given on 4 Tuesdays in July at the College of Central Florida.
"I give you the end of a golden string,
Only wind it into a ball:
It will lead you in at Heavens gate
Built in Jerusalem's wall."
Very famous of course; you may find books entitled 'The Golden String.' Does it remind you of anything? Greek?
What is the golden string? Read my post, or just read on.
Last week's biography ended in 1804 with "After three years Blake had had enough. He and Catherine returned to London and to abject poverty, glorified by the tremendous production of his last decade.
Blake married an illiterate farm girl; she was more than that when he died; she had been pretty well educated by her husband.
Blake wrote (and inscribed) a lot of things:
Songs of Innocence and Experience (they became classics, but seen by very few in his day.)
Everybody knows or at least has heard of The Tyger.
As a married man Blake produced pictures and other objects of art; but the sale was dismal. They struggled along with contributions of a few friends. William Hayley, a successful although mediocre poet, took Blake under his wing.
Hayley insisted on Blake painting miniatures, all day.
Blake had no time for the poetry or the Visions that meant so much to him.
He and Catherine left their cottage on the sea and Hayley's support; they returned to poverty-- and sweet joy.
Here are the Plates, 1 by 1
go to a terminal
1. The synopsis found in wiki
2.. A section in my Blake Primer
This synopsis of Milton comes from a wiki:
Milton a Poem is an epic poem by William Blake, written and illustrated between 1804 and 1810. Its hero is John Milton, who returns from heaven and unites with Blake to explore the relationship between living writers and their predecessors, and to undergo a mystical journey to correct his own spiritual errors.
The poem is divided into two "books".
Book I opens with an epic invocation to the muses, drawing on the classical models of Homer and Virgil, and also used by John Milton in Paradise Lost. However, Blake describes inspiration in bodily terms, vitalising the nerves of his arm. Blake goes on to describe the activities of Los, one of his mythological characters, who creates a complex universe from within which other Blakean characters debate the actions of Satan.
Referring to the doctrines of Calvinism, Blake asserts that humanity is divided into the "Elect", the "Reprobate" and the "Redeemed". Inverting Calvinist values, Blake insists that the "Reprobate" are the true believers, while the "Elect" are locked in narcissistic moralism. At this point Milton appears and agrees to return to earth to purge the errors of his own Puritanism and go to "Eternal death".
Milton travels to Lambeth, taking in the form of a falling comet, and enters Blake's foot. This allows Blake to treat the ordinary world as perceived by the five senses as a sandal formed of "precious stones and gold" that he can now wear. Blake ties the sandal and, guided by Los, walks with it into the City of Art, inspired by the spirit of poetic creativity.
Book II finds Blake in the garden of his cottage in Felpham. Ololon, a female figure linked to Milton, descends to meet him. Blake sees a skylark, which mutates into a twelve year old girl, who he thinks is one of his own muses. He invites her into his cottage to meet his wife. The girl states that she is actually looking for Milton. Milton then descends to meet with her, and in an apocalyptic scene he is eventually unified with the girl, who is identified as Ololon and becomes his own feminine aspect.
The poem concludes with a vision of a final union of living and dead; internal and external reality; male and female and a transformation of all of human perception.