The William Blake
Innocence and Experience Online Project


1) Find two matched poems from Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. (Sorry, you can't use "The Lamb" and "The Tyger.")

Plain Text at Poet's Corner
The William Blake Archive (with color plates)

2) Copy those poems into a Word document.

3) Compose one or more paragraphs in which you discuss the ways by which these poems are both matched and different. How does the one poem seem to be of Innocence? How does the other seem to be of Experience?

4) Find Blake's illustrations for your poems. Copy and paste them into your document. Compose a paragraph in which you discuss how Blake has tried to express visually the sense of the poems.

Black and White Plates (Copyable: once you get the complete plate, click on the main illustration. A new window will open with just that illustration. Copy and paste into your document.)
Color Plates as Blake designed them (NOT copyable - but very cool to look at)


These are only for reference. They may not be exactly what Blake meant by the terms. They may only hint at what he meant. The real meaning of Innocence and Experience (for Blake) is in the poems and plates themselves.

innocence (noun)
1. The state, quality, or virtue of being innocent, as: a. Freedom from sin, moral wrong, or guilt through lack of knowledge of evil. b. Guiltlessness of a specific legal crime or offense. c. Freedom from guile, cunning, or deceit; simplicity or artlessness. d. Lack of worldliness or sophistication; naiveté. e. Lack of knowledge or understanding; ignorance. f. Freedom from harmfulness; inoffensiveness.

experience (noun)
1. The apprehension of an object, a thought, or an emotion through the senses or mind.
2. a. Active participation in events or activities, leading to the accumulation of knowledge or skill: a lesson taught by experience. b. The knowledge or skill so derived.