In by stating, “And binding with briars my

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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.

Categories: Environment


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