Blake’s Birthday

Today is the anniversary of the birth of William Blake.


I first encountered Blake’s artwork at the Tate (now Tate Britain) when I was a college student. I arrived early each week for a class, because I loved to sit in one particular gallery and look at the works by Blake. I dreamed that one day I might be able to sit in that particular gallery by myself, undisturbed, alone with the Blake paintings, able to view it from any angle possible, absorbing the atmosphere and letting the work seep into my very being. It was only later that I read Blake’s poetry. I may have been attracted to his works at first because of the colors that he used, or the fantastical subjects, but I think it may have just been an overall recognition of Blake’s genius that was embodied in his art.

Here are some links in honor of Blake’s Birthday:

Elohim Creating Adam The first Blake I remember seeing

You can browse the Tate collection for Blake’s work here.

The Preface to Milton aka “Jerusalem”

And, no tribute post to Blake would be complete, without Patti Smith singing In My Blakean Year< (That's Eddie Vedder to her left, Johnny Depp to her right on stage). There are probably better videos of Patti singing this, but I like this particular one.

2 responses to “Blake’s Birthday

  1. To see the world in a grain of sand,
    heaven in a wildflower,
    to hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
    eternity in an hour.
    Wow, amazing, I haven’t tried to remember that stanza from Blake for twenty years, but it came back. Now if I can only remember where I left my car keys, or even my wallet (my wallet is more important though). Thanks for celebrating one of my favorite poets (I don’t have many).

    • I don’t remember my keys either most days, but, if knowing that Blake’s words are true, I can remember to see the world in a grain of sand, then I’m okay.