William Blake Industrial Revolution

June 26, 2017
William Blake s Chimney

William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

William Blake and Thomas Hardy
On the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution began in the 18th- early19th centuries and played an important role on the alteration of industry and life in England; a great number of small farms were replaced by cities, goods were being mass produced at a rapid rate, the economy was strengthened, and the social class structure shifted. However, with all the glory came gloom, certain social classes became horribly affected by this great change, such as being economically exploited, and individuals from these social classes protested against this revolution; two poets, William Blake and Thomas Hardy used their poetic talents to craft poems that protested the effects of the Industrial Revolution in England, and both poems, William Blake's, "The Chimney Sweeper, " and Thomas Hardy's, "Ruined Maid, " were told through the dialect of a member of the underclass/economically exploited.In William Blake's, "The Chimney Sweeper" there is one speaker; a young, abandoned child whom was sold by his father at a very young age, "When my mother died I was very young. And my father sold me..." This speaker tells the story of living an economically exploited life as a chimney sweeper during the industrial Revolution. In Thomas Hardy's, "Ruined Maid, " there are two speakers, two young ladies, one who has left farm life and has ventured into the city, "At home in the barton you said thee and thou, And 'thik oon, ' and yjeas oon, ' and 't' other'; but now..." and the other who still resides on the farm, "Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks."...more

The Chimney Sweeper
William Blake

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!"
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

PictureThere's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved, so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins & set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

The Ruined Maid
Thomas Hardy

"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?" -
"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.

— "You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!" -
"Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined, " said she.

— "At home in the barton you said thee' and thou, '
And thik oon, ' and theäs oon, ' and t'other'; but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compa-ny!" -
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin, " said she.

— "Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!" -
"We never do work when we're ruined, " said she.

— "You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!" -
"True. One's pretty lively when ruined, " said she.

— "I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!" -
"My dear — a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain't ruined, " said she.

The video - offered by BBC in its Let Poetry Into Your Life Series - brings William Blake alive in a playful yet serious rendition of a football signing which stops London in its tracks. The poem, often called Jerusalem, is commonly interpreted as a critique of the industrial revolution and its "dark Satanic mills." The idea is that Jesus, prince of peace and minister of love, would do things differently. Christian theologian, John Cobb, agrees. He doesn't think Christians need to appeal to Jesus to respond constructively to our need for a different way of living. He thinks Christians can join others and appeal to the deeper hopes and better angels of humanity. These angels emerge out of a love of life itself. Here's how he sees things:

Toward a Humane, Sustainable
Post-Industrial Economy

The most important revolution in history is the industrial one. Prior to it, there had been many important changes in the way of life of masses of people, but the capacity of people to produce goods and services in an agricultural economy had not varied greatly over time. In almost all societies the masses of people lived on the land at a subsistence level, while a few gained wealth by siphoning off what was more than needed for the subsistence of the farmers. This surplus supported life in towns and even cities, where a middle class of artisans, merchants, and professionals developed alongside an urban proletariat. A few lived in great luxury. In general, the limited availability of food for the poor played a primary role in preventing rapid population increase.

What was discovered in the eighteenth century was that the same number of workers could produce a great deal more. The early focus was on the production of clothing and furniture and household goods and tools and machines. It turned out that by organizing workers in assembly lines and supporting them with energy from coal, production per hour of work could be vastly increased. There could be abundance of goods that had formerly been scarce and their price could be greatly reduced. What had formerly...

Source: www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org
A salute to William Blake by Patti Smith at the Robert
A salute to William Blake by Patti Smith at the Robert ...
GRIN - London during the Industrial Revolution
GRIN - London during the Industrial Revolution
Dead Man, William Blake poetry.
Dead Man, William Blake poetry.
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