“ Infant Joy ” and “ Infant Sorrow ” are parts William Blake ‘s aggregations of poesy, the former in “ Songs of Innocence ” while the latter in “ Songs of Experience ” . As Blake frequently did with his verse forms, the images he created for these verse forms help the reader better understand the significance of these verse forms and better convey any emotion the reader could experience from reading them. One of the most noticeable things about the rubrics of the verse forms and the aggregations in which they are contained is that they prepare the reader for the tone of the verse form. “ Infant Joy ” and “ Infant Sorrow ” have been constructed by Blake to demo two points of position for a individual event. The first describes the artlessness and joy of childbearing. The latter a more realistic position from the parents. “ Infant Joy ” and “ Infant Sorrow ” both use two stanzas. “ Infant Joy ” uses the rhyme strategy ABCDAC for the first stanza, and ABCDDC for the 2nd. “ Infant Sorrow ” uses AABB as the rime strategy for both stanzas.
These verse forms can clearly be seen as Romantic due to the topic of childbearing being one of the most of import parts of Nature. It was a topic that crossed all societal lines and at many times was the initial cause of rifts in partnerships, such as ordered matrimonies meant to solidify an understanding between two households which may hold had high societal standing. The infant mortality rate was so high that many people did non trouble oneself to call their kids until it was evident that the kid would populate into adolescence. It can besides be said that these verse forms trade with the Individual every bit good, being that childbearing is so a really personal experience. The two verse forms besides portion the babe as the focal point, and it seems that the babe is the storyteller in “ Infant Sorrow ” , although it could be thought that the storyteller is really the grown up version of the babe remembering the event of birth. “ Infant Joy ” has a subject of unfulfilled potency and gives the reader a expression into the felicity that comes over the parents during this juncture. “ Infant Sorrow ” , on the other manus, holds a darker intension, in which the parents know that any hopes they have for a happy life for their kid is desirous believing at best.
The subject of unfulfilled potency in “ Infant Joy ” is foremost presented by the duologue in the verse form, in which the kid is merely called Joy. The significance of this is that parents can be thought to be enjoying in their newfound felicity and joy and for a brief minute they think of the possibilities that face their kid. It should be noted that the parents are non really mentioned in the verse form, but it could be suggested that the female parent is speaking to her newborn kid. As Robert Essick points out, Joy is emphasized with the description of the kid ‘s smiling face ( 110-111 ) .
In “ Infant Joy ” the female parent seems to sing to the kid, a vocal of artlessness, in “ Infant Sorrow ” the female parent and the male parent express torment and unhappiness, a vocal of experience. Some might reason that moaning and crying are non vocals, but John Grant argues that it could every bit be argued that these are vocals of pragmatism, vocals of hurting, vocals of experience ( 54 ) .
There is a really apparent sense of hope in “ Infant Joy ” , with many simple adjectives which describe the scene. In contrast, “ Infant Sorrow ” generates a sense of quiet desperation with the manner it uses emotion. The illustrations Blake created for each of the verse forms reflect these ideas. The illustration for “ Infant Joy ” has been painted in bright, vivacious colourss with the simple fluxing forms of flowers as a background. The flower represents the female parent ‘s uterus, protecting the kid. The presence of the angel is an allusion to the scriptural Annunciation. Stuart Peterfreund has interpreted this spiritual overtone, in concurrence with the repeated usage of “ I am ” in the verse form, as an allusion to Exodus 3:14 where God says “ I am that I am ” ( 109 ) . Blake could be connoting that the baby is godly and therefore deity is “ joy ” .
In “ Infant Sorrow ” , the parents can be thought to hold come back to world and now understand that despite their best wants, their kid has a really black hereafter and any hopes or dreams they have for their kid are meaningless. The kid is described as being “ helpless ” , meaning the feelings that have now replaced the felicity they felt earlier. They have no semblances of illustriousness for their kid, and could perchance even feel commiseration for the kid since it has no thought what awaits it. The attach toing image for “ Infant Sorrow ” depicts the female parent be givening to her kid, but her face does non convey a sense of felicity. The verse form focuses on the horror of the universe, and the physical act of the baby ‘s birth. Unlike “ Infant Joy ” , “ Infant Sorrow ” does advert the kid ‘s male parent, albeit in a minor function, “ My female parent moan ‘d! my male parent wept/Struggling in my male parent ‘s custodies ” ( 1,5 ) . The linguistic communication used in “ Infant Sorrow ” bases in blunt contrast with that found in “ Infant Joy ” . The frequent repeat and monosyllabic words create a really childly and guiltless ambiance:
Sweet joy, but two yearss old.
Sweet Joy I call thee: ( 7-9 )
The usage of vowel rhyme gives the verse form a song-like quality. The riming pair with “ smile ” towards the terminal of the verse form besides aids this presentation, and reinforces the pleasant ambiance with simple joy and felicity. In “ Infant Sorrow ” , nevertheless, Blake makes more usage of riming pairs but in this instance, they create a more baleful tone in the verse form. Another contrast between “ infant Joy ” and “ Infant Sorrow ” is the image which accompanies “ Infant Sorrow ” . John Bender and Anne Mellor depict how the image bears about no resemblance to “ Infant Joy ” , save the hair colour of the character ‘s hair. The smiling face of the female parent is replaced with that of a female parent who realizes the adversity that awaits her kid. Blake has removed the safe womb-like construction of the flower and replaces it with an ordinary room with no overlooking angel ( 297-319 ) .
One of the things that make Blake ‘s verse forms so effectual was that he frequently created his verse forms in braces, with both verse forms coming from different points of position. There is no uncertainty that many may hold seen his verse forms as insurgent, as is apparent with his verse forms which focus on God and the Creation, but Blake ever did his best to do the reader position a individual topic from an facet which the reader might hold ne’er considered otherwise. Blake uses this device highly good with “ Infant Joy ” and “ Infant Sorrow ” . It about seems similar Blake sets up the reader for letdown with the initial felicity of “ Infant Joy ” , making an emotional moving ridge that mirrors the passage that takes topographic point between the two verse forms. Using this authorship manner, Blake surely created some of the most thought provoking Hagiographas during his period.
Bender, John, and Anne Mellor.A Emancipating the Sister Arts: The Revolution of Blake ‘s “ Infant Sorrow ” . Baltimore: John Hopkins U, 1983. 297-319. Print.
Essick, Robert.A William Blake in a Newtonian Universe: Essaies on Literature as Art and Science. Oxford: Oxford U, 1989. Print.
Grant, John. Blake ‘s Poetry and Designs. London: W.W.Norton, 1979. Print.
Peterfreund, Stuart.A William Blake in a Newtonian Universe: Essaies on Literature as Art and Science. Norman: Uracil of O P, 1998. Print.