Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Immortal Man

It was early morning; I sat in the breakfast room reading the paper. Then I turned to Kathleen Raines' Blake and Antiquity. It led to some deep thoughts about life, death-- the various meanings of those two words, and especially how much Blake's poetry and pictures parallel Eastern Religion. Suddenly these two verses from Gates of Paradise popped into my head (click on Of the Gates):

13. But when once I did descry
The Immortal Man that cannot die,

14. Thro' evening shades I haste away
To close the labours of my day.

(Should this link go on the chapter on Poetry or the chapter on Myth?)

Blake frequently gives us the fundamental truths of life and death, but clothed in a symbology that we have to learn to get the full impact.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Book of Brass

As committed a Christian as Blake was, he still receives little or no coinage in conventional religious circles. The reasons are rather obvious: he exploded the pet values and prejudices of the conventional Christian, like the "inerrency" of the Bible, etc. etc.

In MHH Blake promised to write the Book of Hell:
The Book of Urizen shows Urizen (Old Nobodaddy) with the Book of Brass; it doesn't save; it condemns. As Moses (and Blake) said, "would to God that all the Lord's people were prophets", and able to hear God speaking directly in Jesus' tones of love rather than like Urizen heard it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Learning Blake

I got into Blake re 1978 and published my Blake book five years later.