Quotations From WILLIAM BLAKE


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  • The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity ... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. letter, Aug. 23, 1799. The Letters of William Blake, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1956).

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  • I was angry with my friend:
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
    I was angry with my foe:
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Songs of Experience, "A Poison Tree," st. 1 (1794), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).

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  • The enquiry in England is not whether a man has talents & genius, but whether he is passive & polite & a virtuous ass & obedient to noblemen's opinions in art & science. If he is, he is a good man. If not, he must be starved.
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). Annotations to Sir Joshua Reynolds, Discourses (c. 1808).
  • It appears to me that men are hired to run down men of genius under the mask of translators, but Dante gives too much of Caesar: he is not a republican.
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. "Annotations to Boyd's Dante," (written c. 1800), published in Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (c. 1957).
  • I traveld thro' a Land of Men
    A Land of Men & Women too,
    And heard & saw such dreadful things
    As cold Earth wanderers never knew.
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. The Mental Traveller (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.

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  • For light doth seize my brain
    With frantic pain.
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. From Poetical Sketches. Mad Song (l. 23-24). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.

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  • God keep me from the divinity of Yes and No ... the Yea Nay Creeping Jesus, from supposing Up and Down to be the same thing as all experimentalists must suppose.
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Letter, April 12, 1827. The Letters of William Blake, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1956).

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  • To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy or imagination, and I feel flattered when I am told so. What is it sets Homer, Virgil and Milton in so high a rank of art? Why is Bible more entertaining and instructive than any other book? Is it not because they are addressed to the imagination, which is spiritual sensation, and but mediately to the understanding or reason?
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. letter, Aug. 23, 1799. Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).

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  • Christianity is art & not money. Money is its curse.
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). The Laoco├Ân, notes (engraved c. 1820).

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  • Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, "Proverbs of Hell," plate 8 (1790-1793).
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