What is the course about?
William Blake is probably the most visionary and esoterically explicit of all English poets. Misunderstood and reviled in his time, his poetry and painting are now recognised as immensely valuable and effective in assisting our own spiritual development. This course will illuminate Blake’s thinking and his literary art through the close study of a representative selection of his writings. It will ideally complement the major current exhibition of Blake’s art at Tate Britain.
What will we cover?
We shall study extracts from Songs of Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Milton, The Book of Urizen and The Four Zoas, as well as some of Blake’s letters. A selection of Blake’s engravings will also be circulated to enhance our reading.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Demonstrate insight into how Blake explores the challenges of the human condition through both his lyrical and epic poetry.
Appreciate the depth, complexity and relevance of Blake’s thought.
Identify how Blake’s life and circumstances influenced his work and how his poetry relates to his art.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No particular prior knowledge will be assumed, but you will need to feel enthusiastic about the prospect of reading and discussing Blake’s work. You will interested in listening to – and learning from – the responses of other students to the work discussed.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teacher explanation; group discussion.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No. You will be provided with photocopies of the poems and artworks to be studied. Bring a pen and paper.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Look for other one day poetry courses on our website under Literature/Poetry in History, Culture and Writing at www.citylit.ac.uk.