Sunday, March 06, 2011


Blake's works both literary and visual were at the service of his VISION. As he defines his 'great task' :

Jerusalem, Plate 5, (E147)
"Trembling I sit day and night, my friends are astonish'd at me.
Yet they forgive my wanderings, I rest not from my great task!
To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes
Of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought: into Eternity
Ever expanding in the Bosom of God. the Human Imagination
O Saviour pour upon me thy Spirit of meekness & love:
Annihilate the Selfhood in me, be thou all my life!
Guide thou my hand which trembles exceedingly upon the rock of ages,
While I write of the building of Golgonooza"

Or putting the answer to the question of what was Blake trying to do into the words of his fellow visionary Ezekiel:

Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 13, (E 39)
"I then asked Ezekiel. why he eat dung, & lay so long on his
right & left side? he answerd. the desire of raising
other men into a perception of the infinite"

Blake was not creating pictures or poems but avenues through which our minds might be opened to perceiving 'Eternal Worlds' through 'immortal eyes'. To judge his work worthily is to ask how well he succeeds in being 'transparent to transcendence' (quoting Joseph Campbell).

Songs of Innocence, Song 13
The Little Boy lost


Victor Vertunni said...

You can hear "The Little Boy Lost" by pasting this link into your browser:

ellie said...

Thanks for your comment Victor.
It is a treat to hear your beautiful voice singing words inspired by WB.