Today is the birthday of someone who never celebrated Thanksgiving. Poet and artist WILLIAM BLAKE was born in London in 1757).
He started seeing visions when he was a young boy — God in the window, angels in trees.
He apprenticed to an engraver, and spent his life as a little-known printmaker and poet.
Blake set up an exhibition of his art in his brother’s shop and called it “Poetical and Historical Inventions.” He left the show up for a year, but not many people attended, and not a single piece of art was sold.
Though famous today, he died in poverty in 1827, at the age of 69. In the 30 years after publishing his Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, fewer than 20 copies had sold.
An 1863 book, Life of William Blake was published quoted many of Blake’s poems, and included his illustrations and was hugely popular, and for the first time, Blake was considered a major English poet.