Describe in detail the poem "Infant Sorrow" by William Blake.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

William Blake's poem "Infant Sorrow" is an eight-line poem taken from his collection Songs of Experience. The poem is written from the perspective of a baby being born into the world, which is usually (hopefully!) a joyous occasion. Yet as the title implies, Blake focuses on negative emotions. "Infant Sorrow" is a demonstration of the darker side of childbirth, where none of the parties involved - not even the baby - are happy.

The poem is composed of four rhyming couplets divided between two stanzas. The first stanza sees the baby being born:

"My mother groand! my father wept. / Into the dangerous world I leapt. / Helpless, naked, piping loud, / Like a fiend hid in a cloud."

Right from the start, we can tell that the parents are not happy about the birth of their child. We're not sure exactly of the reason, but the second line, referring to the "dangerous world" that the baby now inhabits, gives us a clue. The parents know that the child is being born into a cruel, harsh world and lament...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 829 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team