“Holy” Thursday?

I am an avid fan of William Blake’s work, and love the juxtaposition of messages in his two famous poetry collections, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. As today is Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday, and April is National Poetry Month, I thought it only appropriate to share with you his Songs of Experience poem “Holy Thursday”. After reading this, I invite you to read the version he wrote in his Songs of Innocence collection – it has quite a different connotation and message! This poem can be found here.

Holy Thursday

Is this a holy thing to see
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduced to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?

Is that trembling cry a song?
Can it be a song of joy?
And so many children poor?
It is a land of poverty!

And their sun does never shine,
And their fields are bleak and bare,
And their ways are filled with thorns:
It is eternal winter there.

For where’er the sun does shine,
And where’er the rain does fall,
Babes should never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.

— William Blake

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. AJ Barlow
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 23:44:20

    I love me some William Blake. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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