The Essence of Childhood in William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience

by Mallory Sweeney

Sweet joy I call thee;
Thou dost smile.
I sing the while
Sweet joy befall thee
-William Blake, Songs of Innocence, "Infant Joy"

When faced with a screaming child, or more specifically, when holding one on your hip--one might resort to perhaps some of the most ridiculous (however, creative) measures of pacification.  I was in this situation not that long ago, but even more memorably, one particularly chilly spring evening as a sophomore in high school.  The tot in question: my music teacher's little girl.  The crying had lasted for about three hours straight.  I, be...

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