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The Notebook of William Blake - Folio N101 and N100

Image of Folio N101 and N100
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N101 & N100

Working from either end of the notebook, this is the point where the poems of Songs of Experience and the drawings for The Gates of Paradise meet. With the page rotated, the emblem appears upside down, since it was part of a series composed from the beginning of the book, while from this perspective the poems that surround it appear the right way up, since they belong to the fair copies that Blake started at the back.

To the top right of the folio, Blake has written a list of poems to be selected for printing, which was in turn subsequently overwritten with lines for The Everlasting Gospel :

On 1 Plate
O lapwing &c
An answer to the Parson
If you trap &c

All these verses, with the exception of 'Experiment', are found on previous folios in the notebook. In fact, this proposed plate was never printed for Songs of Experience - an example of the extent to which Blake continually modified his own ideas as he worked towards the final arrangement.

The poem at the bottom of the two columns - 'Motto to the Songs of Innocence & of Experience' - marks the end of Blake's work on the Songs of Experience in the notebook.

At the top of this page, Blake has written an epigram in dark charcoal ink:

'Her whole Life is an Epigram smack smooth & nobly pend
Platted quite neat to catch applause with a sliding noose at the end.'

The two stanza poem written beneath these lines is in a sprawling hand, and makes no attempt to work around the earlier drawing of a reclining figure in the centre of the page. Blake revised the arrangement of this poem, the second stanza becoming the first as indicated by the numbers 1 and 2.

Blake later turned the notebook round the right way, and added the lines at the bottom of the folio, part of the drafts for the unpublished The Everlasting Gospel (c.1818).

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