights racism by making the black boy's soul white and is thus a cut below "Am I not a man and a brother?" Anyway, this is good for people who aren't given to sentimentality to dip into in their sentimental moments. ( )
1 vote MeditationesMartini | Sep 16, 2012 |
Being a handsome reproduction which includes Blake's lettering and illustration. The texts in plain typeface are appended for a little easier reading. If one enjoys the poems and Blake's art, this is a good edition to own. ( )
  Big_Bang_Gorilla | Jun 1, 2011 |
Poetry has to work hard to interest me; Blake unfortunately does not work quite hard enough. "The Little Girl Lost" is pretty good though.
  Stevil2001 | Oct 26, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486227642, Paperback)

The first and most popular of Blake's famous "Illuminated Books," in a facsimile edition reproducing all 31 brightly colored plates. Additional printed text of each poem. "The colors are lovely, the book is a joy." — Kliatt Paperback Book Guide.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:08 -0400)

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