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“The Garden of Love”

William Blake is one of the first voices to liberate me from the “mind-forg’d manacles” imposed by mere religion — beginning back in high school — and for that, he has my eternal gratitude.

William Blake was unorthodox in his views on theology, but at the same time heavily influenced by orthodox religion, as his art attests. He was deeply disturbed by poverty, child labor, prostitution, and hypocrisy of Church and oppressive nature of government. Understanding this about his personality serves one well in dissecting his poetry. One reading on "The Garden of Love" is that it was written to express Blake's beliefs on the naturalness of sexuality and how organised religion, particularly the Christian church of Blake's time, encouraged repression of natural desires. 


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