A collection of poems by William Blake (17577ndash;1827), illustrated with the poet's own etchings and published in 1789. In the work, Blake investigates, as he puts it in the subtitle, 'the two contrary states of the human soul'. Despite the simple rhythms and rhyming patterns, and the images of children, animals and flowers, the Songs are often troubling, argumentative or satirical, and reflect Blake’s deeply held political beliefs and spiritual experience. Blake’s vision embraces radical subjects such as poverty, child labour and abuse, the repressive nature of the state and church, as well as the right of children to be treated as individuals with their own desires. Many of the poems in Songs of Experience respond to counterparts in Songs of Innocence.