William Blake (1757- 1827), one of the so called English Pre-Romantic poets has his own special place in Literature. He was a visionary, a religious poet who enjoyed his private contact with the divinity and who gave the readers a special portrait of humanity. In his Song of Innocence and of Experience ( 1789) Blake depicts childhood as a time of pure innocence, which unfortunately is not immune to the corrupted world and its institutions. This world of the grown up invades the world of infancy, turning it into the world of “experience,”. Experience is not else that the loss of childhood vitality, and the beginning of a state of life in which man faces fear and inhibition, social and political corruption, and the various oppression of Church, State, and of the ruling classes.
Blake told his story also with his drawing, pictures and paintings: he was an engraver and visual art was his main means of expression. His poems are images of life, of creature, metaphor of what life means.
Here is an example of one of his Illuminated pages: the poem The Lamb is a sort of nursery rhyme, of lullaby for children, made of questions and answers about Christ’ life and his task among human beings. Opposed to The Lamb is The Tyger: a succession of questions about the nature of a creature who was made by the same hand who made the lamb, the same hand which created a mild and weak animal, created a cruel, violent beast .