He published the book Songs of Innocence and Experience in 1794, originally published as Songs of Innocence in 1789. It's a collection of poetry that juxtaposes two conflicting world visions. Innocence depicts the standpoint of an innocent child and experience depicts a more informed and possibly darker, adult view. This work is unique because Blake not only wrote the poetry, he illustrated it too. Songs of Innocence was originally published as a complete volume in 1789, but it was published again with additions five years later, newly bound and featuring Songs of Experience for greater contrast.
It has been one volume since then. The Lamb is an example of a poem in Songs of Innocence. An example of a poem in Songs of Experience, is The Voice of the Ancient Bard. In the book, Blake has integrated both text and illustration into the etching for printing. He was of the opinion that both text and illustration should be inextricable. The text and illustration are painstakingly etched into the paper to stand out in relief against it. The title page of the work is a work of art in itself. It was acquired by the Tate collection in 1922 when it was presented by a Mrs John Richmond.
The Creator of this Work of Art
William Blake is the creator of this work of art, because that's exactly what the Title Page is, regardless of the two poetry books it presents. Strictly speaking, it's the title page of Songs of Innocence exclusively, as it was in its first edition before being enlarged and having the meaning subtly adjusted. The work that went into creating this memorable piece of art is unique. for an illustrator and an author to work together is not unknown. In fact, it's relatively common. But for the illustrator and the author (or rather, in this case, poet) to be the same person gives this work a unique touch. The 19th-century poet and artist William Blake was considered to be an eccentric during his lifetime. He never received the accolades that his talent deserved. Today, he's seen as a pioneer of the 19th-century romantic movement in art and literature.