Author(s): William Blake
'How can the bird that is born for joy / Sit in a cage and sing?'
A selection of Blake's most haunting verse, including 'The Songs of Innocence and Experience'.
One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.
William Blake (1757 - 1827) was the son of a London hosier. Having attended Henry Parr's drawing school, he was apprenticed as an engraver to the Society of Antiquaries in 1772 and later was admitted to the Royal Academy. He married in 1782 and published his first work, Poetical Sketches, in 1783. The first of his 'illuminated books' was Songs of Innocence in 1789. Blake's work over the next twenty years chart the refining of his ideas and beliefs, from a recognition of repression in Songs of Experience to his epic works Milton and Jerusalem whihc present a renewed vision of reconciliation between humanity.