A Green Echo

Blake’s plate for Echoing Green

William Blake’s The Ecchoing Green is a poem towards the beginning of Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Besides being absolutely beautiful, the poem makes a statement about the song we call Life. The poem begins with the rising of the sun, which “make happy the skies.” The natural world’s awakening mirrors that of the people inhabiting it. “The sky-lark and thrush, The birds of the bush,” are metaphoric images for humanity which allow for the speaker of the poem to echo in the hearts of man very similarly to how poetry of Walt Whitman affects me. By weaving words together in a circular fashion, the cycles of every day life become a larger narrative as to the connection of reader and poet; or more simply man to man; alluded to in the lines, “They [old folk] laugh at our play, And soon they all say, Such such were the joys, When we all girls & boys, In our youth time were seen, On the Ecchoing Green.” The land becomes an eternal theatre, evergreen in the rise and fall of human action. The poem completes with the setting of the sun “our sports have an end,” and “like birds in their nest,” darken into seclusion as the green itself is deprived of sunlight. The play completes, and the curtain falls, only to rise again as the sun in the morning and man finds himself on his circular path around the heavens and the lowly oaks.

What kind of mindset does this poem put you at the beginning of Songs? Why might Blake wish to put you in that mindset? Do you (Whitman fans!) see a stylistic and philosophical similarity with this poem? Does the art for this poem help or hurt my interpretation of the poem? And finally, do you (Cummings fans!) see importance in how the color green seems to seep through the lines of this poem? Joan Baez sings All In Green Went My Love Riding

ALSO, I noticed that Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall has the same structure as Sir Walter Scott’s Lord Randal, it is well known that Dylan loved the Romantic Poets, (Keats is know to be a huge influence on him) so it makes sense that he would mimic Scott, and I wanted to write about why he might have, but I thought it might be important to know if you guys like Dylan, just so I feel that analyzing his lyrics will actually contribute to the larger efforts of our linked blogs. So do you think Dylan intentionally chose this poem because it’s message matches that of the song’s, or is it simply a stylistic tool?