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SONGS OF INNOCENCE by William Blake

PIPING down the valleys wild,

Piping songs of peasant glee,

On a cloud I saw a child,

And he, laughing, said to me:  

 ‘Pipe a song about a lamb!’

So I piped with merry cheer.

 ‘Piper, pipe that song again;’

So I piped: he wept to hear.  

‘Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;

Sing thy songs of happy cheer!’

So I sang the same again,

While he wept with joy to hear.  

 ‘Piper, sit thee down and write

 In a book, that all may read.’

So he vanished from my sight;

And I plucked a hollow reed,  

And I made a rural pen,

And I stain’d the water clear,

 And I wrote my happy songs

Every child may joy to hear.

At first glance, this poem had nursery rhyme resonance for me. It just seemed so happy and joyful that I knew there had to be more meaning behind the words. This piper choses to live life in a way that makes him happy: spread song and joy to all he meets. The special child from a cloud tells the piper to record these songs for every child and in doing so, the piper stains the water clear.We are all sinners. We are all in a sense, stained. We try and cleanse ourselves. The piper says to make ourselves clean by spreading joy and creating. He is creating, with each note, and each letter formed by his pen. This written language units us all as humans. We are all creators, especially in poetry. So life doesn’t suck…that outlook simply taints us more. We create our lives. Sure, we can’t control everything, but we create our world based on our reactions to mishaps. The piper says to reject the belief that everything is out of our hands. We have to power to think, write, create. We make our lives.

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