Garden Of Love Essay, Research Paper
William Blake’s “Garden of Love”
In William Blake’s Garden of Love, published in 1794, the speaker shows that from day one of any persons life, nothing remains uniform. That life is always in a state of change, disarray, and inconsistency. The speaker tries to do this by bringing you to a state of being and realization of the church, nature, and sentimental meaning. He accomplishes this task thoroughly by using many different poetic forms such as symbolism allusions and imagery.
The speakers main objective is to show lives inevitable changes. That life no matter how one may remember, whether it be as a child, adult, or elder, that it will not remain constant. In Blake’s poem Garden of Love the speaker shows this by telling of a life experience. He tells of a Garden, beautiful and pure, “That so many sweet flowers bore;” (8), and how it was a place of sanctuary for him in his youth. This allusion of his Garden of Love is that of Edenic imagery. He see his garden as a place of peace, where nature, God, and him, are one; such as the Garden of Eden. By using this imagery he shows that even from day one of human existence, that things evolve and mutate. That through individuals actions of what they think may be virtuous and moral, may indeed be an act of devastation and destruction. As a result, the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Love became extinct and untouchable for all. The speaker portrays this by stating, “And binding with briars my joys and desires” (12). The speaker feels that the equilibrium which existed between them and all that lived in the garden became nothing but a memory. A retrospection of the way life used to be; a taboo feeling that used to breathe freely through their veins.
He continues his story by telling of his expedition back to his garden later in life, only to find out that his Garden of Love had “… tomb-stones where flowers should be:” (10), and that it had been taken over by the church. This visual and internal image helps to, very straight forwardly, represent death. The death of his feelings, the death of his peaceful environment, the death of his, and others, lives. This radical internal imagery remarkably aids in the feeling of pain and hurt that the speaker felt when he saw what had happened to his “Garden of Love.” Furthermore, the “flowers” are a form of female sexual imagery. The flowers now replaced with graves has a very brutal and harsh connotation. The symbolic meaning of loosing a loved one, or loved ones. His life is no longer filled with love, but with death. Perhaps the death of his wife, mother, of female friend. Whatever the case may be, the speaker has lost someone of great and dear importance to him, and no one is there for him, not even the church.
He states, “And the gates of this Chapel were shut,” (5), insinuating that the church had not helped or comforted him, but destroyed this equilibrium of peace that used to be present in this environment. In addition, organized church did not help people of all types. It shows that religion is segregating, and only concerned with the well-being of itself, and not others. In line (12), “And binding with briars my joys and desires”, it has the allusion to Christ on the cross. The briars, a thorny rose type bush, represents the crown of thorns worn on Christ head. That somehow Christ’s love was now turning to death, and he had no one to turn to, except his God, for comfort. Like the speaker, that found joy in his garden, he can now only seek the compassion of his own God, nature.