This is a repost of an earlier post intended to help Blake students get started:
An anonymous reader has asked that we provide more information in our posts. So I will try to explain what we are attempting to do in our Blake blog.
First we want to focus our attention on William Blake and his writing.
We are not experts but students of Blake. We follow our own interests. We are interested in sharing what we have learned of Blake and would would like to tailor our posts to the interests of the reader. We hope readers will let us know what interests them about Blake.
There have been posts which attempt to introduce the reader to studying Blake especially using the resources on the internet. The links to the text of Blake's poetry and prose, and to his graphic works are provided. A link to Larry's online book which includes a primer is also a useful tool. (These files can be electronically searched for specific topics.) Within the posts we often provide links to external files which expand the study to wider sources.
None of Blake's work is simple to understand. Beginners can start with Songs of Innocence and Experience. Marriage of Heaven and Hell grabs the attention of many with its irony. The major prophecies can be approached a little at a time rather than entire. If you are visually oriented, the visual images can be used as an avenue to draw you into reading the poetry.
Blake's body of work is large and complex. On our blog we have not attempted a systematic study. We are giving clues to solving the mystery. Analysts of Blake's work often tell us that Blake expected the reader to go beyond what was stated in the text, to perceive the underlying meaning. We hope our readers will sift through the blog posts looking for cracks or doors or highways through which they may enter Blake's mind and heart and imagination.
Reading Blake may expand your mind, nourish your spirit, or enrich your imagination; don't expect it to put money in your pocket, expand your social circle or impress your professors.
Here are some earlier posts which may help the neophyte.
I can't end without a quote from Blake as well as the picture.Liberty or Stems of VegetationMilton, Plate 50
Jerusalem, Plate 60, (E 209)
"within the Furnaces the Divine Vision appeard
On Albions hills: often walking from the Furnaces in clouds
And flames among the Druid Temples & the Starry Wheels
Gatherd Jerusalems Children in his arms & bore them like
A Shepherd in the night of Albion which overspread all the Earth
I gave thee liberty and life O lovely Jerusalem
And thou hast bound me down upon the Stems of Vegetation"