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Thread: The Divine Image

  1. #1
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    The Divine Image

    I just loved this poem. I think the way in which it is strcutured is excellent. I think there is a lot of meaning behind this poem and it feels so real.

    The Divine Image

    Cruelty has a human heart,
    And Jealousy a human face;
    Terror the human form divine,
    And secrecy the human dress.

    The human dress is forged iron,
    The human form a fiery forge,
    The human face a furnace seal'd,
    The human heart its hungry gorge.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #2
    Registered User Amylian's Avatar
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    Such simple words with an extensive, deep meanings...

    The idea of God's virtues being drifted to human beings is nice; in fact, I always had the thought that within each of a us lies God.

  3. #3
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Yes, I love Blake as a poet. His verses sound so simple, like children's songs but they convey such great ideas. Have you read the corresponding poem "The Divine Image" in Songs of Innocence? It has one verse which almost exactly compliments this poem:

    For Mercy has a human heart,
    Pity, a human face,
    And Love, the human form divine,
    And Peace, the human dress.

    By the way, the version of the poem you posted is used in Thomas Harris' The Red Dragon (of the Hannibal series) to describe the psyche of the serial killer.

  4. #4
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    I saw The Divine Image as being listed as being in Songs of Innocence, but it did not occur to me at the time that there are two peoms that both hold the same title

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    I saw The Divine Image as being listed as being in Songs of Innocence, but it did not occur to me at the time that there are two peoms that both hold the same title
    There are a lot of poems like that in the collection - the Nursemaid's song (I think that's what its called - I haven't got my Blake to hand!) is another one where there are two versions, one being positive and the other negative.

    Also, consider the two poems named Introduction - Innocence has a pastoral idyll characterised by youthful joy and natural oneness - in Experience, the figure is a powerful but alienated old man who walks a tortured earth.

    In fact, even when the titles are different, many poems have one that specifically compares to one in the other collection.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    Registered User PoeticPassions's Avatar
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    Once again, Blake posits contraries. Songs of Innocence come before we reach that point of no return... the opening of the imagination... stepping into the world, being enlightened.

    Then we have Songs of Experience... and of course, at this point, we have a much darker view on life. There is an absence of Godliness, and an introduction of vice and suffering.

    There is much to be said about this... as whole dissertations can be written on Blake and a particular poem.
    "All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours." -Aldous Huxley

    "Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires." -William Blake

  7. #7
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse
    I saw The Divine Image as being listed as being in Songs of Innocence, but it did not occur to me at the time that there are two peoms that both hold the same title
    Yes, as Lokasenna said, there are several poems in the two books that compliment one another. Another one to check out is "The Lamb" in Songs of Innocence and the more well-known "Tyger" in Songs of Experience.

    And if you can possibly get an illustrated version of the two books, they're wonderful. If not, I'm sure you can find some online. Some of the pictures are really trippy...

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