What Did William Blake Think He Could See That Others Could Not?


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Lucy Burroughs Profile
Lucy Burroughs answered
From an early age, William Blake reported having visions; he claimed to have seen God at age four, and a tree full of angels several years later.

Blake was also a great believer in the sublime power and beauty of nature, and made this the subject of much of his work. He believed that he was at one with the natural world, and could 'see' and understand it in ways that most people couldn't.

"There was no doubt that this poor man was mad" - William Wordsworth

Whether or not Blake genuinely had these visions is open to debate. The visions, which continued throughout his life, were usually beautiful and religious in nature. Blake also believed that Archangels had instructed him to write, and that his work was enjoyed and celebrated in Heaven.

When speaking of the Romantic poets, it is easy for one to assume that drugs are responsible for eccentricities like Blake's. However, while many of his peers (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, for example) were heavy opium users, Blake, allegedly, was not.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think he could see angels a lot of the time they were said to be in his visions. I think the visions that he had were to do with religion because he saw angels and god.
Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
William Blake saw "visions" almost every day, and these are the basis of most of his paintings as well as a lot of his poetry. His wife was used to him asking her to get his painting equipment in a hurry, so he could record the angelic and other beings of his vision.

This tendency started in childhood; he was once terrified by what he thought was a vision of God, and his horrific picture "the soul of a flea" is also thought to be based on a vision.

To him it was just a fact of life that no two people see the same thing. As he put it: "A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees." He once told a friend that every time he looked at the sun he saw angels dancing round it. Whatever the sources of Blake's "visions" for him there was nothing odd or surprising in the things he saw - it was just his view of the world.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A man walking towards him.

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