Infant Joy

The poem Infant Joy by William Blake is from his collection Songs of Innocence. The poem describes an imaginary conversation between a mother and her two days old young infant. They have a strong emotional bond and are quite happy with each other.

This poem is quite opposite to the one published in Songs of Experience (named Infant Sorrow) in which neither the parents nor the child is happy because of their poverty and struggle.

In the poem, the child is so happy that he calls himself by the name of Joy and on the other hand, his mother is very glad too and calls him sweet joy. The poem has been divided into two stanzas having 6 lines each.

Lines 1, 2, 4 & 5 are spoken by the child while lines 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 are spoken by his mother. The rhyme scheme of the poem is ABCDAC ABCDDC.

Infant Joy Analysis

Stanza 1

The child, in the first stanza, says that he is just two days old and has no name. Two things should be noted here – first that he is just 2 days old still speaking to his mother. so it is an imaginary conversation and second that he has no name because, in Christians, the tradition of baptising or christening or naming the children is held on the 3rd day of his birth.

Now the mother asks him (in imaginations, probably) what should she call him as he has no name but she is so happy that she can’t wait to call her by name. To this, the child replies that he is happy and hence his name is a joy. Note how there is rejoicing in every moment and in every conversation.

The mother then replies back by calling him Sweet that he may be blessed with joy and happiness in his life.

Stanza 2

The mother now calls him Pretty Joy in happiness and repeats his child’s words. According to her, he is sweet joy but just two days old. She will call him sweet joy because he is smiling in joy. She will sing while seeing him in joy.

The second stanza seems to be the mother’s joy in repeating the words of child as usually we do. Her words depict how happy she is to have a young infant in her lap.