Sunday, February 10, 2013


Blake's poetry and pictures are in effect a commentary on the Bible. A literalistic attitude toward the  Bible was far from his train of thought.  He  considered the Bible (in every detail) to be poetry.  If  you perceive the Bible that way, it means (like other things) that a person's understanding of the  Bible, or of any one verse, will mean different things to different people.

The Bible begins with "In the beginning God created  Heaven and Earth" but Blake perceived the 
Creatiotaking place after Albion's descent.  Like many systems of thought that Blake knew,  Blake considered Creation a misfortune. It preceded the Biblical account of Creation; much of Blake's poetry and pictures are in effect a commentary on the creation myths of Genesis. He found value in every detail of the Bible as poetry. One aspect of reading the Bible as poetry is that readers expand the meaning of every particular of the Bible.  Blake used every part of the Bible in his own distinctive way.

Fritz Kunkel wrote a book entited Creation Continues.  It was quite a shock to many good Christians, who believed that Creation happened a long time ago-- just as the
good book says.  A seminary  professor announced to his class that Creation happened in 6004 B,C.  (Creation Continues is also a post in William Blake: Religion and Psychology.)

Kunkel had the idea that Creation is the sum total of the creative activity of us all.  
That meant that Creation did not occur at any particular time.  Time is a creature, and Space is a creature, and Blake's myth implies that much had happened before we became creatures of time and space.  Kunkel and Blake believed that Creation is the sum total of all the creative acts by you and me and everyone else.As described in Genesis Creation was prior to Man's Fall, but according to Blake Creation did not happen until Man fell.  Before he fell Man existed in Eternity.

Blake's myth begins with Albion's descent from Eternity; the story of your life (and mine) begin with a 'bundle from Heaven', radiant with the glory of Heaven; in general they are universally approved.  Blake loved children as evidenced by so much of his poetry, Songs of Innocence for example:

Image 1 of 31,

As a recent post shows. 
Blake had a habit of marking his work with a symbol:
He might have better signed it 'WBcre'.

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