The sick rose and the Blossom. William Blake In Songs of Innocence and Experience Blake compares and contrasts the mechanized, urban world with the natural world. At the heart of this is the effects that civilized man measured up against man in a state of nature. Innocence relates not just to childhood in the individual but what has been lost or deformed in mankind by the civilizing forces of society. In the sick rose and the blossom the theme is love, both of the heart and the body.
In the blossom there are two stanzas which present two different birds. Both birds appear under leaves so green and happy blossom, and both birds are ‘near my bosom’ The difference lies in the sparrow’s success in reaching the cradle. This has been suggested is further explained by the illustration which accompanies the poem, the green, winged figure represents the expectant mother. The whole of the illustration is said to represent the moment of creation of new life.
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The robin is sometimes seen, with his redbreast, as a symbol of a broken heart. This would explain why he is sobbing sobbing and has not reached the goal of procreation. The sick rose is also has the theme of love, but of love corrupted by social ritual Love is always presented as pure and natural by poets and novelists. The Visionary’ Company: Reading of English Romantic History Harold Bloom The bed has to be found out’ because it is concealed, and it is already a bed of crimson joy’ before the worm comes to it.
The elements of deliberate concealment and of sexual self-gratification make it clear that the poem attacks the myth of female flight and male pursuit, with its sinister pattern of sexual refusal and consequent destructiveness Bloom is saying the poem artifices the usual myth of love as being about a women running away with a male pursuing her, this is a common male/female stereotype of sexual/ romantic behavior, Bloom says that Blake is criticisms this image as deceitful, the woman runs away, hoping to be pursued and by this behavior urges the male on to sexual violence The worms love is a dark, secret love, and hence destroys life, yet the worm comes invisibly in the night and by agency of the howling storm because a bright open love would not be received. Neither worm nor rose is truly at fault, for Nature has concealed the rose bed and so et the male and female generative contraries against one another.
The poems force is in its hinted human parallel, where concealment is more elaborate and the destructive rape-marriage a social ritual Symbolism Night secret Storm= violence Rose = women, love, romance, female sex organs etc worm= destructions, the grave etc, (worms don’t actually eat roses, so much for Flakes love of nature) Rose bed = bed The blossom has been interpreted in many different ways, there is no consensus on what it means, but usually is thought to refer to the joy of recreation and motherhood as being the rightful outcome of intercourse. The evidence for this reading is the cradle which is a symbol for childbirth and motherhood and the illustration which accompanies the poem which has a figure dressed in green who is nursing a baby. The difficulty is trying to decide what the two birds represent and why is the robin sobbing. In the procreation theme, the robin would be sad as it has not achieved its goal or procreation. It is difficult however to say for sure whether the two birds are suppose to represent two different aspects of the same theme or not.