Hello, I recently put one of William Blake's poems to music. I'm pretty sure it isn't copyrighted or anything, but would anyone happen to know if I'd still need permission from someone to record and release it? I know its probably a stupid question but I'm asking anyways.
Please call me Rainer, was 16 and empty minded when I made my profile.

Sometimes I talk to myself too...but never on the internet.
William Blake died almost 200 years ago, so you can use it however you like without any permission from anyone.

If a poem (or song, book, etc.) is in the "public domain" then you can use it commercially at will without any permission from anyone. The time it takes for a work to go into the public domain has been steadily increased by law-makers, even though most "intelligent" people today think was misguided and needs to be reversed. At present, the protection is something like 75 years AFTER death (so the heirs can profit from it for a while, I suppose). I think this applies retroactively to all songs.

I was doing the same thing a couple weeks ago -- set a poem by Robert Service (died in 1950s or 60s) to music, and another poem by Sam Walter Foss (died in 1911). So, like, for my two... I can use Mr. Foss's poem however I like, but I need permission to use Robert Service's poem in any commercial way, at least for now.

Bernie Sanders for President!