Episode 20: Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Cover art of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul title page

“We don’t so much think about reality, we think reality.” –Frank Faulk

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Joe and Mark talk to the accomplished radio documentary maker Frank Faulk about Mr. Joy and Woe himself, William Blake.

In this far-ranging and deep conversation we discover the impact that Blake’s poetry and thought had on Frank’s approach to his work, and, in fact, his life and personal philosophy.

They discuss the difference between Enlightenment thought and what the Romantics were all about, and the special place that Blake had between the two.

Blake made Frank aware of the idea that imagination and the capacity for creation is not a separate skill or ability, but something we all share. “In a way we’re all artists, we’re all creating our life from moment to moment,” Frank says.

This is not a conversation to be missed if you’re interested in the concepts of consciousness, reality and existence.

Frank also recites two of Blake’s poems, which are a lovely pair: The Lamb and The Tyger. You can follow along with these two Songs of Innocence and of Experience for free at Project Gutenberg.

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Frank Faulk worked at the CBC for 25 years where he produced award-winning radio documentaries that were heard internationally. In 2017 he retired from the CBC, though he continues to explore his passion for the spiritual dimension of life, (the focus of many of his radio documentaries.)

Do yourself a solid and check out some of Frank’s work that is available via CBC. In particular, you may want to listen to his pieces about Blake (first two links):

Pictured at right: Frank before and after reading Blake.

Frank Faulk -- on the left, smiling at the camera, on the right, wearing a multicolored mask

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