Friday, October 21, 2011

Blake's Sun

For Blake, as well as most poets the Sun has (at least one) special meaning:

Here is this from a simple Song of Innocence.
In the Ecchoing Green:
"The Sun does arise.
And make happy the skies.
......
Till the little ones weary
No more can be merry
The Sun does descend
And our sports have an end."

Perhaps the only special meaning of this is
The rising sun connotes energy
The setting sun..rest," 


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In 1808 Blake used pen and watercolor for A Vision of the Last Judgment; he provided a prose interpretation:

Descriptions of the Last Judgment (Erdman 552-66). Here's an extract from it: 

"What it will be Questiond When the Sun rises do you not see a round Disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea O no no I see an Innumerable company of the Heavenly host crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight I look thro it & not with it. (What it will be Questiond When the Sun rises do you not see a round Disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea O no no I see an Innumerable company of the Heavenly host crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight I look thro it & not with it." 

(Vision of the Last Judgment; Erdman 565 -6)
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Another interesting use of the Sun is found in Blake's celebration of what he
saw as a consequence of the American Revolution:
(In America A Prophesy (Erdman 53)

PLATE 6 
"The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations;
The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrapped up;
The bones of death, the cov'ring clay,
the sinews shrunk & dry'd.
Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing!awakening!
Spring like redeemed captives when their bonds & bars are burst;
Let the slave grinding at the mill, run out into the field:
Let him look up into the heavens & laugh in the bright air;
Let the inchained soul shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years;
Rise and look out, his chains are loose, his dungeon doors
are open.
And let his wife and children return from the opressors scourge;
They look behind at every step & believe it is a dream. Singing.
The Sun has left his blackness, & has found a fresher    
morning And the fair Moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night;
For Empire is no more, and now the Lion & Wolf shall cease."

The afore bolded line is repeated near the end of Night IX of The Four Zoas:

"The Sun has left his blackness & has found a fresher morning   
And the mild moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night     
And Man walks forth from midst of the fires the evil is all   
consumd His eyes behold the Angelic spheres arising night & day
The stars consumd like a lamp blown out & in their stead behold
The Expanding Eyes of Man behold the depths of wondrous worlds
One Earth one sea beneath nor Erring Globes wander but
Stars Of fire rise up nightly from the Ocean &
one Sun Each morning like a New born Man issues with songs &
Joy Calling the Plowman to his Labour & the Shepherd to his rest
He walks upon the Eternal Mountains raising his heavenly voice 
Conversing with the Animal forms of wisdom night & day
That risen from the Sea of fire renewd walk oer the Earth" 
(The Four Zoas; Erdman 406)

some biblical symbols from A Biblical Symbol Chart:

SymbolSun.jpg (6638 bytes) Sun - represents the Gospel.
Sunshine cheers us. Sunshine warms us. The sun's rays have the power to heal. What better picture could we have of the joy of the Gospel - Good News - of salvation and God's planned Kingdom of Righteousness? It provides us with spiritual health and gladdens our hearts.
Even now, God has blest the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). In his Kingdom, he will give all mankind the opportunity for everlasting life on a perfect earth, demanding only their obedience.
SymbolSun2.jpg (6066 bytes) Sun of Righteousness - represents Christ and his faithful followers in heavenly glory.
The scripture that speaks of the "sun of righteousness" is different from the more general symbol of "sun" meaning "Gospel." Jesus is the center of the Sun, the Gospel, the Good News. His faithful Church, his joint-heirs, will be there with him to heal the nations, the people of the world.
"But unto that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." Malachi 4:2

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