Poems inspired by William Blake’s Paintings

This week, we’ve been reading the poems of William Blake and finding out all about his life. Born in 1757 in London, he trained as an engraver, which is how he made his living until his death in 1827, but he was very creative, and produced his own paintings, engravings and poetry. He was never famous in his own lifetime, but is now considered to be one of the greatest poets of his age, and his visionary art continues to inspire people all around the world.

We looked at some of his paintings – some on Biblical themes, and some of them more mystical, and we talked about what we saw in them.

Blake, William, 1757-1827; Our Lady with the Infant Jesus Riding on a Lamb with Saint John

Blake, William; Our Lady with the Infant Jesus Riding on a Lamb with Saint John; Paintings Collection; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/our-lady-with-the-infant-jesus-riding-on-a-lamb-with-saint-john-30607

Riding on a lamb
No stirrups
The colours blend in well
The background has different layers:
Deep green contrasts with the pale.


Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing circa 1786 by William Blake 1757-1827

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing circa 1786 William Blake 1757-1827 Presented by Alfred A. de Pass in memory of his wife Ethel 1910 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N02686

Fairies dancing
People in lots of different positions.
It’s beautiful.

The dance of Albion

The Dance of Albion

Very nice – he was very clever
Tightly curled hair
Lovely colours
Male bodies but feminine faces
The top half could be a woman,
Standing on rocks.

Jerusalem illustration


He’s running away from someone or something.
Could it be a girl?
Is she going into a church?
Someone’s following her.
The church is a place of safety.
She’s looking sideways,
Looks quite frightened.
The shining orb in her hands
As she walks down the corridor.

Looks like somebody trying to escape.
A bloke with a flashlight.
Sneaking off –
Looking around to see if anyone’s seen him.
Up to no good?
Where is he going? Jerusalem?
Wearing flat sandles.
What’s that in his hand?
Reflecting the light from the door?
With no good intention.

Angels hovering

Angels watching over the body of Jesus in the tomb

They’re praying for Him
Watching over Him
Guardian angels
Waiting to take his soul up to heaven
They might be coming for him.

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