Saturday, August 21, 2010


I think that Blake makes a distinction between the traveler and the wanderer. The traveler goes with a purpose, he enters experience with a goal - that of finding a better understanding of himself and the cosmos. The wanderer finds herself/himself is a world not of his choosing. Having no goal nor purpose he is easily enticed by the most glittery items and opportunities. There is a feeling of lostness and confusion that characterizes the wanderer. The wanderer causes trouble for himself as well as being a disruptive force wherever he goes.

Thel, Page 6, (E 6)
"She wanderd in the land of clouds thro' valleys dark, listning
Dolours & lamentations: waiting oft beside a dewy grave
She stood in silence. listning to the voices of the ground,"

Blake in London
Songs of Experience, SONG 46, (E 26)
"I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe."

Visions of the Daughters of Albion, Plate 1, (E 45)
"For the soft soul of America, Oothoon wanderd in woe,
Along the vales of Leutha seeking flowers to comfort her;
And thus she spoke to the bright Marygold of Leutha's vale"

Book of Urizen, Plate 25, (E 82)
"6. Cold he wander'd on high, over their cities
In weeping & pain & woe!
And where-ever he wanderd in sorrows
Upon the aged heavens
A cold shadow follow'd behind him"

Book of Ahania, Plate 2, (E 85)
"8: She fell down a faint shadow wandring
In chaos and circling dark Urizen,
As the moon anguishd circles the earth;
Hopeless! abhorrd! a death-shadow,
Unseen, unbodied, unknown,
The mother of Pestilence."

Milton, Plate 15, (E 109)
"But to himself he seemd a wanderer lost in dreary night.
Onwards his Shadow kept its course among the Spectres; call'd
Satan, but swift as lightning passing them, startled the shades
Of Hell beheld him in a trail of light as of a comet
That travels into Chaos: so Milton went guarded within."

Jerusalem, Plate 20, (E 165)
"Vala replied weeping & trembling, hiding in her veil.
When winter rends the hungry family and the snow falls:
Upon the ways of men hiding the paths of man and beast,
Then mourns the wanderer: then he repents his wanderings & eyes
The distant forest; then the slave groans in the dungeon of
stone. "

Milton, Plate 2
"Daughters of Beulah! Muses who inspire the Poets Song
Record the journey of immortal Milton thro' your Realms
Of terror & mild moony lustre, in soft sexual delusions
Of varied beauty, to delight the wanderer and repose
His burning thirst & freezing hunger!"

The Pickering Manuscript, The Mental Traveller, (E484)
"I traveld thro' a Land of Men
A Land of Men & Women too
And heard & saw such dreadful things
As cold Earth wanderers never knew"

Jerusalem, Plate 43 [29], (E 192)
"Then frownd the fallen Man, and put forth Luvah from his presence
Saying. Go and Die the Death of Man, for Vala the sweet wanderer."

Jerusalem, Plate 86, (E 245)
"Thus Los sings upon his Watch walking from Furnace to Furnace.
He siezes his Hammer every hour, flames surround him as
He beats: seas roll beneath his feet, tempests muster
Arou[n]d his head. the thick hail stones stand ready to obey
His voice in the black cloud, his Sons labour in thunders
At his Furnaces; his Daughters at their Looms sing woes
His Emanation separates in milky fibres agonizing
Among the golden Looms of Cathedron sending fibres of love
From Golgonooza with sweet visions for Jerusalem, wanderer."

Four Zoas, Page 5,(E 302)
"Enion said Farewell I die I hide. from thy searching eyes
So saying--From her bosom weaving soft in Sinewy threads
A tabernacle for Jerusalem she sat among the Rocks
Singing her lamentation. Tharmas groand among his Clouds
Weeping, then bending from his Clouds he stoopd his innocent head
And stretching out his holy hand in the vast Deep sublime
Turnd round the circle of Destiny with tears & bitter sighs
And said. Return O Wanderer when the Day of Clouds is oer"

Noteworthy is that the wanderers tend to be female. Three of the emanations of the four Zoas are wanderers. When they become separated from their male counterparts they are without guidance or direction. Wandering with Urizen is an exploration but unproductive. When the active male principle is absent, the receptive female tends to wander without direction. The wanderer is not headed for a destination but slated to return to the point of origin. Oothoon is the exception, she starts out as a wanderer but develops a strong ego and in the end independent of male support.

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