Creative Writing ala Blake

William Blake believed that only our imaginations could lead us to the truth. In his poems he frequently explored paradoxes and ironies which could not be resolved using Enlightenment logic. To discover meaning in his poems, the reader must leave logic behind, dive into the pool of Blake's  imagery, and learn how to swim. By trusting our moral instincts, Blake believed that we could achieve a vision of the truth.

Think about the following paradoxes in our most cherished ideals:
  1. Can freedom co-exist with equality?
  2. Can justice co-exist with mercy?
  3. Can knowledge co-exist with happiness?
  4. Can we be both spontaneous and secure?
  5. Why do bad things happen to good people?
  6. Why do good things happen to bad people?

The Romantics believed that these apparent paradoxes could be resolved, but not logically. Kant said that the realm of moral experience, where our characters are forged, exists beyond reason.

As an exercise in thinking in this way, observe an animal, maybe your household pet. Think about the way the universe appears to this animal. Try to avoid anthropomorphizing too much. Imagine what your pet's realm must be like. Imagine a place where its mind shapes reality. What paradoxes must your pet face?

Use specific sense images in your poem. Don't tell us about these images; just show them to us. Let them walk around and speak. It's all right if your poem does not make logical sense. However, it must make emotional sense to you. You might want to join together a very commonplace image, like a rose or a fly, with something huge, like a bomb blast or a tidal wave.

You might want to use Blake's unique multi-media writing style in which he combines words and images to engage the reader's imagination.