Next Monday we’re starting to read one of the greatest poets and artists: WILLIAM BLAKE. To introduce the author and spend our “precious time in class” reading his poems I’m asking you to do the first part of this post, step by step.
No other poet could better embody the pure essence of Creativity, the fight against the injustices of his time and the constant wish to balance & blend the OPPOSITE FORCES of life in a PERENNIAL QUEST FOR HARMONY which will be one of main themes running through our syllabus. I’ve found a TV documentary you may find interesting. In order to help you while listening, I’ve created some True/False questions with EDPUZZLE. SIGN IN ( = register as a Student; you can choose also as Google/Gmail if you like) so that I can track your work in the class I’ve already created.
Since Blake’s message according to the documentary was: EMBRACE A WORLD OF CREATIVITY I’ve chosen this second video animation, highly visual.
You can see his paintings at this BBC Website. They’re stunning and highly impressive. Some of them refer to Dante’s Divina Commedia and you’ll find them familiar 😉
The last video is an animation. Sheila Graber was Commissioned by the Tate Gallery to create a movie for their 1977 Blake Exhibition. She was even invited down into the Sculpture Hall where she actually made the movie in public view – thus demonstrating how animation on cel ( a transparent sheet of celluloid or similar film material that can be drawn on, used in the production of cartoons) is actually done. It follows “The Poets” journey from Heaven to Hell and back… showing that, as Blake said, “Energy is Eternal delight and whether we create of destroy-it’s the same energy.”
Now I hope you’ll be ready and eager to know more about this great artist and read together in class some of his poems.
SESSION 2: Here’s the poem The Lamb from Songs of Innocence we read in class
Here’s Tyger Tyger from The Songs of Experience
In the next video by the British Library Michael Phillips demonstrates William Blake’s printing process, explaining how it relates to his work as a poet and artist. Filmed at Morley College, London.
TRIVIA & EXPANSION: I guess you don’t know who Patty Smith is, you’re definitely too young but she’s an icon of rock culture like Bob Dylan. I went to her concert in Bologna when I was your age and she was in Italy performing a few months ago. Here she reads ‘The Tyger’ during a benefit concert for the museum Wadsworth Atheneum on October 20, 2011.
If you’re a fan of the crime series The Mentalist Blake was even quoted in one of its episodes 🙂
TASK: COMMENT How did you like that animation for such a complex poet as William Blake? Does it suit his work? Which of the two poems The Lamb & The Tyger did you like best and why?