The Echoing Green by William Blake
“The Echoing Green” is one of the masterpieces penned by William Blake. The poem was published in “Songs of Innocence” in 1789. This volume earned him a great reputation. The poem under discussion is related to nature, one of the favourite themes of William Blake’s poetry. He discusses nature but in very simple forms. Nostalgia is the hallmark of the poem. The poem has been written in three stanzas. Each stanza has ten lines. The narrator in the poem is a young child. He is playing the echoing green i.e. green field or green park.
In the first stanza, the poet depicts the scene of Spring. He tells that the sun is rising and making the skies happy and gay. The merry bells are ringing to welcome the spring season. These merry bells mean the bells of the church ringing in the morning. The birds like skylarks and thrush are also chirping and singing with these bells. It can be said that the church bells and the singing birds both are welcoming the spring season. Then, the poet who is a narrator as a young child tells that he is playing with other children in the green park. This park is resounding with the echoes of the children on the ground.
In the second stanza, the poet tells about an old man, Old John. He has grey hair. The poet says the he is sitting with other young men under the oak tree. All the old men are enjoying the game of the children and forgetting their own miseries and cares. They are also remembering their own time when they used to play in the ground and the ground echoed with their voices. They utter: “Such, such were the joys” simply clears how they are excited to see the children playing in the playground. This scene has a great effect on their minds and they forget all their worries for the time being and get fresh.
In the third stanza, the poet tells that it is time for the sun to descend. This echoing green is going to be dark green now. The children will be ready to go back to their homes after enjoying their games. They will go to their mother’s laps. This dark green is now horrible for the children because of the darkness prevailing in the ground.
In so far as the theme of the poem is concerned, the echoing green is actually the symbol of life and the dark green is the symbol of the end of life. The hustle and bustle or the activity of life is the symbol of life. A man comes into the world, enjoys his life, and leaves it in the end. Mother’s lap is actually the symbol of the grave where a man spends his time after his death. (Words: 468)