Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Moving Up

                 Yale Center for British Art
                     Jerusalem, Plate 92

Note the four zoas sleeping around Enitharmon:
At her feet old grey beard Urizen. At the left is Los; at the right the face in the shadow is Tharmas and the other one Luvah.
At the middle sides: on the right Jerusalem; on the left the Druids. So Blake expresses the Eternal on the right and the Material on the left.
The fact that Enitharmon was clothed indicates that she is in the material world;
Beginning near the end of Plate 91 we read:
"Terrified Los sat to behold trembling & weeping & howling1

I care not whether a Man is Good or Evil; all that I care
Is whether he is a Wise Man or a Fool. Go! put off Holiness
And put on Intellect: or my thundrous Hammer2 shall drive thee

To wrath which thou condemnest: till thou obey my voice
So Los terrified cries: trembling & weeping & howling!

Plate 92:
What do I see? The Briton Saxon Roman Norman amalgamating
In my Furnaces into One Nation the English: & taking refuge
In the Loins of Albion.
The Canaanite united with the fugitive Hebrew, whom she
divided into Twelve, & sold into Egypt3
Then scatterd the Egyptian & Hebrew to the four Winds!
This sinful Nation Created in our Furnaces & Looms is Albion
So Los spoke. Enitharmon answerd in great terror in Lambeths Vale4:
The Poets Song draws to its period & Enitharmon is no more.
For if he be that Albion I can never weave him in my Looms5
But when he touches the first fibrous thread, like filmy dew
My Looms will be no more & I annihilate vanish for ever
Then thou wilt Create another Female according to thy Will.
Los answerd swift as the shuttle6 of gold. Sexes must vanish &
cease To be, when Albion arises
from his dread repose O lovely
Enitharmon: When all their Crimes, their Punishments their Accusations of Sin:
All their Jealousies Revenges. Murders. hidings of Cruelty in Deceit
Appear only in the Outward Spheres of Visionary Space and Time.
In the shadows of Possibility by Mutual Forgiveness forevermore
And in the Vision & in the Prophecy, that we may Foresee & Avoid
The terrors of Creation & Redemption & Judgment.7
Beholding them Displayd in the Emanative Visions of Canaan in Jerusalem & in
Shiloh And in the Shadows of Remembrance, & in the Chaos of the Spectre Amalek,
Edom, Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Ashur, Philistea, around Jerusalem
(Erdman 252) -
Where the Druids reard their Rocky Circles to make permanent
Remembrance Of Sin. & the Tree of Good & Evil sprang from the Rocky Circle &
Snake Of the Druid, along the Valley of Rephaim from Camberwell to Golgotha
And framed the Mundane Shell Cavernous in Length Bredth & Highth"
1Los had been listening to the horrid words of the Spectre, recorded earlier (in Plate 91)
2The hammer is "metaphorically connected to the beating of the human heart.
3Here Blake has made an obvious reference to the Book of Exodus. With "this sinful people" he included Egyptian, Canaanites, Hebrews.
4 Blake used Lambeth's Vale 9 times. He lived at Lambeth: No.13 Hercules Buildings, Lambeth while he was writing Jerusalem.
5The looms are Enitharmon's equivalent of Los' hammer. (He was a blacksmith; she was a weaver.)
6Shuttle: a device used in weaving
7"terrors of Creation & Redemption & Judgment": what an interesting way to juxtapose those three items. Creation is a terror? well of course the new born baby cries. Redemption? it should be a joyous and happy moment like new babies--except that it involves a lifetime of struggle, annihilating the Selfhood, over and over, maybe a dozen times in a day; Judgment? Sound terrible, but look at Blake's definition of it:
"whenever any Individual Rejects Error & Embraces Truth a Last Judgment passes upon that Individual" A Vision of the Last Judgment (Erdman 562)

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