The Schoolboy – William Blake (text) The School Boy - Wikipedia. A hand illustrated version of "The School Boy" from Copy B of Songs of Innocence currently held at the Library of Congress.  "The School Boy" is a poem written in the pastoral tradition that focuses on the downsides of formal learning.
It considers how going to school on a summer day "drives all joy away". The boy in this poem is more interested in escaping his classroom than he is with anything his teacher is trying to teach. In lines 16-20, a child in school is compared to a bird in a cage. Meaning something that was born to be free and in nature, is instead trapped inside and made to be obedient. Poem transcription I love to rise in a summer morn, When the birds sing on every tree; The distant huntsman winds his horn, And the skylark sings with me: O what sweet company! But to go to school in a summer morn,- O it drives all joy way! How can the bird that is born for joy Sit in a cage and sing?
How shall the summer arise in joy, Or the summer fruits appear? Sources The Schoolboy. The representation of children in William Blake’s poetry. The School Boy William Blake Analysis. The Schoolboy - Imagery, symbolism and themes » Songs of Innocence and Experience Study Guide from Crossref-it.info. Imagery and symbolism This poem depends upon three inter-related images, the schoolboy, the bird and the plant.
All three are dependent upon, or vulnerable to, the way in which they are treated by human beings. Schoolboy - The image of the child here focuses on his nature as free and unfettered. He is associated with the spring as a time for growth, freshness and playfulness. As such, the child represents the playful, free nature of the creative imagination. Bird - The bird imagery allows for the comparison between the free child being imprisoned in school and the songbird being caged. We tend to think of the sky-lark as the primary singer, with whom people might sing along. Birds are also images of freedom. Extract from Skippy Dies by Paul Murray. “Can it be a song of joy? / And so many children poor?”: William Blake and the Child. William Blake’s engraving accompanying “A Cradle Song” in Songs of Innocence (1789).
The legend goes that Blake developed the method of engraving he used in Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience after witnessing a vision of his dead brother Robert, who told Blake what he should do. Blake sketched the illustrations on a copper plate before adding another chemical, which would erode certain parts of the plate, leaving an outline behind. After the plates were printed, Blake or his wife, Catherine Blake, would add color to the engraving print by hand. William Blake, engraver and poet, often included children in his radical poems. Although not widely read during his lifetime, he is now recognized as part of the Romantic literary canon. Blake incorporates the speech of children into his poetry as well. Stephanie Metz Select Bibliography Benziman, Galia. The Essence of Childhood in William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. By Mallory Sweeney Sweet joy I call thee; Thou dost smile.
I sing the while Sweet joy befall thee -William Blake, Songs of Innocence, “Infant Joy” When faced with a screaming child, or more specifically, when holding one on your hip–one might resort to perhaps some of the most ridiculous (however, creative) measures of pacification. I was in this situation not that long ago, but even more memorably, one particularly chilly spring evening as a sophomore in high school. The tot in question: my music teacher’s little girl. I more recently encountered the collection in a children’s literature class which blended the works of several authors with concepts of child psychology and developmental studies.
Writing in London at the end of the eighteenth century into the beginning of the nineteenth, Blake’s ideas and conceptions were not always popular with his contemporaries. The lines are cheerful and a child easily can recognize the positivism–laughter, images of greenery, and a beating heart. 10 Reasons to Take Learning Outside the Classroom.