Saturday, August 26, 2017


British Museum
Illustration to Young's Night Thoughts

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 565)
"Mental Things are alone Real what is Calld Corporeal Nobody Knows
of its Dwelling Place it is in Fallacy & its Existence an 
Imposture Where is the Existence Out of Mind or Thought Where 
is it but in the Mind of a Fool."

The material which Blake presents in his poetry is generally considered to be difficult and complex. It requires the operation of the intellect to follow the quantity of ideas which he is presenting. The processing of such demanding content is recognized to require the functioning of the left brain which is adept at verbalization, analysis, recollection. But the 'minute particulars' would never coalesce into an intelligible whole without help from the left brain which specializes in assembling, integrating and imagining.

The mental processing which takes place in the left brain is associated with Jung's rational functions - Thinking and Feeling (judging). Blake personifies these two functions as Urizen and Luvah. In the right brain the non-rational functions of Intuition and Sensation process material below the level of conscious awareness. Urthona and Tharmas are Blake's personifications of these functions.

Realizing that each of the ways of understanding what happens to the individual internally and externally contributes to comprehension, Blake utilized multiple avenues of mental work. To address the Thinking, rational mind he presented ideas in a framework of history, politics and philosophy. To address the Feelings he presented situations which stimulate emotions and judgments. To address the Sensations he supplemented his words with pictures which could involve the mind directly as as whole. To address the Intuition he used the qualities of poetry such as metaphor, myth and imagery which are the language of the Imagination.

Milton, Plate 24 [26], (E 119) 
"the Seven Eyes of God continually
Guard round them, but I the Fourth Zoa am also set
The Watchman of Eternity, the Three are not! & I am preserved
Still my four mighty ones are left to me in Golgonooza           
Still Rintrah fierce, and Palamabron mild & piteous
Theotormon filld with care, Bromion loving Science
You O my Sons still guard round Los. O wander not & leave me"
Four Zoas, Night I, Page 3, (E 301)
"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
Page 4
In Eden; in the Auricular Nerves of Human life
Which is the Earth of Eden, he his Emanations propagated
Fairies of Albion afterwards Gods of the Heathen, Daughter of Beulah Sing
His fall into Division & his Resurrection to Unity
His fall into the Generation of Decay & Death & 
his Regeneration by the Resurrection from the dead                

Begin with Tharmas Parent power. darkning in the West"

Public Address, PAGE 62, (E 575)
     "I have heard many People say Give me the Ideas.  It is no
matter what Words you put them into & others say Give me the
Design it is no matter for the Execution.  These People know
Enough of Artifice but Nothing Of Art.  Ideas cannot be Given
but in their minutely Appropriate Words nor Can a Design be made
without its minutely Appropriate Execution. The unorganized
Blots & Blurs of Rubens & Titian are not Art nor can their Method
ever express Ideas or Imaginations any more than Popes
Metaphysical jargon of Rhyming. Unappropriate Execution is the
Most nauseous affectation & foppery He who copies does
not Execute he only Imitates what is already Executed Execution
is only the result of Invention" 
Jerusalem, Plate 1, (E 145)
"And of that God from whom all books are given,
    Who in mysterious Sinais awful cave
    To Man the wond'rous art of writing gave,
    Again he speaks in thunder and in fire!                
    Thunder of Thought, & flames of fierce desire:
    Even from the depths of Hell his voice I hear,
    Within the unfathomd caverns of my Ear.
    Therefore I print; nor vain my types shall be:
    Heaven, Earth & Hell, henceforth shall live in harmony 

            Of the Measure, in which
              the following Poem is written 
 We who dwell on Earth can do nothing of ourselves, every
thing is conducted by Spirits, no less than Digestion or Sleep.
     When this Verse was first dictated to me I consider'd a 
Monotonous Cadence like that used by Milton & Shakspeare & all
writers of English Blank Verse, derived from the modern bondage
of Rhyming; to be a necessary and indispensible part of Verse. 
But I soon found that
in the mouth of a true Orator such monotony was not only awkward,
but as much a bondage as rhyme itself.  I therefore have produced
a variety in every line, both of cadences & number of syllables. 
Every word and every letter is studied and put into its fit
place: the terrific numbers are reserved for the terrific
parts--the mild & gentle, for the mild & gentle parts, and the
prosaic, for inferior parts: all are necessary to each other. 
Poetry Fetter'd, Fetters the Human Race! Nations are Destroy'd,
or Flourish, in proportion as Their Poetry Painting and Music,
are Destroy'd or Flourish! The Primeval State of Man, was Wisdom,
Art, and Science."

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