"Auguries of Innocence" by William Blake and some other writings

A slightly deprecatory introduction

This collection of photos spans almost 50 years and I have added some words from some of my favourite poems.

I make no claims of originality - I can't versify the way my good Hub friend Micky Dee does, so I have to rely on the poetic skills of others.

I also make no claims about the quality, artistic or otherwise, of the accompanying photos. They just seem like part of my life and I enjoy them. I share them in the hope that some readers might also find them at least interesting, and perhaps entertaining.

The photos are not meant to directly illustrate the poems. They are just images that I was reminded of by the words.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Auguries of Innocence

This must be one of the most quoted of Blake's poems, and none the worse for that. I have always loved this poem. Because most people only know the first verse I thought to put the complete poem here. (Since HubPages now has flagged this Hub as "duplicate" I am removing a lot of the poem, but it can be easily accessed in full here).

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.


Click thumbnail to view full-size

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

....................................

The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus'd breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy's foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist's jealousy.

................................

Catherine holds my grandson Daniel who doesn't look too sure of this!
Catherine holds my grandson Daniel who doesn't look too sure of this!

He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

..............................................

The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

...........................................

The sick rose

Roses are so beautiful, so sensuous with their soft velvety petals and lovely scent, that the thought of a "sick" rose is sometimes rather unwelcome. Blake's famous poem is slightly shocking and pulls us up short. We do not want to lose the romantic associations we have with roses:

O Rose, thou art sick!
The Invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of Crimson joy;
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ernest MothleErnest MothleStreet musician, Durban c1970
Ernest Mothle
Ernest Mothle
Ernest Mothle
Ernest Mothle
Street musician, Durban c1970
Street musician, Durban c1970

A liitle jazz riff

The first group of accompanying photos were taken in 2009 at a tribute gig to the late, great tenorman Winston "Mankunku" Ngozi. The musicians are all students at a private jazz school in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

The next two are from a gig of my friend Ernest Mothle on bass at the State Theatre in Pretoria in 2010.

The final photo is of a street musician in Durban, taken in about 1970.

Dream Boogie

by Langston Hughes

Good morning, daddy!

Ain't you heard

The boogie-woogie rumble

Of a dream deferred?

Listen closely:You'll hear their feet

Beating out and beating out a --

You think It's a happy beat?

Listen to it closely:Ain't you heard

something underneath

like a -- What did I say?

Sure, I'm happy!

Take it away!

Hey, pop!

Re-bop!

Mop!

Y-e-a-h!

  • From Montage of a Dream Deferred (1951)

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Childhood and its end

I found this delightful little poem here: http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/kimiko_hahn/poems/16585.html

In Childhood

by Kimiko Hahn

things don't die or remain damaged
but return: stumps grow back hands,
a head reconnects to a neck,
a whole corpse rises blushing and newly elastic.
Later this vision is not True:
the grandmother remains dead
not hibernating in a wolf's belly.
Or the blue parakeet does not return
from the little grave in the fern garden
though one may wake in the morning
thinking mother's call is the bird.
Or maybe the bird is with grandmother
inside light. Or grandmother was the bird
and is now the dog
gnawing on the chair leg.
Where do the gone things go
when the child is old enough
to walk herself to school,
her playmates already
pumping so high the swing hiccups?

Copyright notice

The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.

© Tony McGregor 2011


More by this Author


Comments 38 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

It seems that respect for nature is not,for some,Human Nature but a natural right to appropriate at religous will...Folly.;)


Rhonda Waits profile image

Rhonda Waits 5 years ago from The Emerald Coast

I liked your hub. Nice pictures and very interesting. Thanks for sharing your hub with us.


anitariley65 profile image

anitariley65 5 years ago from Little Town Ohio

Beautiful. Pictures appropriate. Reference to words. Great job!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Beautifully awesome Tony! this is so wonderfully done! I love your pictures and your words. I appreciate your plug. God bless you dear brother Tony. This is one of my favorite pieces. I love animals, birds! Now I have to look up the word, "deprecatory".

I have nothing deprecatory to say!


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

The Sick Rose has always been my favorite alongside Red Dragon.


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

These are simply so lovely and beautiful !


sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator

This is a great collection of photos and poetry which, you know, is 'right up my alley'. I'd not seen the full Auguries of Innocence in many years though the first verse is often seen quoted. The balance of the poem speaks to unseen consequences from thoughtless and inconsiderate behavior toward God's other creatures. "The lamb forgives the butcher's knife" as do all creatures properly used as God intended. Our 'evil' nature is often expressed against God's creatures through maltreatment and cruelty. This poem should be a banner of animal rights activists. This is a terrific Hub for which I thank you. Enjoy a healthy and blessed New Year, my friend.


amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

Nice one Tony; I must check out more of this William Blake fella. (I'm a bit of a philistine.)


Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

Blake is one of the poets I've heard about endlessly in my lifetime, but have actually researched very little. This was a great start for me. I must learn more now. Thanks and blessings, Tony.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Acer - thanks for the insightful comment. Appreciated.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Rhonda - thanks for the very kind words. I appreciate your coming by very much also!

