The Book of Thel, William Blake
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The Book of Thel

Author: William Blake

Narrator: Jason Rosette

Unabridged: 12 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Published: 02/18/2021


A short masterpiece by the visionary English romantic poet, William Blake (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Songs of Innocence and Experience).In comparison to Blake's later prophetic books, The Book of Thel is relatively short and is easier to understand; this edition is entertainingly read by producer-narrator Jason Rosette.About the Book of ThelThe Book of Thel was most likely composed between 1788 and 1790. Composed of 14-syllable lines, this short poem was first published as a series of eight plates with illuminated text designed by Blake himself. Following an earlier, lesser-known poem, "Tiriel", The Book of Thel suggests a romantic-visionary response to the timeless question regarding the acquisition of wisdom and knowledge. The poem became known as one of Blake's “Prophetic Books” for its existential interrogations.SummaryThe poem follows Thel, a young shepherdess who wanders through a fantastical pastoral world called the Vales of Har, yearning to understand her purpose. Primarily concerned with her own mortality, various natural entities in her environment, including a cloud and a clod of dirt, offer her insights. The poem is significant for its animistic-natural representation of divinity and its direct handling of the question of existence.About the authorWilliam Blake (28 November 1757 - 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language".