Who is Thomas Pitchford, you ask? He's a humble school librarian for whom I'm thankful.
BBC News had an article this morning online saying that a poem had been attributed to William Blake (famous, brilliant British poet who died in 1827 and was at least 100 years ahead of his time. Okay, 150), which Blake had never written. This perked up my English Teacherly Heart. Pitchford read the poem, looked online, found it repeatedly attributed to Blake, but didn't buy it. The poem's style didn't match Blake's style. Good for Mr. Pitchford, a man who can identify an artist by style alone. (That makes my Teacherly Heart swim!)
After research, since Pitchford is a librarian after all, he discovered the poem had been published in the U.S. in 1981 in this darling little book:
|My own copy of Nancy Willard's A Visit to William Blake's Inn|
this one, or a poetry blog like this one, or this education website. All assign the poem to Blake. How embarrassing! I wonder when they'll realize they've been stupid enough to simply copy a falsehood found on the internet? Who started the lie? I imagine it was unintentional. Some poor illiterate was looking at children's books with half his brain turned off, and mistook Nancy Willard's book for a book by the genius himself. Why? Because he clearly knew nothing about Blake himself. A Blake anthology would look like this:
By the by, Blake did write a poem about sunflowers. It's in his "Songs of Experience."