Love and worship of Nature in Romanticism.


By Annalisa Garofalo

1.The concept of Love and worship of nature in William Blake's poetry

Blake's perception of Nature.


William Blake was a poet and an engraver. These two occupations were closely connected. In his works he expresses his ideas through his poems and enriches the images they evoke, it could be almost said that he completes the concepts contained in his verses with his illustrations, which are ideas captured by symbols. His illustrations are printed by him by the method of etching and he paints them as well. These pictures are verses in themselves, expressions that complete written words and that contribute complexity to the poems they illustrate.


Blake was a visionary. It was his conviction that only through imagination man can reach knowledge. And, through it, man can overcome his limited five senses which hinder an approach to man's awareness of his own fall. As he once said:


"The imagination is not a State: it is the Human existence itself." (Blake dixit, Wikipedia)

Blake was a man in his incessant search of God. A god understood as the creator of the universe, one being in whom good an evil converge.

(cf. / Articles/kazin/alfredblake.asp )

For Blake, Nature is a representation of the fact of human fall. For him, to be in Nature is to be isolated from the world of imagination, the world that, through exceptional and enlightening visions, approaches humankind to knowledge and to their awareness of their own existence.


And although he thought Nature was part of the earthly world, he was aware of her beauty and harmony, and that it is through Nature that man can reach the awareness of his place in the universe, in the Creation.


Blake does not feel love or worship of Nature. For him, she was part of the material world, a way to express his ideas. Ideas derived from his imagination and abstraction.

(cf. / Articles/kazin/alfredblake.asp . )

He uses Nature to frame his verses, the scenes and images these evoke, and to create a symbology which allows him to communicate his thoughts, ideas and wishes.Through Nature Blake shows us the most inner part of man, man's inner self is represented by Nature facts, becoming these facts symbols of Blake's ideas. He believes in the ability to apprehend not in the being itself. Therefore, he does not give value to what exists, and therefore neither he does to Nature, to reality.

(cf. / Articles/kazin/alfredblake.asp . )

He is aware that reality is just how one understands it. Just how one himself processes in his inner self through his imagination and his perception.

(cf. . )

Then it can be said that Blake's affection for Nature comes from her usefulness to represent real existence and being of man, his ideas and his knowledge, reached through his imagination.

(cf. / Articles/kazin/alfredblake.asp . )


Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant glee
On a cloud I saw a child.
And he laughing said to me.

Pipe a song about a Lamb ;
So I piped with merry chear,
Piper pipe that song again
So I piped, he wept to hear.

Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe
Sing thy songs of happy chear,
So I sung the same again
While he wept with joy to hear

Piper sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read
So he vanish'd from my sight.
And I pluck'd a hollow reed .

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear ,
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear

( Introduction from Songs of Innocence and of Experience )



First Milton saw Albion upon the Rock of Ages ,
Deadly pale outstretchd and snowy cold , storm coverd ;
A Giant form of perfect beauty outstretchd on the rock
In solemn death : the Sea of Time & Space thunderd aloud
Against the rock, which was inwrapped with the weeds of death
Hovering over the cold bosom, in its vortex Milton bent down
To the bosom of death, what was underneath soon seemd above.
A cloudy heaven mingled with stormy seas in loudest ruin;
But as a wintry globe descends precipitant thro' Beulah bursting,
With thunders loud, and terrible: so Miltons shadow fell,
Precipitant loud thundring into the Sea of Time & Space.

Then first I saw him in the Zenith as a falling star,
Descending perpendicular, swift as the swallow or swift ;
And on my left foot falling on the tarsus, enterd there;
But from my left foot a black cloud redounding spread over Europe .

Then Milton knew that the Three Heavens of Beulah were beheld
By him on earth in his bright pilgrimage of sixty years

(From Milton 1804, Plate 15, 37-53)



- / Articles/kazin/alfredblake.asp

An Introduction to William Blake by Alfred Kazin



William Blake (1757-1827) Romantic Natural History© by Ashton Nichols, 2000, 2006



Wikipedia. The Free encyclopaedia. Article on William Blake.



Introduction from Songs of Innocence and of Experience





These websites were used the last week of October 2006.


3. Wordsworth and his Vision of Nature

By Mª Anrantzazu Sarrió Chaqués

4.. Coleridige. Frost at Midnight

By Tania Sendra Ferragud

5. Byron .

By Bárbara Cortés Martínez.

6. Percy Bysshe Shelley.

By Inmaculada Sanchis García-Astilleros

7. J. Keats.

By Carmen Mora Vives



Academic year 2006/2007
© a.r.e.a./Dr.Vicente Forés López
© Mª Elena Mármol Rodríguez
Universitat de València Press