William Blake (1757 – 1827) is an English poet and artist who was born in Soho, London to James and Catherine Blake. William was raised in a house where the Bible was an essentiality and it was the source of his inspiration throughout his life, and he experienced visions about Godand angels which his parents weren’t glad about and from there he was called the visionary poet. Moreover, he was homeschooled till the age of ten then he joined a drawing school, after that he was trained to be an engraver and he made copies of tombs and monuments which led him to indulge into literature and especially poetry so he studied the Gothic forum to enrich his romantic senses; therefore, he became one of the most celebrated poets of the Romantic Age.
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Blake was enrolled in the Royal Academy of Art’s Schools of Design where he displayed his own artistic works, he also published his first collection of poems Poetical Sketches. During this time, he met his wife, Catherine who was illiterate and he taught her how to read and write. Catherine helped him print the illuminated poetry. William Blake is famous for his “Songs of Innocence” which show happiness and harmony, in addition to the “Songs of Experience” that reflect corruption.
In his writings, Blake prejected what he saw as the corruption of the Industrial Revolution. He was a nonconformist associated with radical thinkers, and he preferred imagination over reason. He suffered for years from symptoms of an unknown disease, however he continued to work until his death expressing no fear about life. Furthermore, he spent his last years living in poverty. Blake died on August 12th, 1827 and was buried in Bunhill Fields.
The poet is now celebrated for his famous “Jerusalem” Lyrics from the preface to his epic poem “Milton”, and it was set to music and is considered the unofficial national hymn of England. Blake did not get the acclaim he deserved in life till Alexander Gilchrist began work on Blake’s biography. The publication of the Life of William Blake revived his legacy. From his quotes “To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower/ Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour”.
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