Monday, May 28, 2012


In Setting Forth we drew heavily on  Minna Doskow’s book (Chapter 1) re the structure of Jerusalem.  Research on that subject revealed a welter of scholars with widely disparate views.

In Setting Forth II I have found the matter much discussed in Sublime Allegory, especially on page 335 in a file by Stuart Curran:

Jerusalem of course is divided into four chapters:

To the Public,

To the Jews,

To the Deists, and

To the Christians, but the various scholars have uniformly disregarded that as Blake’s Structure (Blake of course had a universal dislike of any form of systemisation, but in Blake research we are condemned to systemizing in some way).

Curran poses a six part structure:

Plates 1-17 "outlines the the basic themes.....of the poem".

Plates 18-35 focuses on “Albion’s assertion of moral law” and the dire consequences.

In Plates 36- we watch a “concerted attempt to save Albion collapse in successive failures”.

In the fourth division (Plates -67  the general fallenness “culminates in the sacrifice of Luvah”.

In the fifth division (Plates 68-83) we see “the internecine warfare of the Sons and Daughters of Albion" (the Sons focused on war and violence in general while the Daughters enticed a kind of female love.

Plates 84-100 set forth the transfiguration “of univeral destruction and fear into apocalypse".

Curran cautioned us not to expect to perceive this in an initial reading, which in all likelihood would be entirely different, but only as an aid in a systematized study.
In another sense that I’ve noticed in studying the first 75 of the Plates they’re all the same: pages of Fallenness and usually at least a hint of Redemption at the end.

Jerusalem Plate 1

Plate 1 Notes:
A sturdy looking man whom we may call Los is going into a dark room carrying a radiant globe. 

We see Los, the imaginative  Albion entering the Door of Death, not mortal Death but the door or gate going from Eternity to the dark Sea of Time and Space.

That’s what Jerusalem is about or at least the first step in a sequential (but simultaneous) series of Moments. You might also call it the Door of Creation when those in Eternity fall down into mortality.  

A picture like this lends itself to ‘whomever you are’, to your level of consciousness: from Sleep to Innocence to Experience to regenerated awareness and practice of Love.

Look also at the Post for Plate 1 .

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