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The Notebook of William Blake - Folio N113 and N112

Image of Folio N113 and N112
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N113 & N112

As with many of the folios in the notebook, Blake has revised the verses on this page on more than one occasion, as the different types of ink he used make clear. The stanzas beginning 'Why should I care for the men of thames' mark the beginning of a more overtly political tone to the poems. The highly charged atmosphere following the Royal Proclamation against seditious writings of 1792 is reflected in the 'blasts of fear' and the use of the word 'chartered'- a reference to Paine's radical criticism in Rights of Man (1791-92).

Blake revised much of 'Infant Sorrow' - a contrary to 'Infant Joy' in Songs of Innocence - on this folio. When it was eventually etched, it ran to two stanzas, and much of the original work was omitted. The lines were not forgotten, however, as Blake constantly reworked his verses, often reassigning lines or phrases from older poems to new works.

This sideways pencil sketch on folio N112 shows Satan with a shield and spear, another example of Blake's early sketches for his illustrations to 'Paradise Lost'.

We have used the published version for the reading of this poem 'Infant Sorrow' from Songs of Experience for the audio.

  < Folio N115 and N114  

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