Week 3. Contextual research Poetry 12.02.20

Week 3. Contextual research Poetry 12.02.20


I’ve been drawn to and inspired by this poem for a long time now . Written in 1798 by Blake. Mostly, it makes me feel so very despondent that the same pedagogical and social issues are being discussed in relation to children and schooling now, as they were two hundred years ago. The poem resonates with me, my thoughts and beliefs, but it doesn’t inspire me to go and create a piece of work based on it, more that it feeds into my work, and informs both it, and my practice in the wider sense, and is more of a contextual reference. It also drives me forward in my passion to carry on this path, trying to highlight the issues we have within the educational system, and the myriad of ways available to work through these issues.

Interestingly as analysed here by Poem Analysis  He tells them that if this continues his “buds” are going to be “nipped,” his joy ripped from him, and the loss of his childhood will result in an unpreparedness for life. He will not be able to last through the real trials of life, or winters as he describes them.” (Poem Analysis) This is the exact same argument that Boyinaband discusses in his words in his song ‘Don’t stay in School’ that I wrote about here. There is a really helpful analysis of the poem here on beaming notes , I was drawn to the reference to the bird here “The poem marks with the freshness of summer morning though the first few lines provide a fragrance of Innocence, there is a spontaneous fill of restriction. The boy summons his liking to be one with the birds and be in the distant fields” (Beaming notes) and how that directly relates to my most recent photographs that I posted today HERE  where I visually discuss that feeling of wanting to escape to the outside, to nature, and the ‘fields’ with my children, whilst we are all so focused on structured learning before the boys exams. Also mentioned on (Beaming Notes) is the juxtaposition of the animate objects outside of the classroom like the birds and the flowers, compared to the inanimateness of the school itself. Interestingly, in Gregory Crewdson’s the repression of aesthetics, this motif or rather metaphor, is discussed by Crewdson , and how the bird in his images, such as the bird placed on the corner of the woman’s dressing table , represents the possibility of a different life.” This is something that I could look at incorporating into my images if I continue with tableau work. 

Fig 1, Graham, Rebecca. 2020.

Fig 1, Graham, Rebecca. 2020.


I love to rise in a summer morn,

When the birds sing on every tree ;

The distant huntsman winds his horn,

And the sky-lark sings with me.

O! what sweet company.

But to go to school in a summer morn,

O! it drives all joy away;

Under a cruel eye outworn,

The little ones spend the day

In sighing and dismay.

Ah! then at times I dropping sit,

And spend many an anxious hour,

Nor in my book can I take delight,

Nor sit in learnings bower,

Worn through with the dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy

Sit in a cage and sing?

How can a child when fears annoy

Bur drops his tender wing

And forget his youthful spring?

O! father & mother, if buds are nip’d,

And blossoms blown away,

And if the tender plants are strip’d

Of their joy in the springtime day,

By sorrow and cares dismay.

How shall the summer arise in joy,

OR the summer fruits appear?

Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy

Or bless the mellowing year,

When the blasts of winter appear.




The school boy by William Blake. Poem analysis. Available at https://poemanalysis.com/william-blake/the-schoolboy (Accessed 12.02.20)

The school boy analysis by William Blake. 2018. Beaming notes Available at https://beamingnotes.com/2013/06/24/the-school-boy-analysis-by-william-blake/ (Accessed 12.02.20)

Graham, Rebecca. Bambino art. Week 3 project development. Bambino art. Available at  https://www.bambino-art.co.uk/week-3-project-development-12-02-20-2/Figures. Accessed (12.02.20)

Fig 1. Graham, Rebecca. 2020. William Blake , songs of innocence and experience. 


Blake, William. 2017. The school boy. Songs of innocence and experience . London. Penguin classics.


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