Sunday, May 11, 2014

Gates of Paradise 1

There's a lot to be said about the two versions of Gates of Paradise, the first (for Children) and the second (For the Sexes). This first study is not exactly an introduction but a personal thesis  re the relationship between Father and Son.

One  important source for this work is Symbol and Image in William Blake by G.W.Digby and secondly my own intuition.

Aged Ignorance suggests an old father faced with a young son. To you men how often have you 'put the screws'  on you boy because you felt like he was not 'living up to snuff'; and as a boy how often have your wanted to crush the old man?

Rosenwald LC
Aged Ignorance
Digby  on page 39 gives the meat of these two pictures with the couplet:
 In Vain-glory hatcht & nurst
     By double Spectres Self Accurst                        
     My Son! my Son! thou treatest me
     But as I have instructed thee

And proceeds with these lines:
 In Aged Ignorance profound
   Holy & cold I clipd the Wings 
     Of all Sublunary Things

   And in depths of my Dungeons
     Closed the Father & the Sons                           
(Erdman 268)

But the story ends with this happy outcome:
   But when once I did descry 
     The Immortal Man that cannot Die
   Thro evening shades I haste away 
     To close the Labours of my Day
(Erdman 269)

The text here is based on the distress King David went through with his son Absolum:
2nd Samuel 19.4:
"The king covered his face and cried aloud, "O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!"
(Read the chapter and find out about what was happening.)

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