William Blake was perhaps the greatest English poet of his time, and one of the small pantheon of all time greats, standing alongside Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley and Tennyson. His best known works include The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, The Songs of Innocence and The Songs of Experience.
Born in London in 1757, not far the site of the Ripper murders over a century later, Blake’s family were not wealthy, and he stayed at school only long enough to learn to read and write. However, this was enough to get his natural talents as a writer and artist going, and Blake never looked back. His work, however, was often controversial – his most frequent subject matter could best be described as a species of pagan christianity, and his mysticism was a profound influence on his work. He died with visions of his Heaven in his eyes and words of faith and devotion on his lips.
You Don’t Pull No Punches, But You Don’t Push The River — Van Morrison