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William Blake-- Innocence & Experience

             William Blake's poems The Divine Image and Nurse's Song both contain elements of innocence and experience. These two characteristics are easiest to see in the poems" human references. Using a human relationship between poem and reader, Blake is effective in portraying innocence and experience. In Nurse's Song, the reader is able to relate to a person watching children play, and almost share the speaker's sense of uneasiness about the coming night. The reader is also aware of the human feeling of being helpless in The Divine Image. Through a human relationship to these poems, and by striving to find them, readers are able to pick out images of innocence and experience. .
             Innocence is seen in The Divine Image as someone in "distress," as indicated in lines two and fourteen. Humans feel the power of the unknown in cases of distress, which indicates innocence even if the distressed isn't an innocent person. We also see innocence in lines seven and eight, where Blake writes, "And Mercy Pity Peace and Love, Is Man his child and care." The dependency of children on their parents, especially very young children, is an example of pure innocence. While innocence is indicated in those lines, we also see experience through the actions of mercy, pity, peace, and love of the parents for the child. One must be mature to exhibit those characteristics. The same goes for the speaker in Nurse's Song. As previously mentioned, the speaker seems to cherish the children's innocence while watching them play outdoors, and possibly reflect upon her own lost innocence. This is a sign of experience, as people relate to their lost youth as they grow older. The speaker also shows her experience through her concern for the children, as night approaches in the second stanza. In both poems, the relationship of child to adult is used to convey images of innocence and experience. .
             While experience is seen in Nurse's Song, the general feeling readers have of the poem is one of innocence.

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