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Anita - thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Glad you liked it.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Micky my brother! Thank you so much. I'm so glad you have nothing deprecatory to say - that just made my evening!

Love and peace

Tony


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK

Hi Tony, I'm also a great fan of Blake, and his words flow beautifully around your photographs. I particularly like the picture of you with your son.

Blake was quite a quirky character by all accounts. He was an admirer of the French Revolution and he was keen on Naturism long before it became accepted to wander around in the altogether. His paintings and engravings were wonderful too. Thanks for including Auguries of Innocence - I'd never read it in full before.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is very beautiful Tony.I must admit,I was unaware of Blake's poetry but it is wonderful.My favorite,Some are born to sweet delight.Some are born to endless night.Thank you for sharing, and i also enjoyed your photos.Your Grandson is adorable.

Love and Peace


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I know that I had never read the full poem of William Blake's "Auguries of Innocence" beyond the first 4 lines, so thank you for pairing it with your great photos.

It would be fun to be able to put together eloquent words like Micky Dee does in poetic form, but alas!, we do not all have those same talents.

Enjoyed the other poems and photos also. Thanks!


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Blake was virtually an unknown in his own time but in the 1920s he was 'discovered' and he has been popular ever since. Blake's own illos are really something. I like your world in a drop of water pic best.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Rod - thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Ingenira - thanks so much for your kind words.

Love and peace

Tony


Mpho Mokobi profile image

Mpho Mokobi 5 years ago from South Africa

You are a very knowledgeable man Tony. Your content is always well researched. Great picture layout. Peace.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Gerry - thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I appreciate it very much. I agree that we humans are often very cruel and unfeeling towards the other creatures that share our world.

Thanks again for the kind words.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Amillar - you, a philistine? I don't believe it for one moment! Thanks for the comment, my friend. I hope the cold is not too bad for you right now. We are having some quite heavy rains and some areas are flooded. Seems we go from one extreme to the other - droughts to floods.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Doug - thanks so much for stopping by. I think you will find Blake well worth spending some time with. As Amanda mentions in her comment below here, he was a quirky fellow, but a deep and different kind of thinker.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Amanda - thanks so much for your wonderful comment. I have long loved the quirkiness of Blake - his art, his words and his philosophy.

Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate them

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Ruby - thanks so much for your very kind words. I also love those lines. So profound.

Love and peace

Tony


Highvoltagewriter profile image

Highvoltagewriter 5 years ago from Savannah GA.

man that was a well put together hub! Just great!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thought provoking and enjoyable with the photos. I especially enjoyed the last...Childhood and it's end with pictures of your young daughter...no doubt you are thinking she will be grown up soon like your other children also pictured here as babes, as well as your grandchild...but the memories are sweet, I can tell!

Cheers


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Peggy - thanks so much for the thoughtful and kind comment. I really appreciate it very much indeed!

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Rod - thanks again. I'm so glad you like the drop of water photo, I am quite proud of that one!

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Mpho - enkhos' khakhulu mhlobo wam'. I really appreciate your kind words. They are indeed a "gift" to me!

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

HVW - thanks so much. I really appreciate your kind words.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Scribenet - I'm sure the memories will be sweet. Indeed they already are! It really is wonderful to see life continuing.

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment and such kind words. I reallyppreicate them.

Love and peace

Tony


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

I love this hub! Beautiful pictures – each one with a story of its own. Some are absolutely awesome – that one of the misty Table Mountain… the gymnast – oh, the fun an innocent girl may have!... those stones – o, ek vrek oor klippe… the look on Daniel’s face… got to stop. I just loved this! And the deep and thought-provoking poems. Thanks for sharing this with us, Tony. Ek het dié ene regtig baie geniet. Mooi loop!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Martie, jy is wonderlik! Baie dankie vir die mooi woorde - I really appreciate your kind words so very much.

Ek het nog fotos van klippe - miskien nog 'n Hub? Wie weet?

Thanks so much again.

HubPages has flagged this as duplicate - which is right as the poems do appear elsewhere. But I'm keeping it up here as I think I have added enough original material to the poems, of wat dink jy?

Love and peace

Tony


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

You've given the proper recognition to the poets. I also have a hub flagged as a duplicate - that one about the most famous prayer. After 5 months they have not yet removed it. Micky Dee is furious -they've flagged one of his own poems as a duplicate. Ag nee wat, Tony, laat dit soos water van 'n eend se rug van jou af rol. Please do a hub about stones! Hugs from me to you and yours.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Thanks Martie - I don't pretend to understand it and I hope it doesn't make too much difference to our HubScores!

So yes, I'm ignoring it and hoping it will go away! LOL!

Love and peace

Tony


lionel1 profile image

lionel1 5 years ago

Wow another amazing hub, Tony you are one talented man.

When you do these hubs you always make sure that you give us the fullness and more, because there's so much to see, and so much to discover in your hubs.

Thank you for another incredible hub.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Lionel - thanks so much for the very kind words, which I sincerely appreciate. I do try to give "value for money" so to speak!

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working