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Infant Sorrow Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Blake Type: Poetry Views: 2716

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My mother groaned, my father wept,

Into the dangerous world I leapt;

Helpless, naked, piping loud,

Like a fiend hid in a cloud.



Struggling in my father's hands,

Striving against my swaddling bands,

Bound and weary, I thought best

To sulk upon my mother's breast.






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

.: :.

the poem infant sorrow is about the shifting of a baby from his mother's womb to a world that is dangerous and helpless.swaddling bands represent the difficulties the baby has to face.

| Posted on 2014-11-18 | by a guest


.: :.

Well, I'm doing a psychoanalytical perspective with this poem. My three points would be the newborn representing the 'id' personality in Freud's structural model; swaddling bands representing the constraint of the baby's society and also how since Christianity influenced Blake, the father-figure could be God and his swaddling bands are his predetermined plan for the child; my last point would be the fact that the newborn is a fiend hidden in a cloud and that means that we are all born with sin (we are tainted rather than innocent) and that is due to Blake's (again) influence from religion. Such a tough thing to do..

| Posted on 2014-01-01 | by a guest


.: :.

Essentially, the poem is about the helplessness of mankind in the dangerous world that it has created.
We are brought into this world vulnerable and without choice – “helpless, naked” and we continue to live with the same mentality throughout our lives: “striving against my swaddling bands”.
Eventually we give up and surrender into a negative acceptance of our fate; allowing ourselves to be governed by others “Bound and weary I thought best to sulk upon my mother’s breast”.
However, it could be argued that Blake is saying we have a choice whether or not to live our lives like this through using the word “I\" (\"I thought best ..”
The line “like a fiend hid in a cloud” may suggest that although innocent when brought into the world we are quickly corrupted and by the time we grow up and the mist clears the fiend is revealed beneath.
The poem is typical of Blakes hatred of authority and the constrains which the majority of the population living under the church, state and ruling classes are faced with.
His ideas reflect an idea that seems prominent in lots of Romantic work: that childhood is a time and a state of protected \"innocence,\" but not immune to the fallen world and its institutions.

| Posted on 2012-09-19 | by a guest


.: :.

I looked for a deeper meaning and have convinced myself that the poem is a christian allegory for satan losing the battle for heaven. The mother then becomes a metaphor for hell while the father is an obvious metaphor for god. I\'m not so sure if this has any accuracy or relevance, but when reading Infant Joy after this I seemed to think the poems were representative of Satan and Archangel Michael. Read the following translation into the allegorical meaning:
Hell groaned, god wept,
Into the battle for heaven I leapt;
Defeated, with nothing left, I went down in flames
A devil lost in the clouds (heaven)
Struggling against god\'s will
Striving against my fate
I resigned to the fact that I had lost
And retreated to my new home, Hell.
Please respond to this, I would love to know just how wrong I am!
(P.S, I am NOT a christian.)

| Posted on 2012-03-11 | by a guest


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In blake\'s poetry positive and negative cohesist.in this sense we have to read infant joy and infant sorrow not in contrast but as complementary.infant sorrow can be read in two different way:from one side we can see it as a societal allusion (the poet was a romantic and a strong opposer to the industrial revolution and the mistreatment of children in the factories) from the other as a comment to the french revolutn which disappointed man english people with the horror and the death that carried with

| Posted on 2012-01-27 | by a guest


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throughout life we are restricted, weather in the church, in the home, or in the work force. We live in a society filled with restrictions. These restrictions are represented here in William Blakes poem \"Infant Sorrow\". We are brought into this world bound, stuggling and live with this same mentality throughout our lives.

| Posted on 2011-03-21 | by a guest


.: :.

to me , this poem shows the struggle and helplessness of a baby when born,also by using a regular rhyme scheme to keep the readers interest and also...poo

| Posted on 2011-03-08 | by a guest


.: :.

It took me a few days and then finally reading other views of Infant Sorrow. I saw this poem in the beginning of being told by the child as an adult describing the arduous labor of the mother and the father weeping as he sees her struggle. The child leapt from a warm womb and into a world he/she did not know. As we know helpless, naked, and piping loud describes all babies being born. Like a fiend hid in the clouds describes to me a child angry and red-faced wrapped in swaddling after being cleaned up. He is struggling in his fathers hand\'s trying to get to his/her mother, no matter how hard it tries it can\'t go anywhere and after complete exhaustion he begins to sulk upon his mothers breast in order to calm himself down.

| Posted on 2011-03-01 | by a guest


.: :.

One thing that generally goes unnoticed in this poem is the use of the past tense to describe this birth. The speaker is no longer a baby: he has had some experience of the dangerous world and he turns back to see the dreadful moment when - like a fiend, not like an angel - he came to life. The verb leapt suggests his exhausted mother\'s last push after a painful labour, with no tender arms to take and cuddle this creature. The baby found itself half stifled with the poor bandage wrapped around its tiny body and its father\'s hands to hold him tight. He tried to free himself, as hard as he could, but his attempt was vain and in the end he could only surrender and \"sulk upon ... mother\'s breast\".
The struggle is symbolical of any attempt of contrasting tyrannical oppressive power (the father, the institutions, the church itself...) and the final moment of surrender is the negative acceptance of one\'s destiny.

| Posted on 2010-11-10 | by a guest


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I thought the poem was very deep and emotional. It is showing the other side of life behind all the happiness and joy. This is demonstrating that sometimes parents do want kids, the kids aren't always happy with their life and all of the worlds hurt.

