Critical Analysis of The Echoing Green by William Blake

Critical Analysis of The Echoing Green by William Blake

Introduction: “The Echoing Green” is a great creation of William Blake which is more, a lovely landscape graced with the sound of vernal sports of children, birds and bells. It is taken from Blake’s Snogs of Innocence. It is heavenly voice of childhood unchallenged by the test and doubts of later years. This is a pictorial poem of Blake. Generally, William Blake’s short poems are explained very simply, but there are hidden depths to his work. Again his longer poems are mentioned extremely difficult.

Development of thought: In the poem, “The Echoing Green” Blake has presented a happy country side view where the arrival of spring is welcomed by sunny sky and ringing bells. This poem is a blend of childlike innocence and grayness of later years. It is symbolic and draws a contrast between youth and old age. Here, a child describes his cheerful games on a lush space, called ‘The Echoing Green’ because the children’s exclamations echo over it. The spring symbolizes the youth and the children. Morning is the beginning of life and the dark evening is the end. Here Blake has wanted to show that, the children are carefree and they are always busy in their games. They are seen laughing and enjoying themselves in the echoing green. The poet symbolizes the innocence and delicacy of children with the birds. The birds are happy and they sing their heart out. When the old people with their folks observe their playing they recall their nostology and share themselves, about the game that they played in their childhood, that they will not regain the days and games. When the children are very busy in their games, the ringing bells make them cheerful. When it becomes dark, all the sports and play have come to an end for the day.  Like the birds the children go back to their residences and are ready to take a goodnight’s rest in the laps of their mothers, sisters and brothers like little birds in a nest. So, on the darkening green the games are not seen. 

Structure: The poem follows the structure of a day— ‘the sun does arise’ in the beginning of the first verse, and ‘the sun does descend’ in the middle of the third verse. The poem is the contrast of innocence and experience, but also the contrast between perception of joys and sorrows. What is happening on the Green will happen again, shown by the ‘old folk’ who watch the children and reminisce about their own childhood on the Green. The whole poem is written in 6 sentences with much repetition. The poem could also be attributed to the life of a person— birth, life, death.

Picture of spring: In the poem the poet plans to represent all the shrinking and affectionate magnificence of spring. The first few lines have the smell of April. The glow of the sky and the sun, the happiness of the ringing bells, the thrush, lark, and child is kept fresh by some severer sense of faithful and mysterious harmony, explained and vivified by a conscience and purpose in the artist’s hand and mind.   

Symbolism: William Blake has used many symbols to make the poem more attractive and more powerful. ‘Echo’ suggests the shouts and hooting of children.  Green suggests the mirth of childhood besides the scene of children’s play. Again ‘The Oak’ symbolizes old age. ‘Nest of birds’ symbolizes peace and purity. ‘Darkening green’ symbolizes the death.  

Edited by: Mahir. Dhaka, Bangladesh. Cell: +8801919879309, +8801761519111.





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    • Carla on August 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Well the two most genuine tighns about this poem are1) that everyone falls for the ideal, and,2) that unless you say Enough of this you are stuck with reality. Well, not stuck you CHOOSE that reality, like our large-nosed hero here whose is now stuck ..metaphorically .I like the metaphor of someones true colors coming out being compared to their first impression self being dead cause you’ll never get that person back. This poem reminds me of teen angst. and early 20s angst. and mid-20 s angst. and late 20 s angst. man am I glad I’m married to a wonderful, graveyard dancing corpse bride!Excellent choice of a poem, Ryan.Well done.

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