Saturday, September 15, 2012


Who knows why there is a double name for this Zoa, but for none of the other three?
Anyway there it is and what can we do about it?

The eternal name, Urthona has fairly limited use in comparison to the temporal Los.

Los was the fourth immortal starry one, & in the Earth Of a bright Universe Empery 
attended day & night Days & nights of revolving joy, Urthona was his name 
 (Four Zoas 1-3:9-11; Erdman 301) 

 Los is "the expression in this world of the creative imagination" (Damon, 246), and in 
Beulah his name reverts to Urthona.

A master smith, worker in metal Los worked at the furnaces, hopefully changing iron to 
gold; this happens, but it's realized only at the end of time. Los, master of time, is 
trying to work himself out of a job, and at the end he is in fact reabsorbed into Urthona, 
the poetic genius. (For that we're still waiting.)

In Ulro Urizen's sun has virtually gone out; Los labors to create a worldly sun (Sun is 
Los backward).Then wondrously the Starry Wheels felt the divine hand. Limit Was put 
to Eternal Death

Los felt the Limit & saw The Finger of God touch the Seventh furnace in terror And 
Los beheld the hand of God over his furnaces Beneath the Deeps in dismal Darkness 
beneath immensity 
(Four Zoas 4-56:23-26 Erdman 338) 

 The paradoxical significance of the furnace is borne out in the Bible with Shadrach, 
Once escaped from Ulro Los, the master builder, proceeded to build Golgonooza
representing material progress. Los builded it and builded it 'time on time'; each time a 
society went into eclipse, Golgonooza must be built again. This of course is a figure for 
worldly progress, all very good, but not in the same dimension as the City of God.

However Blake wrote to Hayley: "The Ruins of Time builds Mansions in Eternity.
(Letter 9), referring to the final transformation of the best of Golgonooza into 
Jerusalem, which is the meaning of the Last Judgment.

Children of Los and Enitharmon:
Their first born was called Orc; he represented Revolution. We can surmise that Blake 
was much attached to Revolution in his early years, but with the debacle of the French 
Revolution his attitude changed.

Blake had important 'prophecies',  America and The French Revolution. The Book of 
Urizen, especially chapters vi and vii, gives much insight into the mythical identity of
Orc. (This little prophecy in fact is an excellent introduction to some of the important
threads of 4Z.) 

 Here are the later and multiple progency of Los and Enitharmon ("And she bore an 
enormous race"):And these are the Sons of Los & Enitharmon. Rintrah (Wrath)
 Palamabron (Pity) Theotormon Bromion Antamon Ananton Ozoth Ohana Sotha
Mydon Ellayol Natho Gon Harhath Satan Har Ochim Ijim Adam Reuben Simeon Levi
Judah Dan Naphtali Gad Asher Issachar Zebulun Joseph Benjamin David Solomon
Paul Constantine Charlemaine Luther Milton (FZ8-107.6 Erdman 380) 

 One might think here that Blake has descended to obscurity; but wait a minute: many 
of these early 'sons' are characters in other works (and 4Z is really more a notebook 
than a finished poem). Reuben-Benjamin are of course the 12 sons of Israel (and the 12 
tribes). Then he names the leading lights of our faith from David to Milton. And 
Dr. Ed Friedlander, in his classic William Blake's Milton had this to say about the sons
of Los and Enitharmon:

"Twelve of the Sons of Los and Enitharmon were lost to Urizen. These remaining 
Four embrace all humanistic endeavor. All are forms of Orc, but unlike the terrible 
child, the drive of the Four toward a comfortable and happy world is controlled and 
directed by Los, prime agent of regeneration". 

Because Milton is a poem about people as we know them rather than a cosmic 
chronicle, the Four are very important in our epic. In particular, Rintrah, Palamabron, 
Theotormon, and Bromion are the enlightened, socially conscious people of Blake's 

Rintrah appears first in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, in the first line in fact: 
"Rintrah roars and shakes his fires in the burdened air". He composed this work during 
the course of the French Revolution; we may safely assume that Rintrah might represent 
the revolution that Blake was personally involved with-- the revolution of thought, 
history, manners, and values that MHH announced.

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