William Blake: Poetical Sketches

(145 words)
  • David Punter (University of Bristol)

The Poetical Sketches are Blake's earliest poetry, thought to have been written between 1769 and 1778. Some of them, including the odes to the seasons, are reminiscent of eighteenth-century nature poetry; others, like 'Fair Elenor' and 'Gwin, King of Norway', are rewritings of ancient ballads; the 'Imitation of Spenser' is precisely what it says it is; and 'King Edward the Third' is a version of Shakespearean drama. However, Blake's distinctive themes of love and jealousy, together with very early versions of some of his mythological figures, can be glimpsed in the delicately constructed songs 'How sweet I roam'd from field to field' and 'Love and harmony combine', while the 'Mad Song' looks directly forward to the Songs of …

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Punter, David. "Poetical Sketches". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2646, accessed 30 May 2015.]