Blake: The Complete Poems

Blake: The Complete Poems

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William Blake (1757 - 1827) is one of the great figures in literature, by turns poet, artist and visonary. Profoundly libertarian in outlook, Blake's engagement with the issues of his day is well known and this - along with his own idiosynratic concerns - flows through his poetry and art. Like Milton before him, the prodigality of his allusions and references is little short of astonishing. Consquently, his longer viosnary poems can challege the modern reader, who will find in this avowedly open edition all they might need to interpret the poetry.


W. H. Stevenson's Blake is a masterpiece of scrupulous scholarship. It is, as the editor makes clear in his introduction, 'designed to be widely, and fluently, read' and this Third Edition incorporates many changes to further that aim. Many of the headnotes have been rewritten and the footnotes updated. The full texts of the early prose tracts, All Religions are One and There is no Natural Religion, are included for the first time. In many instances, Blake's capitalisation has been restored, better to convey the expressive individuality of his writing. In addition, a full colour plate section contains a representation of Blake's most significant paintings and designs. As the 250th anniversary of his birth approaches, Blake has perhaps more readers than ever before; Blake: The Complete Poems will stand those readers, new and old, in good stead for many years to come.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 960 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 52.83mm | 1,089g
  • LONGMAN
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 3rd New edition
  • col. Illustrations
  • 1405832800
  • 9781405832809
  • 454,921

Back cover copy

William Blake (1757-1827) is one of the great figures in literature, by turns poet, artist and visionary. Profoundly libertarian in outlook, Blake's engagement with the issues of his day is well known and this - along with his own idiosyncratic concerns - flows through his poetry and his art. Like Milton before him, the prodigality of his allusions and references is little short of astonishing. Consequently, his longer visionary poems can challenge the modern reader, who will find in this avowedly open edition all they might need to interpret the poetry.



W. H. Stevenson's Blake is a masterpiece of scrupulous scholarship. It is, as the editor makes clear in his introduction, 'designed to be widely, and fluently, read' and this Third Edition incorporates many changes to further that aim. Many of the headnotes have been rewritten and the footnotes updated. The full texts of the early prose tracts, All Religions are One and There is No Natural Religion, are included for the first time. In many instances, Blake's capitalisation has been restored, better to convey the expressive individuality of his writing. In addition, a full colour plate section contains a representation of Blake's most significant paintings and designs. As the 250th anniversary of his birth approaches, Blake has perhaps more readers than ever before; Blake: The Complete Poems will stand those readers, new and old, in good stead for many years to come.



W. H. Stevenson worked on the first edition while Professor of English at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he also conducted the only known performance in Nigeria of Donizetti's opera, 'l'elisir d'amore'. Later he was Full Professor at Boston University, USA, and head of the Department of English at Calabar, Nigeria. He has also taught at Leeds and Edinburgh Universities.
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Table of contents

CONTENTS

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgements viii

Note by the General Editor ix

Preface xi

Chronological Table of the Life and Work of William Blake xv

Abbreviations xxiii

POEMS

1 Poetical Sketches3

2 Poems written in a copy of Poetical Sketches 40

3 Songs from An Islandin the Moon 41

4 All Religions are One and There is No Natural Religion

5 Songs of Innocence 53

6 Tiriel 74

7 Thel 93

8 The Marriage of Heaven and Hell 101

9 The French Revolution 124

10 A Divine Image 143

11 Poems from the Notebook, c. 1791-2 143

12 Visions of the Daughters of Albion 172

13 America187

14 Songs of Experience 208

15 Europe 223

16 The Song of Los 241

17 The First Book of Urizen 248

18 The Book of Ahania 269

19 The Book of Los 278

20 Versus written with illustrations to Gray's Poems 285

21 Verses written c. 1798-1802 286

22 Vala, or The Four Zoas 287

23 `When Klopstock Englanddefied' 469

24 Poems in letters (1800) 470

25 On the Virginity of the Virgin Mary and Joanna Southcott 474

26 Poems to Mr. & Mrs. Butts 475

27 Notebook drafts, c. 1804 478

28 Milton 487

29 The `PickeringManuscript' 580

30 To Tirzah 594

31 `A fairy skip'd' 595

32 `Grown old in love' 596

33 To the Queen 596

34 Miscellaneous Notebook Verses, c. 1807-9 597

35 Miscellaneous Verses, 1809-12 608

36 Jerusalem, the Emanation of the Giant Albion 623

37 For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise 849

38 The Everlasting Gospel 853

39 The Ghost of Abel 869

Appendix: Doubtful and Spurious Attributions 873

Index of Titles and First Lines 876

Index to Notes 886

Index to Prose Quotations
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Review quote

"Blake is for strong minds...but not to have read him is to have missed one of the most rewarding experiences in English literature; and this is by far the best book to read him in." Victor Price, BBC

"All in all, the Stevenson text surpasses its predecessors in its lucid comprehensibility and should win a wide number of readers." Times Literary Supplement
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About William Blake

W. H. Stevenson is retired Professor of English at Calabar University, Nigeria.
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Rating details

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3 7% (1)
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