A Visit to William Blake's Inn Topics for Discussion

Nancy Willard
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1. In the poem "Blake Leads a Walk on the Milky Way," all the heavenly travelers are rewarded by Blake except the rat, who receives only "boots of iron" and "a handful of dirt." Why is the rat singled out in this way?

2. In "Blake Tells the Tiger the Tale of the Tailor," the tailor repeatedly insists "It's best/ to work with what I know."

What does the tailor mean by this? Does this philosophy finally get him in trouble? What can the reader learn from the tailor's experience?

3. Some of the fun of these poems grows out of Willard's taking figures of speech quite literally. For example, the "King of Cats," told that his breakfast is "on the house," climbs to the inn's rooftop to receive his meal. Can you find other devices used by Willard to inject humor into her poetry?

4. In the midst of these...

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This section contains 320 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Visit to William Blake's Inn Study Guide
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