Saturday, June 23, 2012

Plate 87

Plate 87

Silent they wanderd hand in hand like two Infants wandring
From Enion in the desarts, terrified at each others beauty
Envying each other yet desiring, in all devouring Love,

Repelling weeping Enion blind & age-bent into the fourfold
Desarts. Los first broke silence & began to utter his love.

O lovely Enitharmon: I behold thy graceful forms
Moving beside me till intoxicated with the woven labyrinth
Of beauty & perfection my wild fibres shoot in veins  
Of blood thro all my nervous limbs. soon overgrown in roots
I shall be closed from thy sight. sieze therefore in thy hand
The small fibres as they shoot around me draw out in pity
And let them run on the winds of thy bosom: I will fix them
With pulsations. we will divide them into Sons & Daughters
To live in thy Bosoms translucence as in an eternal morning

Enitharmon answerd. No! I will sieze thy Fibres & weave
Them: not as thou wilt but as I will, for I will Create
A round Womb beneath my bosom lest I also be overwoven
With Love; be thou assured I never will be thy slave   
Let Mans delight be Love; but Womans delight be Pride
In Eden our loves were the same here they are opposite
I have Loves of my own I will weave them in Albions Spectre
Cast thou in Jerusalems shadows thy Loves! silk of liquid
Rubies Jacinths Crysolites: issuing from thy Furnaces. While
Jerusalem divides thy care: while thou carest for Jerusalem
Know that I never will be thine:
also thou hidest Vala
From her these fibres shoot to shut me in a Grave.
You are Albions Victim, he has set his Daughter in your path
(Edrdman; 246)

all devouring Love” of course is the worst sort. 
Enion is the ‘Earth Mother”, the emanation of Tharmas.  

Los proposes an agenda, but Enitharmon responds:
Not as thy love but as I will, demonstrating the base form of love.... Let Man’s delight be Love, but Woman’s delight be Pride.

(It’s very important to note that Blake is not referring to the ordinary life of men and women; he’s speaking in the mythopoeic sense.  All humans have within them a man and a woman; the purpose of Eternity is to bring the two together, as God did in Genesis.  

Unfortunantly with the Fall the two came wide apart. 

Salvation involves their coming back together making of two ONE.)

“While though carest for Jerusalem Know that I will never be thine” 

Jerusalem is the upward way; Enitharmon chooses Vala!
Albion’s (fallen) daughter is Vala.

The picture means very little without an interpreter:

The large upper left figure represents Tharmas pushing against his separation from Enion (although Erdman on page 366 of The Illuminated Blake suggests Urizen rather than Tharmas).

You may envision two representations of Enion, both separate from Tharmas: in the lower left a small solitary figure and in the center a larger figure reaching for her daughter, Enitharmon.

The row between Los and Enitharmon and Los is seen in the right side of the picture.


Vincent said...

I'm quite a way from understanding what's going on here, but content that you have explained some of it.

I can't put out of my head the notion that Los is Blake and Enitharmon is his wife Catherine, asserting her independent agenda. It couldn't have been easy with a husband and work supervisor rolled into one; and the same with the home and the workshop.

Obviously Blake has a message for the reader, but cannot his poetic vision have been inspired in part by the energy-flows of domestic life? I can well imagine Catherine saying "You have your love, but I have my pride. I'll never be your slave. I have loves of my own. I'll never be your possession.

Which makes me wonder: "Who in this marital scenario, then, is Vala?"

Vincent said...

And I meant to congratulate you for coining "unfortunantly". Or is it a word from Blake, or regional dialect?

One more thing I was going to point out that "Let man's delight be love!" should surely have a semicolon and not an exclamation mark; but then I see that somehow it has miraculously changed, or else I imagined it in the first place.