Thursday, June 20, 2024

William Blake, burning bright

The true method of knowledge is experiment.
~William Blake

Welcome to the Poetry Friday round-up! So glad to have you here!

A while back, I wrote an imaginary interview with Edna St. Vincent Millay, inspired by Renée M. LaTulippe's "interview" with W.B. Yeats. For today, I decided to do one with William Blake. Here we go!
Dates: b. November 28, 1757; d. August 12, 1827
Trivia: He illustrated a book by Mary Wollstonecraft (Mary Shelley's mother)
To read his poetry:
For more information: The Blake Society

Please welcome poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake!

Me: Thank you so much for joining us today, Mr. Blake.

B: Hear the voice of the Bard!

Me: That's the plan! Can you tell me where you're from, Mr. Blake?

B: I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.

Me: Ah, yes, London! What made you decide to become a poet?

B: To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour

Me: That sounds wonderful. How has it been going for you?

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

Me: Excellent.

B: Light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain.

Me: Oh no! So it's not all happy songs.

B: Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine

Me: You said it.

B: The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.

Me: Wow. I'm going to have to think about that for a minute.

B: In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

Me: Are you asking me questions? Who's asking questions here?

B: The Questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to Reply

Me: ...


Addendum: The quotes by William Blake are from Introduction to the Songs of Experience, London, Auguries of Innocence, Introduction to the Songs of Innocence, Mad Song, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and The Tyger.


Leave your links with Mr. Linky!


Michelle Kogan said...

Terrific interview with Mr. Blake, so in character for his time—I had to laugh at the lizards. What an intriguing idea for a poem, I may have to try one sometime… Wish I knew he’d be stopping by, would have loved asking him about his art, thanks Tabatha and for hosting too!

Karen Edmisten said...

Tabatha, this is pure delight! :D Keep 'em coming!

And thanks so much for hosting!

Sally Murphy said...

So clever. I do like Blake, and this couplet:
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
is so so true.
Thanks for the fun and thanks for hosting.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Love your "interview," Tabatha! And thanks for hosting!

Denise Krebs said...

Tabatha, what a fun interview. I love the way Blake dominates the conversation with his clever quips. Thank you for hosting today!

Linda B said...

Really wonderful to read, Tabatha! It would be fun to find a 'partner' & record this, too! Thanks for hosting!

Rose Cappelli said...

How clever, Tabatha! I enjoyed reading your interview with Mr. Blake and how you were able to capture his voice from his well-known words. Thanks for hosting today.

Irene Latham said...

Dear Tab - I LOVE this imagined conversation! Such a great way to interact with existing text. Lovely! xo

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

This is so fun (and hilarious)! Well done! And also thank you for hosting!

Ramona said...

I was totally surprised by your format. What fun you and Mr. Blake had with this interview. Thanks for hosting this week.

Mandy said...

Thank you for hosting and an imaginary interview is new idea for me.

Anonymous said...

So clever and such fun! Well played, Tabatha.👏 And thankyou for hosting us!

Kathryn Apel said...

Ooops. Commenting on my phone, which isn't signed in. Kat here. With some more photo/poetry moments.

Jone said...

How fun to do an imaginary interview with a poet. I loved it. Thanks for hosting.

Mary Lee said...

How rude of me to drop my link without commenting! But sometimes, you gotta do what you have 3 mintutes for before you're off to a talk and workshop at the art museum and then the rest of the day totally runs away from you!

Thank you for hosting!

And thank you for the marvelous interview with Mr. Blake. Brilliant on both your parts! ;-)

laurasalas said...

Oh my gosh, love this! Especially
"Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine."
I feel that so strongly. And that "reptiles of the mind"--wow. Thank you for hosting, making me smile, and inspiring me to go read some more Blake.

Patricia Franz said...

Tabatha -- This is a fun way to showcase favorite lines of a poet! Blake was such a philosopher... I love his musings on joy and grief. Thank you for hosting!