Infant Joy

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Infant Joy - Infant Sorrow Infant Joy - Infant Sorrow William Blake was a romantic poet, but some characteristics show that he is a pre- Romantic poet.
We know of Blake's poetry: “Songs of Innocence” where appear happiness, freedom, imagination… “Songs of experience” where there he expresses a more pessimistic view of life using a powerful language. These songs are intended to be read together. The songs proposed are “Infant joy” and “Infant sorrow”. The first song represents the simple but intense introduction of the world of innocence and joy. The protagonist is a baby, two days, without name, that wished to be called “joy”.
In the second song the protagonist is the narrator that describes the moment of his birth, and the feelings and behaviours of his parents. These two songs “Infant joy” and “Infant sorrow” are two contrary states of the human soul; as a matter of fact, we remember that Blake said that without contraries there is not progression and that they are necessary to human existence. The first song represents the perfect innocence of childhood while the second one represents the sickly consciousness of experience. The first is a dialogue while the second is a monologue. The language is simple; the tone used in “Infant joy” is optimistic and tender, while the tone used in “Infant sorrow” is pessimistic and bitter. They are contraries. In the first song there are two stanzas, the lines are short and there are: Repetitions: “Sweet joy..Sweet joy”; line 6-8-9-12. Archaisms: “thee…” They give a childlike quality to the language. In the second song there are also two stanzas, the lines are long and the rhyme scheme is: AA BB CC DD, these rhyme caplets. There are: simile : “like a field..” in the line 4; Alliteration; “My mother…” in the line 1… Run-on-line or enjambement :”Bound..” in the line 7-8 It's very original that Blake writes in parallel the songs of these collections because express each one the opposite of the other. Neliana Pollari 4B