28/11/2012 05:50 GMT | Updated 28/11/2012 05:54 GMT

William Blake's Mad Wisdom To Celebrate The Great Poet's Birthday

Good old William Blake. If the vision-seeing, prophetic poetry writing, mildly bonkers poet and artist were still alive today, he would be a mighty 255-years-old.

Human biology being what it is, he's not. But we're still taking the opportunity to celebrate Blake's pivotal role in defining the Romantic Age and being latterly seen as one of Britain's most important artists.

Blake was deemed mad by his contemporaries for his unusual views on sex (he was perhaps the first proponent of free love), religion and politics, but has subsequently been upheld as a visionary.

This looks like a party to us: William Blake's interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream

As well as writing dozens of poems, Blake brought Britain the hymn 'Jerusalem' and popular rhyme 'Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright'. He was also a prolific artist, illustrating his poems as well as Dante's Inferno, resulting in a number of creative visions of Hell.

And for his birthday celebrations? We'll be following one of Blake's finest pieces of advice: "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."