The Difference Between Innocence and Experience in Poetry

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The Difference Between Innocence and Experience in Poetry

"The idyllic world of Innocence is exposed as naÃve and foolish by the subversive cynicism of Experience." The world of Innocence is happy and loving, and can be compared to Arcadia and the Garden of Eden, the place of true innocence and lack of knowledge. However, Experience is actual reality of what living in the real world is actually like, where people have experienced the problems in the world. They are aware of these problems due to experience. However, the world of Innocence encompasses no such problems, and so Experience sees it as "naÃve and foolish", as it is not prepared for life. Whereas Innocence is all about the love of
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These, however, are discarded by Experience with poems, such as A Poison Tree and Infant Sorrow, which introduce the themes of sadness and revenge.

Innocence is often symbolised by happiness and this can be seen in The Introduction where the piper seems very happy as he is "piping down the valleys wild". He pipes his "songs of pleasant glee" when he sees a child, who is also happy, as shown with his laughter. The child is almost angelic as he is seen on a cloud and this vision of a child, represents the divine, as this is an angelic and heavenly vision of humans, which is only where the divine can be seen. The imagination for Blake is the divine and so this child is certainly a vision of an angel. Not only does the child represent innocence, but the piper then pipes "a song about a Lamb", lambs being both the Lamb of God and of innocence. Both these symbols of a lamb and child therefore represent both innocence and Jesus himself. General happiness and joy, is replaced by sadness and grief, while the unity of the divine and humans is replaced with a fear of God, as shown in The Little Girl Lost.

There are also many references to crying for joy, which can often be seen in the poems of Innocence, as it represents unadulterated happiness: "he wept to hear…he wept with joy…I stain'd the water clear." This seems to
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