The Human Abstract
If there are winners there must be losers. Pity depends upon people who are poor. For William Blake, the key word is 'make,' implying that we force people into poverty so they may be eligible for pity. Instead of a just society, in ours the rich give handouts to the poor and feel smug about it. In the same way if happiness was universal we would have no need for mercy. Blake's poem reveals the source of injustice in the 'mind-forged manacles' of the human brain.
The Human Abstract was commissioned by "Sequitur" for its 'Songs of Protest' cabaret.