Flowers of love in William Blake’s Songs of Experience

Alexander Averin Art - from annacatharina.centerblog.net

Alexander Averin Art – from annacatharina.centerblog.net

Flowers are traditionally associated with love, for instance men offer roses to the women they love. Also symbolism attaches to each flower a peculiar quality, usually one considered as feminine (such as purity). Now flowers are also linked to death; ancient Greece associated the white asphodel with death, mourning and afterlife, this flower was planted near tombs; today, in several European countries, the incurve chrysanthemum symbolizes death and is used for funerals or on graves. CONTINUE READING…

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William Blake: A Little Girl Lost

Frantisek Kupka - The little girl with a ball (1908) - from Painting of the Day by Hugo Martel

František Kupka – The little girl with a ball (1908) – from Painting of the Day by Hugo Martel (www.astro.phy.ulaval.ca)

The visionary poet and painter William Blake (b. 28 November 1757, d. 12 August 1827) went largely unrecognised during his lifetime, but he is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. In the poem A Little Girl Lost, published in Songs of Experience (1794), he envisages a future where children and adolescents will freely enjoy nudity and love, and the religious condemnation of these pleasures will cause indignation. He would have been dismayed to notice that 220 years after publishing that poem, things have not much progressed in the Anglo-Saxon world. CONTINUE READING…