“I know that This World is a World of IMAGINATION & Vision.”
“The Nature of my Work is visionary imaginative.” --- William Blake
？ William Blake (1757.11.28–1827.8.12) was an English poet,
painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age.
？ Often called a romantic poet or a forerunner of Romanticism in England, because his poetry shows some features of romantic spirit; he is opposed to neo-classicism, and his poetry is marked by imagination, feeling and originality.
？ Religiously a dissenter; politically a radical, sympathetic to the American and French revolutions and to the spirit of freedom. Considered eccentric and incomprehensible in his time; but in 20th c recognized as one of the greatest of English poets. Today, he is known both for his poetry and his drawings of Biblical subjects, his illustrations of Dante and other artistic works. Both an artist and a poet.
？ Blake ,the son of a London haberdasher？杂货商，！was a strange,
imaginative child. William did not attend school, and was educated at home teached by his mother. The Blakes were Dissenters, and are believed to have belonged to the Moravian Church. The Bible was an early and profound influence on Blake, and would remain a source of inspiration throughout his life.
？ At age of10, he entered a drawing school and later studied for a time at the school of the Royal Academy of Arts.
？ At 14, he apprenticed for seven years to a well-known engraver, James Basire , read widely in his free time, and began to try his hand at poetry.
？ At 24, he married Catherine Boucher, daughter of a market
gardener. She was then illiterate, but Blake taught her to read and to help him in his engraving and printing.
？ When the demand for his work slackened, Blake in 1800 moved to a cottage at Felpham, on the Sussex seacoast .
？ 1803,he moved back to London, determine to follow his “Divine
Vision”though it meant a life of isolation, misunderstanding, and poverty.
？ 1809, his one great bid for public recognition, a one-man show put on ,proved a total failure, which made him almost compete obscurity.
？ He died in his home at his seventieth year.
Artistic Points of View
？ Contempt for rule of reason, opposition to classical tradition of 18th century and cherishing individual’s imagination
？ Recognize the existence of good and evil
？ Think it wrong to separate body from soul in an individual being
Major Literary Works
; Poetical Sketches (1783): his earliest poems, full of joy, laughter, love and harmony
; Songs of Innocence (1789): present a happy and innocent world, though with its evils and sufferings
; The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790): his first prophetical work and most important prose work; explore the relationship of the contraries
; Songs of Experience (1794): present a world of misery, poverty, disease, war and repression with a melancholy tone
; Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (1820): his longest illuminated work; expound his theory of Imagination
His Positions in English Literature
； The most extraordinary literary genius of his age
； A Pre-Romantic or a forerunner of the Romantic poetry of the
； 1) His lyrics display all the characteristics of the romantic spirit (natural sentiment & individual originality).
； 2) He influenced the Romantic poets with recurring themes of good and evil, heaven and hell, knowledge and innocence, and external reality versus inner imagination.