Wednesday, November 28, 2012
English poet, illustrator and printmaker William Blake was born in London on November 28, 1757. At age 10, he wanted to become a painter so his parents sent him to drawing school. Two years later, he began writing poetry. The Bible was an early, profound influence in his life, which was marked by visions. He made a meager living as an engraver and illustrator for books and magazines. Blake married Catherine Boucher, who helped him print his illuminated poetry. In 1789 he published his most popular poems, Songs of Innocence, followed in 1794 by Songs of Experience. His later works including Jerusalem (1804-20) envision a new, higher innocence in which the human spirit and imagination triumph over reason. Pictured: Blake’s “Ancient of Days” (1794), showing Urizen, the embodiment of reason and law.