Billy Blake Week 4: Ideas for your Literature Journal

1/ Imagine yourself into Blake’s environment as an engraver working for the publisher of Stedman’s Narrative of atrocities in the Slave trade. Across your desk comes Governor King’s sketch of an Aboriginal Family. You are asked by your publisher to produce and engraving of this family for a book. What visions, thoughts drift across your imagination as you settle down to work on this engraving. Share your (Blake’s ) thoughts in a letter to a friend telling him/her how you hope to represent this family from the other side of the world and how you hope this image might make people feel differently about the blacks in the earth’s surface.

2/ Imagine yourself as a modern Australian poet or painter. You have been deeply touched by what you have seen and heard of Blake’s work. Write to a friend telling him/her what it is in Blake’s work that really seems to matter to you and to the world at large.

3/ Take the first two lines of any of Blake’s poems and develop a poem of your own that explores the relevance of Blake’s thinking to aspects either of your own life and/or to the social circumstances of living in Australian today.

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