A very nice poetry collection both for its texts and for the whole structure. The poems are often catchy, sometimes similar to children rhymes; the structure is based on the contrast between the innocence and the experience songs.
The former have an optimistic vision and are set in a bucolic frame; they reveal faith in God and in the World:
“For Mercy has a human heart;
Pity, a human face;
And Love, the human form divine:
And Peace, the human dress.
The experience songs instead have a completely opposite idea, darker and disenchanted:
Cruelty has a human heart,
And Jealousy a human face;
Terror the human form divine,
And Secrecy the human dress.
the experience and the growing up let the optimistic and disillusioned children view disappear.
Some poems are opposed one to the other giving so the sharp opposition between the two collections; an example are “The lamb” and “The tiger”, two antithetical animals but created by the same hand, as to underline the fact that is impossible to have only positive events in life.
The latter of these two poems is sometimes referenced in other works: in Alan Moore “Watchmen” an entire chapter is based on this text and the drawings are consequently symmetric with respect to the central point of the chapter itself (mathematically a central symmetry).
TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
The e-book free version is available for example in the Gutenberg Project.
* Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake – ★★★★☆
*I read this book in English