With detailed reference to at least two poems, discuss how a poet has used poetry as a powerful instrument for social comment.
Living in a world without modern technology and media. William Blake (1757 - 1827) used his poetry as a powerful instrument for social comment. This is particularly evident in “Laughing Song” and “London” taken from The Portable Blake. The two poems present conflicting views of creation and mankind. In his innocent years, Blake saw the
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attitudes that he conveys through his poetry, using his works as a powerful instrument for social comment. This is shown through his exploration of the destruction of both nature and society in the seemingly very different though in reality linked poems, “Laughing Song” and “London”.
Handley, Graham (ed); Brodie’s Notes on William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience Pan Books Ltd, London, 1992.
Kazin, Alfred (ed); The Portable Blake Penguin Books, New York, 1976