Tag Archives: William Blake

“It is a pity that the poet should be compelled to impart interest and force to his subject, instead of receiving them from it.” — poet and critic Matthew Arnold

“My poems represent, on the whole, the main movement of mind of the last quarter of a century, and thus they will probably have their day as people become conscious to themselves of what that movement of mind is, and … Continue reading

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“Thy soul was like a Star and dwelt apart” — William Wordsworth on John Milton

Milton was born on this day in 1608. Although he left Oxford without completing his degree, he remained a thinker, a propagandist/pamphleteer, a scholar till the end of his days. The isolated poet, focused on self and personal emotion, would … Continue reading

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“Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.” — poet/engraver/visionary William Blake

“I mean, don’t you think it’s a little bit excessive?” “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. William Blake.” Pause. “William Blake?” “William Blake!” “William Blake???” “William Blake!!!” — Bull Durham William Blake was a poet virtually … Continue reading

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“Sunlight on a broken column.” It’s T.S. Eliot’s birthday.

Poets like William Carlos Williams and Hart Crane both said that they needed to forcibly divorce themselves from Eliot’s influence in order to be able to write. His language and influence had that strong a pull. Too much pull. His … Continue reading

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“When I aim at praise, they say I bite.” — Alexander Pope

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! -— Alexander Pope, from “Eloisa to Abelard” Alexander Pope was born on this day in 1688. He was so huge … Continue reading

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Bookshelf Tour #4

Poetry is important to me. My collection is small but each volume is loved, read, dipped into, used constantly as references. Six Centuries of Great Poetry: A Stunning Collection of Classic British Poems from Chaucer to Yeats, edited by Robert … Continue reading

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The Books: The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake

Daily Book Excerpt: Poetry Time to leave behind The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry (all posts here), and move on to the next book on my shelf, which is The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake, an enormous … Continue reading

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November 17: “Where man is not, nature is barren.”

Excerpted from Christopher Morley’s A Book of Days: Being a Briefcase packed for his own Pleasure: NOVEMBER 17, TUESDAY 1931 The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, William Blake!

He was a poet (virtually unknown in his own lifetime), and also an engraver (I’ve put some of his startling work in the extended entry – but if you want to see more of his work, check out this link). … Continue reading

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“enthusiasm or rather madness”

Dear Sir, excuse my enthusiasm or rather madness, for I am really drunk with intellectual vision whenever I take a pencil or engraver into my hand …. — William Blake, letter to William Hayley, Oct. 23, 1804

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