person standing with arms and legs outstretched surrounded by flowers, leaves, and little stars

Songs of Innocence and of Experience

by William Blake
Start Free Trial

Write a brief note on Blake's representation of innocence in "The Lamb". "The Lamb" is one of the poems of innocence of William Blake.

Expert Answers

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

The Songs of Innocence poems represent the writer in the days of his youth, when he was innocent of the knowledge that the world moved in cycles, from light to dark to light; the companion pieces in Songs of Experience voice his later realizations.  The combination of poems depict...

See
This Answer Now

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

Get 48 Hours Free Access

 

The Songs of Innocence poems represent the writer in the days of his youth, when he was innocent of the knowledge that the world moved in cycles, from light to dark to light; the companion pieces in Songs of Experience voice his later realizations.  The combination of poems depict the human condition fully.  Blake equates innocence with youth:  “On a cloud I saw a child,” “Little Lamb, who made thee?” , “My mother bore me,” etc. By using natural landscapes, flowers, etc., he echoes one of the main themes in other Romantic poems:  We are born pure and uncluttered by earth’s  “toys,” and life forces us to experience the higher universal truth: change, cycles, growth.  He is reminding the reader: “You, too, saw life differently when you were young and innocent; now with your experience of life’s lambs and tigers, you are invited to return to the joy, the appreciation of nature, that you once knew so well”  "The Lamb" is particularly striking because Blake refers to Jesus' name, "the Lamb of God,"  thereby stressing the God-made-man miracle that forms the basis of Christianity, and equating our innocence with His.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team