William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)


He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Thursday, February 05, 2015

Topic of this poem: joy

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Read poems about / on: joy, sun, life, rose, kiss

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Comments about this poem (Eternity by William Blake )

  • Veteran Poet - 1,115 Points Godfrey Morris (2/21/2015 7:14:00 AM)

    Such a powerful write. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 2,106 Points Hans Vr (5/14/2010 8:16:00 AM)

    Upon reading this wonderful poem I was immediately carried along the thought path, to one experience. I am living near the sea and one day I noticed a wonderful branch of a casuarina tree hanging almost horizontally, framing an astonishing view of the blue South China Sea.

    A thing of beauty that moved my soul. Almost every day I took a long look and swallowed the beauty. But not long after I had first noticed it, the wonderful branch had come down in a storm. A thing of beauty is not a joy forever. I realised that many of the wonderful things in our lives are only temporary. They are ours to enjoy, to kiss it while is passes by. At the same time it is good to realise that it is flying and not permanent. And after it is gone, it is our duty to go and find more and other things of beauty, sometimes looking alike but never the same, sometimes more beautiful, sometimes a little less.

    Since the above mentioned branch came down, other branches have grown giving me similar delights.

    This piece of wisdom is easy to apply to amazingly beautiful branches of trees. It makes me a bit nervous if we start to apply it to the babyhood of our children, than the toddlerhood and so on until they will be out of the house. It makes me shiver to think in these terms if it comes to our intensest of human realitonships. I hope so much to be the first to die in my own small cluster family.

    I can detach with quite some ease from beautiful things, and find others in their place, but I cannot get detached from my famly members. I am not so sure whether at all this would be desirable. Even though some Buddhists believe we should be detached from everything and everyone? ? ?

    I remember when my mother died I was heartbroken, completely. And 15 years later, the sadness of the loss is still with me. It is however not a bitter sadness, but one filled with grace and thankfulness, a sadness that somehow give me meaning; a motivation to live acoording to the beautiful values that were so dear to her. If I had managed not to be attached to her, I think I would miss this dimension of my life.

    What do you all feel? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Gary Kuss (4/2/2007 11:50:00 PM)

    This is a magical poem. I was introduced to this poem via the 'School of Philosophy' when we were discussing 'attachment'. As human, we are all too ready to take the credit for our actions, whereas we need to take the attitude that we just simply act. Be willing to act and then detach yourself from the outcome of the action. This is what the poem is telling us to do in its lovely style of verse. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Sangeetha Pandaram (5/24/2006 12:34:00 PM)

    I just love this poem... its strange it just gets better with age. I recall memorising it when I was a teenager... and now years later, it begins to have so much meaning. (Report) Reply

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