Titling pieces of literature can be considered an art in itself. Titles in poetry, no matter the length, use different poetic writing elements to add clarity, value, or meaning to the poem whether the title guides the reader to understand or pushes the reader to search for a deeper meaning in the poem. Poems such as "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks, "The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop, "The Lamb" by William Blake, and "Unholy Sonnet" by Mark Jarmon are examples of poems that provide explanations of the author's motivation behind titling their poems. Writing elements in poetry such as symbolism, tone, imagery, and similes provide inspiration and reasoning towards titling poems.
The writing element of symbolism is very evident in the poem "The Lamb" by William Blake. Symbols such as "an object, person, place, event, or action can suggest more than its literal meaning" (Meyer 702). In this poem, a child asks a lamb about his origins. The lamb clearly symbolizes Jesus. The lamb in Christian faith resembles peace, love, and gentleness. In the poem, the child says "He is called by thy name,/For he calls himself a Lamb./He is meek, and he is mild,/He became a little child"(Blake 13-16). Here the child symbolizes Jesus but also innocence. The poem ends with the child blessing the lamb, which can symbolize Jesus in his youth or Jesus' care for children. The title "The Lamb" may seem simple and straightforward, but on the contrary the title invites the reader to look deeper into the symbol in the title. On the surface, this title introduces the main subject in the poem, but in order to grasp the meaning and symbolism in the poem, the reader must understand why the author uses "The Lamb" as the title.