Plate 25 from Songs of Innocence by William Blake is a poem titled “Infant Joy”. The poem depicts the celebration of a new life and emphasizes the joy, wonder, and innocence associated with childbirth. The newborn baby, who names itself “Joy”, receives a blessing from its mother, highlighting the blessings of new life.
“Infant Joy” is part of a collection that includes “The Lamb”, which sees the lamb as a divine expression of God’s will and the beauty of God’s creation. Blake’s use of symbolism and religious themes in both poems reinforces the idea of the sanctity and purity of new life.
In contrast, Songs of Experience includes a corresponding poem called “Infant Sorrow”. This opposing work focuses on the pain and tribulation that accompanies childbirth from the infant’s perspective. Blake’s use of contrast between these two works highlights the duality of human existence and the contrasting experiences that shape our lives.
Overall, “Infant Joy” celebrates the miracle of life and emphasizes the beauty of innocence and purity in childbirth. It is a testament to Blake’s ability to capture the complexities of human existence through his creative works.