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(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

William Blake
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an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry has led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". Although he lived in London his entire life except for three years spent in Felpham he produced a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God", or "Human existence ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Truly, My Satan, thou art but a Dunce,
    And dost not know the Garment from the Man.
    Every Harlot was a Virgin once,
    Nor can'st thou ever change Kate into Nan.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise (Epilogue, l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems [William...
  • I see every thing I paint in this world, but everybody does not see alike. To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful propo...
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. letter, Aug. 23, 1799. The Letters of William Blake (1956).
  • ''For where'er the sun does shine,
    And where'er the rain does fall,
    Babe can never hunger there,
    Nor poverty the mind appall.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. Holy Thursday (l. 13-16). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (...
  • Want of money and the distress of a thief can never be alleged as the cause of his thieving, for many honest people endure greater hardships with fortitude. We must therefore seek the cause elsewhere ...
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. letter, Aug. 23, 1799. The Letters of William Blake (1956).
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Comments about William Blake

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  • William Goldman (3/17/2014 9:48:00 AM)

    I hate to lay myself open to the charge of pedantry; nonetheless in the poem London, line 3 should read And mark... rather than A mark... - which, when you think about it, makes no sense, does it?

  • A S (1/16/2014 11:59:00 AM)

    I really admire the combination of both visual and poetic art that happens in Blake's original publications of his poems. I am always surprised at how people tend to overlook them. There are great copies of the illustrations at http: //www.blakearchive.org/blake/

  • Shyam Kishore Mukherjee (11/26/2013 5:30:00 AM)

    As a poet I admire and like all the creations of William Blake. Going through the poetry of him transform me to another world. I like to read other works of him.

  • Wahab Abdul (11/20/2013 7:46:00 AM)

    most acclaimed poet in the world by reputed critics of the world.. i am liking him too much...

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