William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience is a series of poems that dramatizes the fundamental pastoral movement we have seen in many of our texts: the journey from a world of innocence to a reality of experience. Each “song of innocence” has a companion “song of experience.” Blake is a poet who believed that “without contraries there is no progression,” and these poems, according to Blake, show contrary states of the human soul.
How do these poems show progress? What tensions to they hold against each other? What is the difference between one of Blake’s songs of innocence and his songs of experience? Continue reading