The Lamb
This old post by Leanne made me think:
(12-07-2011, 06:53 AM)Leanne Wrote:  ....  When I first read Blake in school, I hated him -- I thought his poems were far too simple, very rigid and a little bit pompous.  I was very impressed with obscurism as a teenager Smile 
Original thread here:

I don't really understand why I like Blake so much. 

For example:
'Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?'

and later,
'gave thee clothing of delight,
softest clothing, wooly, bright,
gave thee such a tender voice
making all the vales rejoice'

has such beautiful music about it. But the words themselves are so simple, so plain. It's almost as if anyone could have written it.
There's a similar problem in chess. If you look at the games of Paul Morphy in the 19th century today, you can pretty much anticipate all of his moves. Coming to Alekhine in the 1910s and 1920s, it's harder to do that. By the time you're with Tal and Fischer, it's very hard to do that. And when you come to Kasparov and Carlsen, it's another level. That came from standing on the soldiers of giants.

But with poetry, is it true that Ted Hughes or Philip Larkin, or Dylan Thomas, not to mention more recent eminences, could have written The Lamb?
I could have written The Lamb. You could, too. Most of us here can. Not to diminish Blake's power or anything, but at their most basic words are just words. I think the power and the skill comes from the moment -- being a monkey on a typewriter that actually writes what one writes at the right time, in the right place, to the right audience, with the right feeling, etc. So I think most of us could have written The Lamb, but only Blake could have written *The Lamb*, nah mean? He wrote at the romantic period in the heart of a nascent colonial power, he was impoverished enough not to be a pompous ass but privileged enough to be able to illuminate his manuscripts, he was either mad or a proper fool-for-Christ, etc. I think, aside from the simple choice of words and meter, those things are what make this poem. And if there are any lessons for us here, it's keep things simple, keep things political, religion and madness are not things to be discarded, and don't be a butthole xD
There's a Vonnegut quote I think in slaughterhouse where he's describing a painting on a wall, one color with a single gold strip, he was going on about how simple it was and anyone could have done it. But really, only the artist had taken the time and consideration and effort to put that gold strip on the painting. Vonnegut of course explains it better.

But then we get to bananas and duct tape, elephant dung on mother Mary, and quit art altogether
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches

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