The School Boy Analysis by William Blake

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Although he lived in London his entire life (except for three years spent in Felpham), he produced a diverse and symbolically rich oeuvre, which embraced the imagination as “the body of God” or “human existence itself”.

I LOVE TO RISE IN SUMMER MORN


WHEN THE BIRD SINGS ON EVERY TREE

THE DISTANCE HUNTS MAN WINDS HIS HORN,

AND THE SKYLARK SINGS WITH ME.

OH WHAT SWEET COMPANY!

The speaker in this poem is a young boy who fills joyful to rise in the fresh and delightful summer morning. The cheeping of the birds announces the day break. The boy gets entertained by the company of the hunter who blows his clarion from a distance field and sweet lullabies of skylark.

BUT TO GO TO SCHOOL IN SUMMER MORN,

OH! IT DRIVES ALL JOY AWAY.

UNDER A CRUEL EYE OUTWORN

THE LITTLE ONE SPEND THE DAY

INSIGN AND DISMAY.

It is a matter of utmost disappointment for the speaker to attain school in a sweet summer morning where actually he wishes to enjoy the mirth of summer. He is tired and even puzzled under the strict supervision of his teacher. The phrase outworn refers to the eyes of the teacher that actually tires the boy. Instead of enjoying the pleasures of summer, the child has to compulsory attended the school where he spends his day in boredom and dismay.

 

AHH! THAN AT TIMES I DROOPING SIT

AND SPEND MANY AS ANXIOUS HOUR,

NOR IN MY BOOK CAN I TAKE DELIGHT

NOR SIT IN LEARNING’S BOWER

WORN THRO’ WITH THE DREARY SHOWER.

The child expresses his weariness. He sits drooping out in the sea of tediousness. The child restrains the assault on him by the oppressive personality of the teacher and unnecessary lectures (shower of meaningless words) the finicky teacher gushes his words of erudition without even attempting to understand the child’s intention and his urge for unchecked freedom.The learning’s bower refers to a garden where the child can be taught in a interesting way, only if nature accompanies him instead of the school teacher.

HOW CAN A BIRD THAT BORN FOR JOY

SIT IN CAGE IN SING

HOW CAN A CHILD, WHEN FEARS ANNOY,

BUT DROOP HIS TENDER WING

AND FORGET HIS YOUTHFUL SPRING?

A bird which is born cheerful and jovial can never sing sweet songs if caged. Similarly, a child if remained under the umbrella of annoying fear and tension, the skepticism of his teacher can never enjoy the natural instincts of joy and playfulness. Indeed a world full of rigid course of discipline will ruthlessly take away the beautiful springs (the childhood days) of a person’s life.

OH! FATHER AND MOTHER IF BUDS ARE NIPPED,

AND IF THE TENDER PLANTS ARE STRIPPED

OF THEIR JOY IN THE SPRINGING DAY

BY SORROW AND CARE’S DISMAY;

The boy complains to the highest authority, to father and mother, if a budding child is picked and swept of in the early stage of life in an ocean of sorrow, where there is no one to care for. If misery withers the tender plants the beautiful buds and the new born buds, summer can never be joyful.

HOW SHALL THE SUMMER ARISE IN JOY

OR THE SUMMER FRIUTS APPEAR?

OR HOW SHALL WE GATHER WHAT GRIEFS DESTROY,

OR BLESS THE MELLOWING YEAR,

WHEN THE BLAST OF WINTER APPEARS?

If care and concern rule over the plants, flowers, birds, such a summer will be dry and will bear no fruit. The child enquires his parents as to how they can win back what grieve has destroyed. If the plants are withered due to the canker of grief, no fruit will be there in the season of autumn (mellowing year) this implies that if childhood pleasures and joys are censored and truncated one has to be very sure that the adult life will be utterly dry and unproductive.

Read critical appreciation of the school boy, Go to Page 2!

Abhishek is a marketing research and social media consultant who developed a keen interest in blogging. He can be contacted at dey.abhishek99@gmail.com

24 Comments
  1. Reply
    subhash December 1, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Very helpful for me…,

  2. Reply
    samuel aboagye December 6, 2014 at 11:19 am

    learners of all literature talks about reading and how to understand read and write.

  3. Reply
    gaana February 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    thnq so much…it wz really very helpful …

  4. Reply
    Basavaraj July 13, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Needy information has given. Thanku

  5. Reply
    chitra gayathri August 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    It is very helpful tnk u

  6. Reply
    Musa September 8, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Dear Sir/ Madam I appreciate you for the work done here.i also need help from you people by sending me the analysis to my gmail.thanks in advance.

  7. Reply
    joe November 25, 2015 at 11:05 am

    it a nice poem

  8. Reply
    joe November 25, 2015 at 11:08 am

    it a poem dat teaches morality about d nature of life en people abt going 2school.

  9. Reply
    joe November 25, 2015 at 11:10 am

    school boy teaches abt life en education en nature provision to humanity.

  10. Reply
    ayankunle November 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    wow,a nice poetic composition,kufos! happy humanity study at my fellow aesthetic apparentice ..

  11. Reply
    ik December 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    More grease to ur elbow. I really enjoyed the poem. Blake is still regarded as one among my greatest English poet. This man though never sat in classroom,poor but talented. This poem picturesque I. I remember while I was in primary school, waking up very early to prepare for school always , made me sad as the persona(the boy). The way we were thought also made things complicated. The teacher with frog on his face whenever I miss an alphabet made me pissed . All children need is care and love.

  12. Reply
    ik December 8, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    There is a saying “the child is the father of a man. An unhappy child grows up as an unhappy man v versal . Most of the teachers cares not, if the pupil are aligned.i love the line where he made reference to a bird in a cage. This unnecessary scrutiny makes the child fear and always tensed, which is bad to learning

  13. Reply
    DreamzYTB December 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    it helped me a lot for my test in english thanks

  14. Reply
    maryam December 20, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Wow.. This analysis is great!! This poem is actually there in my book.. And while preparing for my exam ijust wanted to know the meaning of “crel eye outworn”.. And came by this!! Really helpful!!!

  15. Reply
    peace January 9, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    This is so helpful to me as a teacher. I did nt just understand d poem clearer bt also learn to make my class an intresting nd joyful one for my students. Tanx dearly

  16. Reply
    Bright daniel February 26, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Your analysis are just superb. Great work.

  17. Reply
    takunbe March 7, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Helpful it was a lot.

  18. Reply
    hassan April 25, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Thanks

  19. Reply
    jayah June 15, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    the poem is well understood

  20. Reply
    Bosslyf June 16, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    The schoolboy z a poem that talks abt de consequences of formal education.

  21. Reply
    Sri July 24, 2016 at 4:50 am

    What I expected was not there
    :-(”””

  22. Reply
    Joseph martin September 17, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    l love your books and I will be happy if you add me to your webside

  23. Reply
    Elaigwu Inalegwu October 24, 2016 at 5:31 am

    the poem is interesting. I like it.

  24. Reply
    anthony November 2, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Dats my presentation the school boy

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