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Article

Abstract

The poetry of illuminated printmaker William Blake is remembered long after his death and the passing of the Romantic Movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His collection, Songs of Innocence and Experience, examines individualism in celebration of the natural world and connections with God, or the divine, by using animals as subjects and metaphors for the human condition. Readers of Blake's work can see the influence of his "prayer-poems" in the works of other writers, such as the late American poet Mary Oliver, whose poetry is also rich in religious undertones. While Blake's "The Lamb" and its counterpart,"The Tyger," speculate on the origins of creation, Oliver's prayer-poems are an update on Blake's for a more secular 21st-century world. Oliver's "Hummingbirds" and "Wild Geese" are relevant to the modern reader in an examination of their humanity and spiritual connections to all of creation.

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