I chose to write about, “The Sick Rose,” by William Blake. I found this poem to be very interesting. It can be interpreted in many different ways. In a biography about symbolism by The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia, they point out the fact that Blake uses many words such as bed, worm, love, and joy. All of these words have a strong relationship with love and sex. However the poem is not all about love it is also about the worm that brings the disease about and destroys everything. When I first read this poem the idea of love was not the first thing I imagined. I believed the poem to be about a secret that destroyed a man’s life or possible ruined the love affair he previously had. I enjoy this poem, because it has a great deal symbolism in it. Each individual person can interpret the poem in a different way. This is truly what great literature is about.
William Blake lived a life influenced by the arts. He was encouraged by his parents to become an artist so he attended a drawing school and was later apprenticed to James Basire who was an engraver. However in his later years he attended an academy which he rebelled against. He did not agree with there, “stifling atmosphere.” After leaving the academy he became an engraver. I imagine growing up in a world surrounded by art, influenced the author immensely.
Researching this poem really opened my eyes to all the possibilities of symbolism. One word can mean so many different things. Researching also made me realize that everyone can interpret this particular poem in many different ways. It reminded me to always think outside the box. There are no limits when it comes to symbolism. There is such much meaning behind one little word. You always have to read between the lines.
"Blake, William." The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 16 April 2010. Symbolism - as in William Blake (Songs of Innocence and Experience)." The Hutchinson...
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