| Posted on 2010-02-23 | by a guest


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This poem belongs to the “Songs of Experience” by William Blake. It is the counter poem of “Infant Joy”. The poem suggests that childbirth is not always joyful and happy but can bring sorrow and pain. The response of the child itself may be different from that of the child in "Infant Joy" because of the behavior of the parents. In this poem the parents seem depressed by this unwanted birth, and this may be reflecting on the child itself.
This poem could be considered as a work of societal allusion. It is well known that William Blake was strongly opposed to the industrial revolution; similarly, he was opposed to the mistreatment of children by rich factory owners. When the infant is being brought helpless and naked to the “dangerous world”, this world refers to the industrial revolution. The “swaddling bands” represent the fat that infants are born with, initially to insulate them and provide some form of defense against their inherent vulnerability. Blake utilizes this as a symbol of temporary security. While the child is young, he/she will be nurtured and protected by their parents. But once the child matures, they will find a life devoid of any joy or pleasure, such as working in the factories with no security. The child decides to “sulk” upon the breast of the mother’s child, almost in a manner that allows the child to enjoy what little comfort it has left. This poem is powerful in the sense that it outlines the desperate, sorrowful situation facing all ill-mannered children once they begin to grow and become strong machine operators.

| Posted on 2009-02-08 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is very short Blake want to trasmese the joy when a baby born; but this poem Infant Sorrow is the opposite of Infant Joy.

| Posted on 2008-06-09 | by a guest


.: Infant Sorrow :.

In this poem, Blake describes the beginning life of an infant. It can be very hard, and parents can become hinderances.

| Posted on 2008-05-17 | by a guest


.: Analysis :.

This poem by Blake is what I would consider to be a work of societal allusion. It is well-known that Blake was a Romantic; he was vehemently opposed to the industrial revolution and he was likewise opposed to the mistreatment of children by rich, despot-ridden factory-owner circles. This infant is being brought into the 'dangerous world', helpless, naked. This world is the industrial revolution. The 'swaddling bands' represent the fat that a baby is born with, initially to insulate them and provide some form of defence against their inherent vulnerability. Blake utilises this as a symbol of temporary security. While the child is young, it wil be nurtured and protected by its parents. But once the 'swaddling bands' are gone, once the child matures, they will find a life devoid of any joy or pleasure - working in the factories with no security. The child decides to 'sulk' upon the breat of its mother, almost in a manner that allows the child to enjoy what little comfort it has left. This poem is powerful in the sense that it outlines the desperate, sorrowful situation facing all ill-bred children once they begin to grow - to become able-bodied machine operators.

| Posted on 2007-11-18 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is the counter poem of "Infant Joy" in the songs of Innocence. The poem suggests that childbirth is not always joyful and happy but can bring sorrow and pain. The response of the child itself may be different from that of the child in "Infant Joy" because of the behaviour of the parents. In "Infant Sorrow" the parents seem depressed by this unwanted birth, and this may be reflecting on the child itself. The poem's forthmost message is that from the moment a child is born, they are repressed and restricted, when bought into this cold world their existence does not matter, even if the child fights against this, they soon give up in defeat.

| Posted on 2007-04-28 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is the counter poem of "Infant Joy" in the songs of Innocence. The poem suggests that childbirth is not always joyful and happy but can bring sorrow and pain. The response of the child itself may be different from that of the child in "Infant Joy" because of the behaviour of the parents. In "Infant Sorrow" the parents seem depressed by this unwanted birth, and this may be reflecting on the child itself. The poem's forthmost message is that from the moment a child is born, they are repressed and restricted, when bought into this cold world their existence does not matter, even if the child fights against this, they soon give up in defeat.

| Posted on 2007-04-28 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is the counter poem of "Infant Joy" in the songs of Innocence. The poem suggests that childbirth is not always joyful and happy but can bring sorrow and pain. The response of the child itself may be different from that of the child in "Infant Joy" because of the behaviour of the parents. In "Infant Sorrow" the parents seem depressed by this unwanted birth, and this may be reflecting on the child itself. The poem's forthmost message is that from the moment a child is born, they are repressed and restricted, when bought into this cold world their existence does not matter, even if the child fights against this, they soon give up in defeat.

| Posted on 2007-04-28 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe that this poem was written to further expose Blake's views of infancy. It is brilliantly written so that upon first reading the reader is able to grasp the overall meaning. By using images such as naked, struggeling, striving, weary, and sulking he is able to sum up what life is at some point for everyone. The fact that this poem is about infancy exposes the restriction the world presents us as a welcome gift.

| Posted on 2007-01-23 | by a guest


.: :.

this is my review of Infant Sorrow by William Blake. It is a poem and it was written by William Blake. It is very good and exceeded my thoughts of what it would be. Blake wrote it very well and he didn't even make any spelling mistakes at all. so, i would just like to say a big well done to Mr.William Blake for writing such a brilliant poem.By the way thank-you for bothering to read this post because it took me ages to write it and i truly believe that this post alone is a masterpiece. It sings brilliance and cleverness just like myself.

| Posted on 2006-05-25 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

this poem uses symbols to show how people are restricted even from the moment they enter the world. children are repressed and held back, not by society ar the state in this poem, but by the people closest to them, parents. blake speaks through the new born child and on the last two lines says how he gives up to 'sulk upon my mothers breast'. this message is showing that the restriction given to children represses them and in the end they just give up.

| Posted on 2005-05-04 | by Approved Guest




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