WILLIAM BLAKE 1757-1827 William Blake was a British poet, painter, visionary mystic, and engraver, who illustrated and printed his own books. Born in 1757 he stayed in London nearly his whole life. He began a life of crafts at the age of ten he was sent to one of the best drawing schools in England, Henry Pars'. At the age of 14, he took up the art of engraving as an apprentice. His artwork was mostly based upon spiritual happenings due to visions he had of religious figures such as the Virgin Mary. In 1783 he married Catherine Boucher, the daughter of a market gardener.
The Ghost of Samuel (1800) During his lifetime, Blake's work received little attention. When his work was read over, most people who read his it decided that Blake was confused or mad. However he is now regarded as a great artist in the fullest sense. Blake's first book of poems, Poetical Sketches, appeared in 1783 and was followed by Songs of Innocence in 1789, and Songs of Experience 1794. His most famous poem 'The Tyger', was part of his Songs of Experience. In these works the world is seen from a child's point of view.
Blake was always in a state of economic poverty, due to his inability to compete in the highly competitive field of engraving and his expensive invention that enabled him to design illustrations and print words at the same time. However, he was independent throughout his life and Blake left no debts at his death on August 12, 1827. He was buried in an unmarked grave at the public cemetery of Bun hill Fields in England. The Tyger Tyger! Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright In the forests of the night What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire? And what shoulder, and what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when they heart began to beat, What dread hand? and what dread feet? What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye, Dare frame they fearful symmetry?