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Clod and the Pebble, The Analysis

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

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"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 |||

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The use of imagery in the poem was to exaggerate and emphasize the views of Love through the eyes of the two main characters of the poem, the 'Clod of Clay' and the 'Pebble'.
In the first line of the first stanza, whilst the Clod was speaking, "Love seeketh not itself to please" gives the image of the Clod, having being the young and inexperienced character, seeing love as the more sensitive and considerate version within the poem. Therefore, the Clod is seeing love in its 'Agape' version.
However, in the first line of the third stanza, whilst the Pebble was speaking, "Love seeketh only self to please" gives the image of the Pebble, having being the older, wiser and more experienced character, seeing love as a selfish desire and nothing more.

| Posted on 2015-11-26 | by a guest

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pebble rejoices in loss of others while clod rejoices in its own loss

| Posted on 2015-03-26 | by a guest

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Clod= unconditional love
Pebble= selfish and superficial love

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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