Wednesday, June 11, 2014


The Bard's Song in Milton presents the dilemma which faces the writer who intends to write prophetic poetry. How will he free himself from the patterns imposed upon him by history and culture; how will his vision find expression in ways which are accessible to the audience for whom it its intended; how will the wrath which he feels toward the oppressors be contained and directed? 
The second part of the Book I of Milton is directed to the question freeing oneself from the cultural milieu and the wrath one feels toward it: the answer is forgiving.

Book II in which Ololon enters the soul answers the question of the expression to his vision: the answer is accepting forgiveness.

New York Public Library
Plate 46, Copy C
The mind is altered by perceiving the results of behaviors in the exterior world. Seeing how women were treated in his world and the resulting hostility of women toward men it produced, showed Blake that the feminine aspect of his mind could and would cooperate if he valued it and recognized its contribution. Attitudes expressed in Milton's Paradise Lost showed that Milton did not acknowledge the equality of women with men. Blake had Ololon descend in Milton's path to show what could be accomplished when the feminine accepted her involvement in the estrangement between the divine and the human and tried to correct it. Blake demonstrated that the male and female share responsibility and share the redemptive process.

To integrate the emanation involves reversing the organizational pattern of hierarchy. When the feminine is seen as the completion of the unified man, the distant God on a throne in heaven loses its validity. When God is discerned as the interior God who unifies all things in himself, it modifies perception so that everything that lives is holy and the doors of perception are cleansed revealing the infinite.

Milton, Plate 40 [46], (E 141)
"Before Ololon Milton stood & percievd the Eternal Form
Of that mild Vision; wondrous were their acts by me unknown
Except remotely; and I heard Ololon say to Milton

I see thee strive upon the Brooks of Arnon. there a dread
And awful Man I see, oercoverd with the mantle of years.   
I behold Los & Urizen. I behold Orc & Tharmas;
The Four Zoa's of Albion & thy Spirit with them striving
In Self annihilation giving thy life to thy enemies
Are those who contemn Religion & seek to annihilate it
Become in their Femin[in]e portions the causes & promoters       
Of these Religions, how is this thing? this Newtonian Phantasm
This Voltaire & Rousseau: this Hume & Gibbon & Bolingbroke
This Natural Religion! this impossible absurdity
Is Ololon the cause of this? O where shall I hide my face
These tears fall for the little-ones: the Children of Jerusalem  
Lest they be annihilated in thy annihilation.
Milton, Plate 35 [39], (E 135)
"And Ololon examined all the Couches of the Dead.
Even of Los & Enitharmon & all the Sons of Albion
And his Four Zoas terrified & on the verge of Death
In midst of these was Miltons Couch, & when they saw Eight
Immortal Starry-Ones, guarding the Couch in flaming fires        
They thunderous utterd all a universal groan falling down
Prostrate before the Starry Eight asking with tears forgiveness
Confessing their crime with humiliation and sorrow.

O how the Starry Eight rejoic'd to see Ololon descended!
And now that a wide road was open to Eternity,                   

By Ololons descent thro Beulah to Los & Enitharmon,"

No comments: