A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Summary

Nancy Willard


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

A Visit to William Blake's Inn—attractively printed on speckled paper to simulate an ancient text—consists of a brief prose "Introduction" followed by some seventeen gently whimsical poems which imagine the famous writer and engraver William Blake (1757-1827) as the keeper of a magical inn in which angels make the beds, dragons are bakers, cows sleep on clouds, sunflowers move about the various rooms and arrange themselves, and tigers and owls are numbered among the guests. The overriding appeal of this book is not its plot, theme, or characterizations but the playful lyricism of the poems themselves. An accomplished poet for adult and young adult readers alike, Willard ably captures the vivid and wide-ranging imagination of a seven-year-old, a dream-like imagination unfettered by logic. Children and young adult readers will be charmed by these warmly resonant poems with their elliptical references to Blake's works. They will be charmed as well by the evocative artwork of Alice and Martin Provensen which accompanies and illumines Willard's text.

(The entire section is 166 words.)