CRITICAL – Take any of the songs that we explored today (Patti Smith and/or The Doors) and discuss how the song embodies a Blakean insight into human experience that is still relevant today.
Patti Smith’s ‘My Blakean Year‘ embodies a clear Blakean insight into human experience. This embodiment is made obvious through the title of her song, a direct link to Blake’s insight which she has related to today’s modern society through titling it about her year.
Throughout this year, Patti explores and learns of William Blake’s insights and in the opening of her song states, “In my Blakean year I was so disposed / Toward a mission yet unclear Advancing pole by pole”. This demonstates that she is embarkin on a journey with no set end goal in sight; the journey of her life. Throughout this journey she encounters numerous experiences which are not all positive, and “The pain of our existence Was not as [I] envisioned”.
Patti states that Blake’s life “was a testament of faith over strife. He suffered poverty humiliation and misunderstanding yet he continued to do his work and maintained a lifelong belief in his vision. He has served as a good example in facing my own difficulties and feeling a certain satisfaction in doing so”. Patti’s song explores this insight into the good and bad of the human experience as she reflects on her suffering and the joy she has found throughout her year. This is seen towards the end of the song where Patti repeats “So throw off your stupid cloak Embrace all that you fear / For joy shall conquer all despair in my Blakean year”. This perspective she holds in which she continues to move on through the joy and the fear and continue to experience life as it is demonstrates a Blakean insight and understanding into the human experience.