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Clod and the Pebble, The Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Blake Type: Poetry Views: 3191





"Love seeketh not itself to please,

Nor for itself hath any care,

But for another gives its ease,

And builds a heaven in hell's despair."



So sung a little clod of clay,

Trodden with the cattle's feet;

But a pebble of the brook

Warbled out these meters meet:



"Love seeketh only Self to please,

To bind another to its delight,

Joys in another's loss of ease,

And builds a hell in heaven's despite."








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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

it is not good to use the word sh** i have not sworn in my life

| Posted on 2013-01-24 | by a guest


.: :.

Blake was classified as a romantic poet. In fact, the Pebble and Clod (published in his book of experience) is best understood if we look at its counterpart \"The Little Black Boy\" in the songs of innocence. Much of Blake\'s poetry is written with an intended counterpart in his other collection of songs. In my opinion, Blake is saying that the clod, despite its innocence has the courage to love selflessly.

| Posted on 2013-01-21 | by a guest


.: :.

It seems that many people condemn the pebble while warmly embracing the viewpoint of the clod. But as usual, the superficial appearance of the poem masks Blake\'s true intent. He ridicules the clod as much as he does the pebble, getting crushed underfoot by a stupid bovine for lack of ability to stand up for itself. He is really contrasting two extremes of character, both of which he condemns. The clod is too passive, it can bring nothing into a love relationship other than it\'s hang-dog ability to serve, which the pebble brings nothing other than a will to dominate. Whereas in real life, both members of a couple must have the backbone to stand up for what they believe in, but the empathy to realize when they\'re in the wrong, and submit to their partner. So quit harshing on the pebble and blindly embracing the clod, and look deeper at Blake\'s actual message!

| Posted on 2012-03-20 | by a guest


.: :.

love = 1.clod
2.a pebble
clod x we give it something then only it will give us love in return.
i choose clod.
what\'s ur choice?

| Posted on 2012-03-04 | by a guest


.: :.

why does the clod sing it\'s message and why does the pebble warble it\'s message?

| Posted on 2012-01-24 | by a guest


.: :.

it is the poem in which there are two characters known as clod and pebble in which pebble describes love as selfish and clod describe love as selfless and also \"love is self scarifying\". but on another phrase according to pebble another meaning of love is being happy at another person\'s loss and clod is just contradictory to it.another side if we see to clod it love as heaven in the midst of misery . in this pebble thinging is love is miserable in midst of heaven.

| Posted on 2012-01-07 | by a guest


.: :.

Clod= unconditional love
Pebble= selfish and superficial love

| Posted on 2011-12-03 | by a guest


.: :.

I see this poem as a variation on \"I discuss, you argue, he rants\", or whatever version of this you\'re used to. A pebble is nothing but a hard piece of clay: I don\'t know how much geology Blake knew, but I think if he were really looking for opposites he had plenty of other options to choose from.
I like the idea that pebble = hardened innocence (clay), ie experience. Lovely, however, to choose clay, which generally represents unimaginativeness, to be the protagonist for the positive idealistic view!
More fruitful, I think, is the notion that clods and pebbles are the same thing: and that even while you\'re feeling good and altruistic about your love you can be quite impossibly self-centred.

| Posted on 2011-07-30 | by a guest


.: :.

I ask you all to take note at the arrangement of the stanzas of the poetry: there are 3. the first deals with the heavenly characteristics of Love. The second focuses on the more earthly characteristics of Love. The final stanza explains the hellish characteristics of love. Based on this, Blake has created a kind of model of the universe/world, or a hierarchy of love. Heaven on top, then Earth, then Hell. BAM! I was pretty proud of myself for seeing that one.

| Posted on 2011-01-10 | by a guest


.: :.

this is story of a clod and a pebble and in this william blake is talking about 2 different types of love. It shows how love is a 2 way bond and that you cannot just please yourself, it has to be mutaul. The clod and the pebble are opposites that attract, making this a typical yet original masterpiece. The two bounce off each other as the pebble is a hard, smooth and petit object, as where the clod is soft, squwigy substance that is maluable. Showing that the softness off the clod can ease the hardiness of the pebble.

| Posted on 2010-11-28 | by a guest


.: :.

im a A2 student...and even though i love blakes poetry im finding it really hard to interpretate....but reading over some views its beoming easier lol
s

| Posted on 2010-11-22 | by a guest


.: :.

