"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Review of The Poetry of William Blake: An iBook from Providence eLearning


This was the second book I reviewed for Providence eLearning as a consulting project, but the first I will review here.

I had no idea what to expect in reviewing this book as I didn't know much about William Blake other than one poem, The Tyger.  That was quickly remedied as the instructor spent time in the Preface giving information on him (Authorship and Context) that was extremely helpful in understanding how to approach his poetry and art.  Blake was not just a poet.  Blake was a particularly precocious child who was educated at home by his loving mother.  His artistic temperaments and interested were fostered by his parents.  He actually was trained in a trade as an engraver at a young age, which paid off in his later work when he would not only write poetry but illustrate it as well.  He would create prints, writing the poetry backward on the plate.  Then he and his wife would come back after printing with the engravings and hand paint each page with water colors.

Blake's poetry is beautiful and many poems touched me deeply, especially after the instructor's skillful interpretation.  This book also included other artwork by Blake.  The book is a beautiful balance of poetry, interpretation and appreciation of Blake's work.  I highly recommend this iBook.  Currently, it is on sale on iTunes for $6.99!

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