Introduction: Blake is a mystic poet. He is guided by his instinctive passion. His poetry reflects his vision. By using poetic imagination, he goes beyond what the senses alone can reveal.
Blake’s Poetry: As a poet of the soul, Blake defies all laws of logic. He expresses everything through subtle symbols with his poetic genius. His poetry is that of the mind. It is abstract in content but concrete in form. Its passion is that of imagination, its emotion is that of thought, and its beauty is that of ideas.
Blake’s Vision: As an inspired poet-prophet, Blake possesses a four-fold vision. His vision is imaginative. It makes eternity a living reality to the human mind. This is the vision that sees everything at once-Present, Past and Future. His vision is private and pastoral, with a Christian emphasis.
Imagery: Blake’s poetry is rich in imagery. His imagery is the product of his vision. His images
are not traditional. Rather they are the outcom his private experiences, his mysticism.
Allusion: Blake’s poetry is marked by allusions to he Bible and Christ. He draws freely from his own understanding and interpretation of religion.
Empathy: Blake had a special feeling for everything around him. Out of this, grew his empathy (93e). His poetry reflects this quality.
Dialectical Thinking: Blake’s thinking is essentially dialectical. It depends on the interaction of contradictory or opposite forces. Naturally, the states of innocence and experience become contraries of primary concern in his poetry.
Innocence and Experience: Innocence is unaffected by worldliness or repression. It is bright with the promise of discovery. On the other hand, experience keeps eyes closed to the light. Innocence believes and so sees. Experience doubts, and so is blind.
Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience: Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience are two complementary anthologies of poems. They present his ideas and vision of innocence and experience. The poems in Songs of Innocence are introduced and sung by a piper and in Songs of Experience, by a bard. The piper and the bard are two voices and two characters of the same persona. The contraries of innocence and experience can generate a new insight. This contradiction is therefore, a creative force.
Conclusion: To sum up, Blake’s poetry is marked by creative opposition of contrary states of the souls, a new poetic vision, use of private symbols and imagery, original thinking, empathy, and a new style of expression. It has opened up a new horizon for the poets of the Romantic Age.