May 2011

The Illuminated Poem

Reading William Blake as a visual poet

It seems to be agreed upon that words are the building blocks of poems. Even when those words aren’t arranged in a syntactically coherent manner, poems use words and only words to construct their tiny worlds.

Except it would seem one canonical poet disagrees with the limitation of poetry to written language. William Blake, the 18th century Romantic poet best known for his poem “The Tyger,” uses the language of imagery to convey the meaning of his work as much as he uses the English language.