In this installment, Stefanie Wortman reads “The Chimney Sweeper” [from Songs of Experience] by William Blake. Wortman’s poems have appeared in the Yale Review, New Orleans Review, and Subtropics. She is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing from the University of Missouri.
William Blake, “The Chimney Sweeper”
A little black thing among the snow:
Crying weep, weep, in notes of woe!
Where are thy father & mother? say?
They are both gone up to the church to pray.
Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil’d among the winters snow:
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.
And because I am happy & dance & sing,
They think they have done me no injury:
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery.