Thursday, May 17, 2012

"On Anothers Sorrow"-Psychoanalytic Criticism

"On Anothers Sorrow"   

  A 19th Century Poet wrote a collection of poems that haven’t been recognized as a work of art till the future. His name is William Blake. He was a poet, painter, and a printmaker. He was born in London, England. Out of his collections of poems I chose "On Anothers Sorrow". His poems have at least a bit of religious viewpoint after reading a couple of his works. In the poem I chose he made a point that when people of the world are in pain and suffering, God feels it as well and is always there to comfort them. In the poem, William Blake introduced two different groups, physical and spiritual groups. 

The first time reading through the poem was difficult because some stanzas didn't make any sense. Such as "...Can a father see his child, weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd" (Stanza 2, lines 7-8). There were two interpretations that came to mind. The first interpretation was, "when a father sees his child sad/crying will he do nothing and stare at his child?" The second interpretation was, "will the father weep with pity for himself whenever he sees his child?"
According to Theo Alexander, he says that those lines mean that "The inevitability of human sympathy is made clear in these questions."Personally I think it means that with no doubt we all know that the love and sympathy parents have for their children/child has no end.
Who is God to William Blake? God is like a human that also feels the inevitable sorrow. If I were to compare Blake to this poem, Blake is a worshipper of God and is relaying Gods message through his works. William Blake attended the Moravian Church during his time. Moravians are Protestant denominations. It places a high premium on Christian unity, personal piety, missions, and music. The church's symbol is a Lamb holding a flag of victory. He didn't stay long in the church, but he believed in the bible.
In this world and also in the bible there are two groups that exist in this world, physical and spiritual. The physical groups are humans of the world such as parents, friends, relatives, etc. Any being that breathes, has blood running through his veins, and is not dead. Spiritual groups are those who have passed on, God, etc. Any being that has died already and has no physical body. People call spiritual beings, ghosts.
"On Anothers Sorrow" speaks of a relationship that humans and God have in life. This poem speaks about pain, suffering, or any negative emotions that humans can feel. Blake wrote his worldly questions of whether God will be there to comfort and take pity on those who are in need of his presence in a poetic way. He was a religious man in the inside and wasn't afraid to express his thoughts and feelings about God.

Works Cited:


  1. Eura, I really like some of the images that you selected for your post. They are very evocative and I think they do an excellent job of illustrating the poem. I think maybe it would have been more effective to strategically place the images within the text of your post to help break it up and allow the reader a place to rest their eyes. Maybe you could find a place within your argument that each image would work as a way of illustrating the point you're trying to make.

  2. Great analysis of Blake's poem. I also had to read the poem several times to understand it better. I agree with you on how parents love and sympathy for their children has no end. Just wondering do you have any thoughts of the title of the poem could be referring to Jesus a man of sorrows?
    I enjoyed reading very well Done!

  3. I did a comparative analysis on the same poem. We had a lot things in common. You mentioned that Blake was referring to spiritual and physical beings in his poem. I thought the same thing. He talks a lot about religious and God, and he could feel our pain as well. You have a good analysis...