Echoing Green by William Blake

This is a brief poem, a little longer than a sonnet, which contains many images of a joyful summer. The stanzas and lines are consistent in length, both relatively short. Each of the three stanzas contains ten lines and each line contains about four to six words each. The brevity of the poem gives it a kind of spring-ness, when it is read out loud. The images found in the first stanza set the stage by containing words such as spring, sun, skies, and birds which all contribute to evoking the idea of “the echoing green.” The second stanza gives the poem perspective by creating a contrast between youth and old age (personified as “Old John with white hair”). The third stanza ties the two sets of images by intertwining the image of “many sisters and brothers” with images of nature “like birds in their nest.”

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