Describe a detailed summary of the poem "The Lamb."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Blake's poem "The Lamb" has some very strong parallels to another Blake poem, "The Tyger."  Both poems appear in Blake's work, "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience." "The Lamb" represents these "Songs of Innocence," a theme that resonates through the poem.  The gentle and sweet tone of the poem reflects a sense of childhood innocence, where there is wonderment and pure inquiry.  This is reflected in the opening lines where there is questioning about "who made thee."  The childlike timbre of the poem is continued in the "softest" "clothing of delight," and the lamb's "tender voice."  The poem seeks to provide an answer to the question of "who made thee."  The answer provided is that a merciful and benevolent God created the lamb and its sense of purity.  The speaker seeks to share in the same childhood innocence and life force that emanates in the lamb in the concluding lines of the poem.  If seen as a "song of innocence," Blake's Romanticist view of childhood emerges, as a period of authenticity and blissful uncovering of truth is its most untainted essence.  When contrasted with "The Tyger" in "Songs of Experience," one sees that vast difference between a poetic expression of childhood and adulthood.

bhawanipur's profile pic

bhawanipur | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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"The Lamb" is one of the simplest poems of Blake, both as regards the subject and the style. But it has a significant position in the "Songs of Innocence".

In the first stanza, the child  is  speaking to the lamb and it gives a  brief description of the little animal as he sees it. The lamb has been blessed with a life to feed by the stream and over the meadow. The lamb has also been endowed with bright and soft wool which serves as its clothing. Its tender voice fills the valley with joy. Thus we see a true portrait of a lamb.

In the second stanza, the poet identifies  the lamb, Christ and the child. Lamb is one of the names of Christ. Christ is as meek and mild as a lamb. Christ was also a child when He first appeared on this earth as the son of God.

He became a little child,

I a child, and thou a lamb,

We are called by His name.

The child in this poem speaks to the lamb as if it was another child. The child was extremely joyous in the company of the lamb. Because it was meek and mild like him.

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