Friday, April 04, 2014


Blake's attitude toward children is clearest in these lines from Songs of Innocence:
Songs of Innocence,  (E 15)
SONGS 24, Nurse's Song                

"When the voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,                 
My heart is at rest within my breast
And every thing else is still"

British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Blake loved the joy, sweetness and exuberance of children.  He recognized that when children are protected from stress and abuse, they display a unique closeness to God. He wanted children to be unrestrained, free to be as God meant them to be: vehicles of imagination. He found that their play and laughter subdued the cares of the world.

His appreciation for the qualities of children led him to use children to symbolize productive, creative unblemished entities elsewhere. All that came from man's imagination became his children whether it was thoughts, designs, words or loves. The products of man's imagination were to be beloved, cherished and enjoyed as precious children. 
Blake thought that the appreciation and understanding he felt for children was reciprocated. He put great effort into producing images and poems which would please children and encourage them to continue to to see the world 'through' their eyes not 'with' their eyes, as reflections of the heaven from which they came.

Letters, To Rev Dr Trusler, (E 702)
 "But I am happy to find a Great Majority of Fellow Mortals
who can Elucidate My Visions & Particularly they have been
Elucidated by Children who have taken a greater delight in
contemplating my Pictures than I even hoped.  Neither Youth nor
Childhood is Folly or Incapacity Some Children are Fools
& so are some Old Men.  But There is a vast Majority on the
side of Imagination or Spiritual Sensation"

Annotations to Berkley, (E 663)
  "They also considerd God as abstracted or distinct from the
Imaginative World but Jesus as also Abraham & David considerd God
as a Man in the Spiritual or Imaginative Vision
     Jesus considerd Imagination to be the Real Man & says I will
not leave you Orphanned and I will manifest myself to you   he
says also the Spiritual Body or Angel as little Children always
behold [is] the Face of the Heavenly Father"  
Matthew 23
[37] "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 

Luke 18
[15] Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
[16] But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God.
[17] Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."

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