Innocence vs Experience

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Innocence vs. Experience All creatures are born innocent until they encounter experience. When reading William Blake’s poetry from Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, one becomes familiar with his interpretation of innocence and experience. Innocence means, “freedom from sin or moral wrong” while experience means, “knowledge or wisdom gained by what one has observed or encountered” (, vol. 11). Many of Blake’s poems emphasize the innocent aspects of natural human understanding prior to the misrepresentation and alteration of experience. Many of the poems from Songs of Innocence are written from the perspective of a child. Poems from Songs of Experience are written from the perspective of adulthood. Both perspectives of childhood and adulthood are equivalent to that of physical, mental, and emotional growth. Poems from Songs of Innocence are written in a more simple form while poems from Songs of Experience are more complex. The poems from Songs of Innocence rhyme and allow one to recall their days of childhood when reading them. There is a feeling of freedom in this group of poems. These poems allow one to form a positive image while the collection of poems from Songs of Experience is the opposite. Ignorance may be a form of innocence. The speaker in Blake‘s poem “The Lamb (Greenblatt, p. 83) is a child. The child poses a question to the lamb asking where it came from, “Little Lamb, who made thee” (Greenblatt, p. 83 l. 1)? There is a sense of sincere curiosity in the child’s question. The child apparently does not know the answer to this question as a result of a lack of experience. The child turns the original question asking where the lamb came from into a rhetorical question “Little Lamb I‘ll tell thee, Little Lamb I‘ll tell thee! He is called by thy name, For he calls himself a Lamb“ (Greenblatt, p. 83-84 l. 11-14). The innocence
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