Nature in the Songs is more complicated than a simple contrast between country and town, as we noticed in Chapter 1. In particular, we noticed that wild nature disappears halfway through the first poem in Songs of Innocence. This means that the world or outlook of Innocence is not ‘wild’ at all: it is a limited rural part of nature in which vulnerable creatures such as children and lambs are kept safe and at peace. We also moved beyond the idea that Innocence and Experience represent a story of before and after, and suggested that they are contrary perceptions of the same world. We therefore begin this chapter, an exploration of the nature theme in the Songs, with the understanding that Blake is exploring an ambiguous reality, different perceptions of truth. Looking at nature will lead us toward Blake’s concern with ‘vision’, or ways of seeing, both in the Songs and elsewhere.
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- Nature in the Songs, and towards the Prophetic Books
- Macmillan Education UK
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