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FutureStarrThe Blossom Blake images
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William Blake [1757-1827] was one of the most influential poets and artists of his day. He himself was influenced in early life by the Bible and later by the American and French Revolutions.
Blake's prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the language". His visual artistry has led one modern critic to proclaim h William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake's work is today considered seminal and significant in the history of both poetry and the visual arts. (Source: www.goodreads.com)William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake's work is today considered seminal and significant in the history of both poetry and the visual arts. (Source:www.goodreads.com))
William Blake’s poem “The Blossom” has been the topic of much debate concerning its relation to Blake’s treatment of sexuality. While some critics deny the poem’s reference to sex, those who cite it as a sexual poem interpret it as a metaphorical consummation, with the masculine “sparrow” penetrating the feminine “cradle narrow” (Blake 11). While this innuendo may seem contrived when considering only the poem itself, it is much more plausible when the verse is considered alongside the print that accompanies the text. The flaming design that makes its way up the right-hand side of the page can clearly be interpreted as a phallus, and at its tip are happy, youthful-looking, winged creatures, perhaps representative of the offspring that could result from the sexual act. The female is also present in the image, described in the commentary on Blake’s publication as “sitting contentedly…distinguished by her green dress and large angel’s wings, since she, with her prospective motherhood, is an ideal figure to the male during the act of generation” (135). I, however, disagree with such an interpretation of the image. First of all, the maiden is pictured in a cool, green colored dress, set apart from the rest of the design, which is composed of warm colors. Thus, not only does her color make her an anomaly within the print, suggesting that she does not belong near the phallus, but the coolness of her green dress also removes her from the passion of the rest of the scene. Furthermore, the maiden is miniscule in size in comparison to the phallus upon which she is perched, suggesting the dominance of the male as opposed to any type of equal relationship between the sexes. In addition, her gaze is directed downward, suggesting that she is not content, but rather feels dejected, as if “sobbing” in lament after the sexual act (11). While the presence of the maiden and the phallus in the print image, by my interpretation, strongly hint to the intended innuendo of Blake’s verse, I do not believe in the ultimate optimism of other critics, but rather read the poem and its print as a commentary on the lack of congruity between the sexes during intimate acts. (Source: rcgroup3.wordpress.com)