November 24, 2009

The Little Black Boy

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Let this childhood poem charm your day!
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--Description: 19th C, Blake W., Childhood, Christianity, Humanity--

My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but oh my soul is white!
White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black, as if bereaved of light.

My mother taught me underneath a tree,
And, sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And, pointed to the east, began to say:

"Look on the rising sun: there God does live,
And gives His light, and gives His heat away,
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.

"And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love
And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.

"For when our souls have learn'd the heat to bear,
The cloud will vanish, we shall hear His voice,
Saying, 'Come out from the grove, my love and care
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice',"

Thus did my mother say, and kissed me;
And thus I say to little English boy.
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy

I'll shade him from the heat till he can bear
To lean in joy upon our Father's knee;
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him, and he will then love me.

William Blake

--Did You Know: (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both 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 has led one modern critic to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". Although he only once journeyed farther than a day's walk outside London during his lifetime, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God" or "Human existence itself".Considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, Blake is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterized as part of both the Romantic movement and "Pre-Romantic", for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions. The singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th century scholar William Rossetti characterised Blake as a "glorious luminary,"and as "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors." Historian Peter Marshall has classified Blake as one of the forerunners of modern anarchism. Read more at: William Blake

--Word of the Day: cosset \KOSS-it\, transitive verb:
1. To treat as a pet; to treat with excessive indulgence; to pamper.
2. A pet, especially a pet lamb.
Example:
Sumner's parents, for instance, were routinely attended by butlers, maids, coachmen and grooms while little Sumner and his sister, Emily, were pampered and cosseted from infancy by nurserymaids and governesses.
-Benjamin Welles, Sumner Welles: FDR's Global Strategist

--Quote of the Day: When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.
-Joseph Campbell


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
--TRIVIA FUN: What finally went out of fashion in ancient Rome, prompting people to begin wearing short pants called feminalia?

ANSWER TO PREVIOUS TRIVIA:
What European country uses its Latin name, Helvetia, on its stamps?
Answer: Switzerland

...SEE TOMORROW'S POST for today's Answer...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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