Infant Joy

Infant Joy


  • “Infant Joy” is a distinctly uplifting poem by William Blake, featuring in his seminal “Songs of Innocence” series.
  • Focusing on the joy inherent in new life, Blake captures the discourse between a newborn baby and a mother figure.
  • The poem centres on themes such as pure joy, innocence, and the beauty of life in its untarnished form.


  • The “two days old” infant symbolises pure innocence, untainted by life experiences.
  • The mother embodies the embodiment of love, safety, and nurturing.


  • Innocence and Joy: The poem strongly emphasises the unspoilt joy and innocence associated with infancy.
  • Identity Formation: The act of naming oneself reflects on the autonomy and uniqueness of individual identity.
  • Celebration of Life: The overall tone of the poem is a celebration of new life and its inherent promises.


  • Auditory Imagery: The repeated phrase ‘sweet joy’ resonates a melodious, joyful note to the readers, evoking the innocence of a baby’s voice.
  • Visual Imagery: The image of ‘pretty joy’ paints a vivid picture of an infant’s playful smile and innocent charm.

Rhyme and Metre

  • “Infant Joy” follows an AABB rhyme scheme, characteristic of the “Songs of Innocence” collection, which laces the poem with a simple rhythm and a sing-song quality, embodying the innocence of an infant.
  • It consists of two quatrains, comfortably fitting into the iambic tetrameter format, which maintains the smooth and light rhythm throughout the poem.


  • In naming herself ‘Joy’, the infant metaphorically symbolises the personification of happiness and new beginnings.


  • An essential context is that “Infant Joy” is part of “Songs of Innocence”, where Blake often explores the optimism, purity and joy associated with childhood.
  • Remembering that Blake was deeply critical of the Industrial Revolution, this poem can be seen as an emblem of his yearning for simplicity and purity against the backdrop of industrial complexities.

These points aim to provide groundwork for an in-depth analysis and understanding of “Infant Joy” by William Blake.