Please explain the following quote from "Introduction" in Songs of Innocence and of Experience."And I wrote my happy songsEvery child may joy to hear."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This "Introduction" to the Innocence section of this remarkable collection of poems focuses on the way in which these child-like poems were supposedly birthed and how they came about. The speaker tells us a tale of how he sees a child on a cloud who asks the speaker to play his pipe for him and then to sing his songs that make the child so happy. The child then commands the speaker to write down his songs so that "every child may joy to hear" what he has to share. It is important to focus on the way in which this poem sets the tone for this collection of poems. It starts off with something of a fairy tale feel and is written using simple language that suggests the audience consists of children. Because of this, we are led to believe that the poems that follow in the Innocence section of this poetry book will be based around similar fantastical fairy tales that present a simplistic vision of life.

This of course is only partly true. We do get child-like rhymes but the content of the poem feature various myths and half truths that seem more focused on keeping children in their place and providing metanarratives to explain their lowly position and hardships in life rather than actually being used to question and challenge their poverty and need.


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