by William Blake
I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear
How the Chimney-sweeps cry
Every blackening Church appalls,
And hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse
I feel this poem has great depth and meaning to it. When I read it for the first time I did feel it had a lot to do with control. I read it again and then for the third time. By this time Tom started to speak to us about the poem…thanks Tom! Tom helped us make sense of these ‘words’ in front of us and turns out this poems depth is immense. Some of the words I had to look up to make sure I really understood the poem to the best of my ability.
- Charter’d : Regulated/Mapped out/Controlled.
- Mind-forg’d manacles: This word I find hard to put into my own way of understanding.The reason is as I see this as Blake saying he hears the thoughts of others and they seem to be following rules and obeying orders yet kicking themselves in the butt everyday for doing so. Being restrained of almost everything. Wanting ‘freedom’. Yet only thinking such a thought!
- Harlots: Prostitutes/sex slave(you learn something new everyday)
The words I try to define for you and I describe only a small percentage of the horrific happenings.
This poem has a subliminal message (when read by Jen) looked at through different eyes wonderful (or not so wonderful) things can be discovered. As we discovered when our class were discussing this poem, the poem projected onto the wall behind Tom, perfect for us to have clear view of the poem and our lecturer. We had the poem on a sheet of paper too (I was scribbling notes and drawing pictures on mine) seeing the poem on the wall and not the sheet of paper revealed some ‘things’ Tom had not noticed.
An acrostic is when the beginning of each word, holds another word when read vertically.
Which explains why I have highlighted the first letter of each sentence to show you. We…well I say we..what I really mean is Jen pops her hand up to show Tom what she has discovered. Indeed she had discovered a lot more than what I thought this poem was about. I read this and felt a great deal of empathy for these citizens, after searching a bit deeper into this poem I feel Blake was using his words with poetry in such a way that you have to look deeper to really understand or even begin to understand what Blake is saying. Here is what I found out about this poem and its hidden depths.
- INAM-said to be The Land Free of Assessment.
- IIIT-control over banking.
- HEAR-this one is obvious. Blake wants us to HEAR what he can HEAR or even the whole entire world.
- BHBA-beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Found in blood and urine of persons with metabolic disorder. Sometimes caused by alcohol abuse.
This poem allows us to ‘see’ things that were not noticed the first time we read it, maybe even the second time reading it. Opens up a different view and makes me question almost every word I read.
I didn’t blog last week sooooo…….We spoke about our views on Cheating! We were asked to write a poem or prose on cheating and cheaters. I wrote a prose and a poem, rather late at night, nonetheless I did what was asked. We had to bring them to the next lecture(above)to share what we thought. We all have different views on cheating and what it means. I have been thinking about ‘cheating’ not cheating on essays or any of my work but cheating in general. What is classified as cheating?? Which brings me to …yaaay…another poem. By the way I totally love this poem. So much that I did what the poem told me to do.
You will see.
I hope you enjoy Kevin’s poem and my reply.
Steal This Poem
Take these words
Steal this poem
NO-go on now-
make it your own
Break it / Fix it
Rip it apart / Remix it
Defy my intent
until all meaning is spent
and then use your tools and tricks
to rebuild it
Cheat my meaning in ways
that make sense to YOU
Tinker against type
don’t believe my hype
I’m a painter not a poet
using words as ink as I write
I refuse to shackle this work
to paper or screen
or that nebulous world in-between
in hopes that maybe later YOU’LL appear;
watching my words tumble down the spine of my lies-
made up only to be broken / spoken / a token of truth
No, you’re no cheater
you’re a seeker
a keeper of stories in this literary landscape
just like me
So, go on:
Steal this poem
Give it a home
I’m already off writing something else
and I’ve left these words all alone
waiting here for YOU
Peace (in the poem)
A Home I Shall Give
Kevin you are a genius!!
And to thank you
I will reply….
I am a painter too
I share my eyes
and what they see,
my thoughts, my lies
and I enjoy doing it thorough…
I know there’s more to being a painter.
Much more to discover
I will steal this poem
to reshape it and make it my own.
You abandoned these words and left them here for me.
How dumb you seem to be.
Leaving these words
for someone like me.
To break it / fix it / rip it apart
Now I am remixing it
totally making it mine
and YOU are not a part!
Indeed, YOU are right.
No way am I a cheat!
I simply found these words,
just lying there
I hate to take them from YOU
all for my own
for you neglected them
you left them
without a home
They need a home
To give them a home.
Any place else but left alone.
These words just want a home.