Blake’s poem, The Clod and the Pebble is written to detail the contrasting sides of love. Within one poem, Blake reveals the two extreme sides of this love. The personification of the Clod and the Pebble allows for Blake to reveal their contrasting personalities and their attitudes towards love. The attitude of the Pebble is the complete opposite of the Clod.
The optimistic and hopeful view of the Clod is that love is altruistic, as expressed in ‘love seeketh not Itself to please... And builds a heaven in hell’s despair’. This kind of love is expressed as unconditional and sacrificial love through ‘for another gives its ease’. Further proof in the line ‘trodden with the cattle’s feet’ elucidates how the Clod of Clay is transformable, forgiving and flexible.
In stark contrast, the Pebble believes that love is selfish, ‘love seeketh only Self to please... And builds a hell in heaven's despite’. In comparison to the transformable nature of the Clod of Clay, the Pebble will always be a pebble – unchangeable and hard. ‘Joy’s in another’s loss of ease’ further explains the vanity and selfishness of the pebble.
Blake uses a variety of literary devices to convey the message of the poem, the most prominent being the personification of the Clod of Clay and the Pebble. These variables are presented as possessing human emotions, encompassed by the ability to speak. The use of metaphors is also a prominent feature of Blake’s poem. The ‘brook’ can be viewed from a geographical sense, as a small river, but also as the realm of inexperience. As this brook has flowed over the pebble for years, passing it by, the pebble has remained a pebble, innocent and unchanged. In contrast, ‘trodden with the cattle's feet’ describes how the Clod of Clay has been shaped and moulded by past experiences. Furthermore, symbolism is applied to the poem to develop the imagery associated with the context. The contrasts of ‘a heaven in hell's despair’ and ‘a hell in heaven's despite’ are perfect examples. Heaven is mythically described as a place of peace and joy, whereas hell is an inferno of evil and suffering.
This poem of Blake’s, although written in the 18th Century, is still completely relevant to today. You have those people who share the opinion of the Clod of Clay where love is unconditional and altruistic. However, is the Clod becoming a more traditional kind of love? With more and more marriages ending in divorce, has our society turned into Pebbles? The Pebble was selfish, and sought only to please itself. Are you a Clod or a Pebble?

| Posted on 2010-05-30 | by a guest


.: :.

Blake used a lot of positive language when writing the Clod's view of love; and this was possibly because the Clod's view and Blake's view of love were the same. The lines "to build a heaven in hell's despair" bring forth a Christian mindset of unselfish almost sacrificial love reminescent of Christ and his sacrifice. Also, the Clod is transformable into any shape, it can be sculpted into a divine form, whereas the pebble will always be but a pebble, and "build a hell in heavens despite" with its selfish view of love.

| Posted on 2010-05-13 | by a guest


.: :.

If i were to consider the time in which Blake lived, and the discontent he seemed to feel, it seems as though this poem could be interpreted as a sort of attack towards the 'haves', the more selfish members of society who had grown up, always lived without experiencing anything difficult or the least uncomfortable (a gently flowing brook akin to a lavish waited-on lifestyle), and that he implies the selfishness, ignorance and arrogance that such an existence can breed (we need look no further than Hollywood if we want an example). So in this way, Blake could have been contrasting this with people who have had to work hard, or been simply trampled underfoot by society, and either through their experience or in spite of it, were humbled so that they were not lost in their own sense of self-importance and greed. Perhaps Blake even considered himself a clod? Anyway,that's probably a little long-winded... oh well, I figured there's no point in not putting my interpretation out there...

| Posted on 2009-08-10 | by a guest


.: :.

To me, the message of this poem is very clear.
William Blake pointed out there are 2 diffrent kinds of love. The first is the unconditional, selfless, sacrifying one's self to better his/her loved one. This kind of love is true love at its purest form. This is the love Sydney Carton had for Lucie Manette in the Tales of Two Cities. The 2nd is the self-centred, me-first, 'you make me happy, then I will love you' kind of love which sadly is abundant among us :).
ppplll000999

| Posted on 2009-08-03 | by a guest


.: :.

To me, the message of this poem is very clear.
William Blake pointed out there are 2 diffrent kinds of love. The first is the unconditional, selfless, sacrifying one's self to better his/her loved one. This kind of love is true love at its purest form. This is the love Sydney Carton had for Lucie Manette in the Tales of Two Cities. The 2nd is the self-centred, me-first, 'you make me happy, then I will love you' kind of love which sadly is abundant among us :).
ppplll000999

| Posted on 2009-08-03 | by a guest


.: :.

