Analysis on The Clod & The Pebble by William Blake

Length: 5 Pages 1229 Words

The Clod and the Pebble is a poem that Blake wrote to show the stark contrast between two very different personalities. This poem exemplifies Blake's usage of dialectic opposites, the extremes of two sides, but specifically in the same poem. The clod and the pebble have extremely contrasting views on love – the clod views it as altruistic and compassionate while the pebble sees love as a selfish emotion. The clod is described as “trodden with cattle’s feet” meaning that he has been repeatedly trampled on, yet he does not seem to mind that this is going on. He accepts that the purpose of his very existence is to be stepped on by higher beings. The clod’s song of love is full of optimism and hopefulness. He is the voice of innocence in the poem. He sings that “Love seeketh not itself to please, / Nor for itself hath any care”, indicating to us that he thinks love is selfless and that a lover would do many things just to please the people he loves. Love to the clod is good, and forever giving. The clod goes further to explain that love “for another gives its ease”, he is telling us that a lover would give up many aspects of his life to be with the one he loves. Love is altruistic in this situation and no other fe Continue...


Then the Clod says "And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair", he means that love can overcome anything. The Pebble warbles, "Joy in another's loss of ease". Parental love allows parents to forgive their children no matter what situation they get themselves into. The Pebble sees love as a dark and dismal illusion that only brings suffering and pain. The Pebble is saying love is selfish. The attitude of the pebble is very much different from that of the clod. He is unwilling to be used and he does not accept the fact that he is meant to be a pebble and nothing else. I read this poem, and formed the conclusion that we should not fall into the trap of being too ignorant love's tendency to be self centered around us or become too disillusioned by it, but maintain a practical blend between both. This makes the contrast more obvious, and it leaves the reader to ponder on whether such extreme views are justified and if there was a negotiable ground between the both ends. Yet I feel Blake has cleverly chosen these two objects. This means someone in love expects his partner to give up her simple life of being alone to share it with him. In this case he gives two different perspectives on love from different ends of the spectrum in a single shot poem. This indicates he's probably under better circumstances compared to the clod who is trodden on. This does not sound like the song of the Clod. He is not ambitious and does not seem to want to alter his position in such a way that he may be superior to others around him.