A Little Girl Lost


A Little Girl Lost Essay, Research Paper

June 10, 1998Critical Prose Paper A Little GIRL Lost Children of the future Age, Reading this indignant page; Know that in a former time, Love! Sweet Love! Was thought a crime. In the Age of Gold, Tired with kisses sweet Free from winters cold: They agree to meet, Youth and maiden bright, When the silent sleep To the holy light, Waves o er heavens deep; Naked in the sunny beams And the weary tired wanderers delight. Weep. Once a youthful pair To her father white Fill d with softest care: Came the maiden bright: Met in garden bright, But his loving look, Where the holy light, Like the holy book, Had just removd the curtains All her tender limbs with terror of the night. Shook. There in rising day, Ona! Pale and weak! On the grass they play: To thy father speak: Parents were afar: O the trembling fear! Strangers came not near: O the dismal care! And the maiden soon forgot That shakes the blossoms of my her fear. Hoary hair William Blake s first poetry book of lyrical poems was the Songs of Innocence, which was the product of a mind in a state of innocence and of an imagination unspoiled by stains of worldliness. Public events and private emotions converted Innocence into Experience, producing Blake s preoccupation with the problem of Good and Evil and ultimately producing the sequel to his Songs of Innocence, which is the Songs of Experience. In the first book, he was the Shepherd in a state of Innocence still in charge of his sheep. In the second he is stepping with his right foot forward to leave his flock behind and advance into the state of Experience. The main theme throughout Songs of Experience are experiences that one goes through especially during their youth revolving mainly around different love experiences, whether it be a family love or a boy/girl love. The poem, A Little Girl Lost from Songs of Experience is the story of a naturalistic love between the sexes told as a tragedy. Blake addresses this poem to an idealistic future age . Apparently, Blake felt animosity towards how people viewed love during his own time directing this in the line, know that in a former time . He immediately sets the reader up for a tragedy in the italicized introductory stanza, with Love! sweet Love! was thought a crime . Ironically what Blake tries to convey in this poem still exists today, where love is still seen as a crime, particularly from parents towards young love.The next six stanzas illustrates this love tragedy through a structured tale. The first stanza introduces the setting of the poem. It starts with In the Age of Gold because he was addressing the poem to the future Age therefore he is beginning the poem in a storytelling style. It is evident that it is summer through the next four lines of the first stanza: free from winter cold , bright , light , and sunny beams delight . The second stanza presents the main characters. The couple introduced as the youthful pair meet each other in the garden exposed to the bright morning light . The phrase had just removd the curtains of the night reveals that it is morning. The third stanza conveys the so-called love that is gradually growing between the two youth throughout the rising day . As they play , they soon forget all their worries and all that surrounds them, strangers and even their parents . The maiden , referring to the lost girl, was so caught up in her infatuation that she forgot her fear , which is her father. The first three stanzas is mainly an introduction of the setting, the characters and the characters relationship that progresses to reach the climax and ultimately the tragedy. The tragedy begins in the fourth stanza where deception takes place. The two youths become weary, tired with kisses sweet , as their day spent together comes to a close. Realizing that it is almost evening and they soon must part, they agree to meet, when the silent sleep . The last three lines of the fourth stanza illustrates that this deceitfulness of the couple is the climax this tragedy. The line waves o er heavens deep creates a picture of intense clouds, like waves, rapidly covering the sky. This line is extremely powerful, foreshadowing a tragic ending. The transition from the bright summer day to this dark gloomy night is concise for the climax because from this point on, the downfall begins.

The calamity begins when the girl, maiden bright , encounters her father white . Each line in the fifth stanza is very succinct yet visual. The father sees his daughter as a bright light that is glowing with fear, her tender limbs with terror shook . The daughter sees her father as pale white , glowing with outrage. Although he has a loving look of a father, his wrath overpowers his love. She sees him as the holy book embodying the written laws of forbidden pleasure. The sixth stanza is the continuation of the father s anger. He addresses his daughter as Ona , the feminine form of one , and describes her as pale and weak from being terrified. The poem ends with the father expressing his grief, his fear and his care towards his daughter that is causing him to grow white hair, blossoms of my hoary hair . The father is conscious only of outrage, having forgotten in old age the joys of young love. This lyrical poem is written in a distinctive form, excluding the introductory stanza. The body consist of six stanzas with six lines in each. The sixth line of each stanza however, is not a distinct line but is the continuation of the fifth line. A rhyming scheme is incorporated throughout the entire poem. The first and second line of each stanza rhymes, and the third, fourth and sixth line also rhyme. For instance, in the second stanza, gold from line one rhymes with cold from line two, and in the last stanza, weak in line one rhymes with speak in line two. Also, in the second stanza, bright from line three rhymes with light from line four and delight from line six. The fifth stanza is slightly unique from the rest of the body because lines one, two, three, four, and six all rhyme: sweet , meet , sleep , deep , and weep . The introductory stanza is also unique, having only four lines, and also having the first and second lines rhyme, age and page , and the third and fourth lines rhyme, time and crime . The grammar and diction in this poem, and also throughout his book, is quite unusual. Often, old English is used; such as removd , afar , o er , O , and Ona. The words removd and o er merely exclude a single letter and the words afar and O are seen often in English poems, especially Shakespearean poems. The word Ona is the feminine form of One; an individual is personified as a little girl . Blake tends to capitalize only certain words in all of his poems, including the title. In this poem, he capitalized Girl , from the title, and Age , Love , and Gold from the body. There is no distinct pattern in his work but he tends to only capitalize those words that should be emphasized. Blake also likes to use colons, especially in this poem. A missing period at the end of his poem is extremely conspicuous and questions the ending of this poem. The poem, The Little GIRL Lost , is a tragic love between a girl and a boy and mainly a girl and her father. Blake conveys this tragedy through a structural six stanza lyrical poem that included a setting, characters, a plot, a climax and a downfall. It is amazing to see how a story that could be told in ten pages could be reduced to half a page with its full meaning preserved. William Blake s lyrical poems in Songs of Experience are all written in similar form. Rhyme is incorporated in the majority of his poems, random capitalizations are also observed and there is frequent use of Old English. The content of each poem has its own distinct meaning but they all are inspired from Experiences, both good and evil.

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