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So, Wifey & Tor are taking an English Lit class.

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  • Tor Hershman <rev_tor@hotmail.com>
    I know, we have an unfair advantage what with being old enough to have met Blake or Burns. Well, anywho, I just finished this weeks assignment. I decided to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 20, 2003
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      I know, we have an unfair advantage what with being old enough to
      have met Blake or Burns.
      Well, anywho, I just finished this weeks assignment. I decided to
      wirte my answeres as poems.
      I thought someone might need a distraction from 100% boredom, so here
      are the questions and responses, for your amusement.

      Week 2
      Question 1--As your textbook points out, Songs of Innocence and Songs
      of Experience "represent the world as it is envisoned by what [Blake]
      calls 'two contrary states of the human soul'" (37). But it's not
      quite as simple as this. The poems in Songs of Innocence are often
      ironic; they follow the simple forms of children's literature, but
      (for example) the child-reader of "The Lamb" (45) is sophisticated
      enough to realize that Christ is Agnus Dei, or the Lamb of God (see
      line 14). Another example would be "The Chimney Sweeper" (46), the
      last line of which seems like a childish assurance of consolation for
      those who suffer, though it can also be read as an ironic accusation
      of those who simply ignore the plight of chimney sweeps as well as
      those who use the promise of a happy afterlife to persuade young boys
      to accept early death (for an explanation of why chimney sweeps died
      young, click here. If you want to read about what life was like for
      poor children even in the 19th century--Blake was born in mid-18th
      century and died in 1827--click here.) Anyhow, some of the poems in
      Songs of Innocence are repeated, in a darker mood, in Songs of
      Experience. Examples are "The Lamb" (45) and "The Tyger" (54), the
      two "Holy Thursday" poems (47, 51), the two "Introduction" poems (43,
      49), the two "Chimney Sweeper" poems (46, 52), etc. (There are
      others, too.) Choose one set of two matching poems and analyse the
      differences and similarities. Look at (1) the images used to convey
      meaning (2) the meaning conveyed (3) the structure of the poem--
      length, rhyme, anything else--even meter, if you know anything about


      "The Chimney Sweepers" by William Blake,
      seems a good two - to analyze rake.

      They both use the AA BB meter quite well
      when they speak of the tears & fears - heaven or hell.

      Four lines per stanza, is what I did see.
      Though each of the poems ends differently.

      The first ends with lads in a fearless delusion.
      The other with knowledge of church/state collusion.

      Far be it from me, to try and out rhyme William Blake
      but "dark" to "work," is like serving chocolate with hake.

      Poem one speaks of "An Angel who had a bright key,"
      but two knows that maggots rule all eternity.

      At dawn, the youths set out with a warm slight swagger.
      At eve, returning, with bloody black lung stagger.

      Worthless parents, one a slaver - the other dead,
      poem number two has both of them, dead in the head.

      Poem one's refrain – is to dutifully train,
      fear – do disdain, most often – no fear/no brain.

      The other shows a young mind, toiled & toyed,
      striving for joy, but profoundly annoyed.

      Question 2
      --Compare (find similarities) and contrast (find differences) between
      Blake's "Sick Rose" (52) and Burns' "A Red, Red Rose" (115). Talk
      about how the central metaphor (the rose) is used in each poem. In
      which poem is the rose more symbolic? Which poem seems more open to
      interpretation by the reader and why? Click here for a short analysis
      of the problems presented by "The Sick Rose."

      {answer 3}

      In Blake's poems the rose is used
      from awe to greatly abused.

      It could be in the work "The Sick Rose,"
      menstruation is that which ends her woes?

      "The invisible worm" could be a sexual abuser,
      an ill mind, a rampant, practically rabid, sperm cruiser.

      A relative or acquaintance, on the loose,
      so empty of warmth that It must spread abuse.

      The young maid knew of fertile rhythm.
      To a man her pleasures she would give him.

      But she never went so sexually wild,
      as to inadvertently produce a child.

      This explains the young girl's monthly jubilations
      bringing relief like liquid ruby excretions.

      But some interloper destroyed her corpuscular lunar synchronization
      by a covert carnal bellowing psycho cyclonic criminal insertion.

      But, "A Red, Red Rose" is an entirely different matter.
      Unless "The Sick Rose" is what came after.

      Perhaps Blake knew of Burns' lover, so wrongfully defiled,
      transformed "Newly sprung" to "Life destroy" child.

      Let us hope the destruction around Burns' "Bonnie lass"
      was only a daisy crushed by her ass

      as Burns mounted her in a field, festooned flowered commotion,
      inspiring red rose lyrical notions.

      Question 3--Compare/contrast Blake and Burns. Blake was only 2 years
      older than Burns, and so they wrote during the same period and might
      have been influenced by similar things. Were they? What, if anything,
      do they have in common? In what ways are they different. When you
      read the poems assigned from both, how are you affected? Think about
      it. (Don't say that both are boring. Seriously. . "To a Louse" is one
      of my favorites.)

      {answer 3}

      Though some find poetry amazingly boring.
      It's entertaining, to those who are not snoring.

      Seriously, how rarely in class
      can an answer contain "Crushed by her Ass?"

      Now back on track, Poet comparison,
      ending my lill' lyrical digression.
      Blake writes oft of suffering & folly.
      Lamenting gales & dumb melancholy.

      Gracious Erato & her siblings, eight,
      remiss in entering Blake's peers' gates.

      To heaven's brightest bulb he also writes.
      Beseeching aid, flee those beastly bad plights.

      Joyful script to the vernal equinox.
      No doubt! In times without thermostat box.

      He drones at wee mutton, noir perhaps?
      Sacrificing verbiage, deity crap.

      The tiny baby of his "Infant Joy"
      has ceased to exist, either girl or boy.

      Blake had it wrong "The Mental Traveller"
      nor "Woman Old" is the unraveler.

      Oblivion encircles all life's show.
      Zero equals `all life' equals zero.

      Now, Burns it doth seem
      had happier means,
      he regrets undoing the mouse's digs.

      He is most content,
      treks not with lament,
      "An' fellow mortal!" with rodents and pigs.

      A louse on a hat,
      best schemes going splat,
      AAABAB flips some rhyme wigs.

      If you had a nickel,
      from straight or pickled,
      whom sang "Auld Land Syne" cognac you could swig.

      The "Tam o' Shanter,"
      is most grand banter,
      diminutive epic, in its own league.

      For A' that - A' that,
      Its been, gone and sat,
      brothers/sisters? - no, mostly Captain Queegs!

      And that is that.

      {ta da!}
      {now I'll e mail this to the Professor}
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