Would you rather be a clod or a pebble? I choose the clod, who is able to find the good in his less than comfortable circumstances. The pebble, with soothing water flowing over him, only finds the negative on which to focus. Let's all be clods.

| Posted on 2009-05-24 | by a guest


.: :.

love combines two faces.. it is beautiful and ugly , good and bad in the same time...
the clod is selfless
the pebble is selfish

| Posted on 2009-05-15 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe that the clod represents experience, and the pebble represents innocence. If you take time to reflect on this piece of poetry, it is plainly evident throughout the first 6 lines of the poem that this tiny clod of clay has love as big as the sky for someone other than himself. Like most loves, it has to be shaped and molded and "trodden on by cattle", so to speak, to be perfect.
On the other hand, the pebble in this poem is a rock solid, cold object that only has love for itself. He puts himself on a high pedestal being from a flowing brook who has never been walked on, only caressed by a smooth and flowing current for its own comfort. It doesn't know of a love other than self love so it is innocent in that sense, but in its vanity, it believes that everyone should love it and not the other way around. It "joys in another's loss of ease", it is the EXACT opposite of the loving clod. It is vile and mean and uncontrolled in its spite of not loving anything.
Well, thats my take on it. I hope it gives you all some insight.
KM

| Posted on 2009-05-06 | by a guest


.: :.

Blake represents two different kinds of love in this poem. While the clod's love represents innocence and is altruistic in nature, the pebble's love is tainted by experience and is riddled with vanity and selfishness. The clod's love is probably Blake's idea of true love, love that is mature in its own way, love that finds pleasure in sacrificing its own comfort for its lover's happiness. On the other hand. the pebble's love is more superficial, and easily breakable. There is something cold about the 'experienced' love, which suggests that as one becomes older, and more materialistic, the innocent selflessness is replaced by a self-satisfying nature. While the clod's heart is malleable, soft and open, whereas the pebble's heart is like stone, there is not room for change. The clod love is ruled by love for another person and the pebble's love by love for its self.
z

| Posted on 2009-04-11 | by a guest


.: :.

i think the clod and the pebble means that you cant have love without hate. love is supposed to be completely unselfish but in some cases its not. simply stating that you cant have good without the bad.

| Posted on 2009-02-28 | by a guest


.: :.

As a university degree student studying Blake's poems I can conclude that this play is shit qui custosiat ipsos custos :L

| Posted on 2009-02-05 | by a guest


.: :.

I think here we see how Blake wants us to understand the essential need for contrary positions and how they contrasts each other. We see how one may not exist without the other and to find a harmonious relationship between the two polar opposites is necessary for human existence. A equilibrium is essential for the two images of love, and by extension the way in which we live our life, need compromise and cannot exist in a total state of innocence.

| Posted on 2009-02-02 | by a guest


.: :.

Blake wants the reader to consider how they themselves love others. if you love selflessly you can overcome the hardest obstacles "build a heaven in hell's despair", whereas if you are selfish you corrupt the other person in the relationship "another's loss of ease", and yourself. as it is an experience poem the view of the pebble may be a message of hope against the actual reality which faces many couples.

| Posted on 2008-06-30 | by a guest


.: Clod and the Pebble :.

I think that the clod is older and more experienced because it is looking at love in an unselfish manor and so is not desperate to please his own lust but beleives that pleasing his love in any way shape or form is much more of a pleasure.
On the other hand the pebble is priverlaged, he lives by the river ect. This may be Blake making a point that if you are greedy and selfish then you may aquire all that you wish for on earth, but this may not carry on in heaven or hell.
I think these two characters fortunes will be reversed so the clod would receive goodness.
By looking at this piece certain thoughts may spring to mind. that even if the clod is being cast out and tranpled, he is enboldened by his loves pleasure.
Thanks for reading...

| Posted on 2008-06-01 | by a guest


.: :.

As another AS level student, i feel that this is an attempt by Blake to produce another social satire. His first stanza, filled with hope and belief in the goodness of humanity, gives the impression of a rather simplistic and naive view of love. Thus, the character speaking it, the Clod, is a soft and "trodden with the cattle's feet" these naive people with similar views will be trodden on by the rest of society, with their emphasis on vanity and selfishness, highlighted by the Pebble, "of the brook", perhaps an allegory to the river of humanity, or water of life

| Posted on 2008-05-18 | by a guest


.: a geographical interpreta :.

