Songs of Experience
Songs of Innocence
Blake has created similar images for the two plates to lead us to noting the meaning of both similarities and differences we observe. Perhaps most obvious of the similarities is that the central figures are both 'setting forth' as are the figures on the frontispieces of Milton and of Jerusalem. As usual Blake invites us to undertake a spiritual journey as we enter an unfamiliar world which has the potential for transforming our thinking.
The differences in the two images may best be addressed by asking questions:
Why is the child airborne in a cloud or sitting on the man's head?
Why is the landscape enclosed or open?
Why does one man gaze at the child, one at the reader?
Why does one man carry a musical instrument?
We are looking for our own answers in the pictures and in the poetry. Blake intended to open the minds of his readers into the world of imagination not to introduce him to a rigid system for interpreting life.