I may be somewhat out of my depth here but could you not look at this poem in geographical terms? In terms of a river, the 'younger' particles are the bigger ones; the small particles, such as the clay, used to be young but have been eroded. In this it could be said that the pebble displays the angst young people fear, that they will never experience love and have a misguided image of its selfish nature. The clay, having experienced life, knows love has to have a selfless nature. The hell spoken of in the pebbles interpretation could be the one overcome by the clay.

| Posted on 2008-03-15 | by a guest


.: A slightly different view :.

As a man who has felt like both the clod and the pebble, I can offer my interpretation.

I see the clod as expressing the unaware viewpoint of a co-dependent (to use a modern term) person. To the clod, love is literally about being walked all over. The poet's choice of 'And builds a heaven in hell's despair' speaks clearly to me of a person who seeks fulfillment in bad situations.

The pebble, hurt by love, expresses the negative view that can come from being hurt by love. Residing in the stream can be seen as allowing life to pass one by, as the water passes the pebble by, barely interacting with its smooth surface. The imagery clearly speaks of love as an entrapment and unequal relationship.

This interpretation speaks perhaps more about me than about the poem, but I do think that there is something about the clod that is not innocent or altruistic, but rather unwise. For obviously neither view expressed by the clod and the pebble is best.

| Posted on 2007-11-30 | by a guest


.: :.

i think that th softness of the clod, as it is clay, puts forward an impression that it can be easily influenced and made to change its opinion on love, representing th earliness of oppression on children in this society portrayed. The pebble has been worn down smooth by the sea, or metaporicly the conventions of society, representing the voice of experience. the use of the word 'bind' is very forceful and gives a sense of entrappment, contrasting the idea of free love.

| Posted on 2007-05-24 | by a guest


.: :.

i think that th softness of the clod, as it is clay, puts forward an impression that it can be easily influenced and made to change its opinion on love, representing th earliness of oppression on children in this society portrayed. The pebble has been worn down smooth by the sea, or metaporicly the conventions of society, representing the voice of experience. the use of the word 'bind' is very forceful and gives a sense of entrappment, contrasting the idea of free love.

| Posted on 2007-05-24 | by a guest


.: :.

As a Belgian 2nd year Literature student, this is my opinion: This poem embodies Blakes idea of 'Innocence' as well as his idea of 'Experience', two opposite states of the human soul. The clod represents innocence; a positive view on things (in this case, love). Note also that 'clay'is soft, which also implies that it can be given shape to. (as it gets older, it will get corrupted by society. This is a recurrent theme in Blake's poetry). The pebble is hard, representing the other state of mind, Experience. It has already been corrupted by society and has lost its innocence and optimism. It thus presents a more pessimistic view on love.
The emphasis is on the pebble here, as it is mentioned last. This is of course not surprising, as the poem was published in the Songs of Experience rather than the Songs of innocence.

| Posted on 2006-01-15 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

As an AS level student, I feel that this poem has some many meanings that I can't possibly hope to write them all down ehre. One interpretation is that the reason the clod and the pebble have different views is because of their difference in situation - the clod is being trodden on and leads a pretty miserable existence. Because of this it looks to love as a hopeful and positive thing. Whereas the pebble, who has a sheltered and safe life, can afford to take a more reserved a cold outlook of love. Personally, I feel that the clod may be more experienced than the pebble. Although it has been walked all over (literally and metaphorically) and hurt by love, it has allowed itself to remain open and hopeful meaning that it gets far more out of love than the pebble which has closed itself up and refused to let anyone in, possibly as a result of being hurt in the past.


| Posted on 2005-11-12 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

Personally, i feel that this poem contains elements of both innocence and experience. The clod represents an alturistic way of life resulting in being "trodden" on. Where the clod is both metaphorically and physically soft, the pebble is hardened after years of exposure. The pebble uses those who he loves by trapping them or "binding" them for his own "delight". The clod is able to use it's selfless nature to "build a heaven in hells deapair" showing the optimistic effects on unselfish and healthy love.
-GL

| Posted on 2005-05-05 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

As alevel students studying Blake's work we feel 'the clod and the pebble' is the most indepth of both songs of innocence and experiance. The relationship between both clod and the pebble reflects on the strange circumstances of modern love. It shows how love is a 2 way bond and that you cannot just please yourself, it has to be mutaul. The clod and the pebble are opposites that attract, making this a typical yet original masterpiece. The two bounce off each other as the pebble is a hard, smooth and petit object, as where the clod is soft, squwigy substance that is maluable. Showing that the softness off the clod can ease the hardiness of the pebble. By Tommas Coldrick and Jasmine Stevenson

| Posted on 2005-04-20 | by Approved Guest




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