|Yale Center for British Art|
Larry wrote this in his Journal in January 1985:
Four Zoas Night IX - reading a passage from Vala's interlude, I am charmed with the language. I realize that much of Blake's attraction to me is as an escape from the sordid world, a pleasant world like great music - with very little relationship to the rest of life. That passage, owing much to the myth of Cupid and Psyche and to the biblical Song of Solomon shows Blake as teller of tales, as bearer of the culture of the millennia. That is so foreign to our heedless, blind, 20th century consciousness. It is a form of transcendence, and an approach to the immortality for which Vala longs; a bright airy world of limitless dimensions.
Los is that prophet who walks walks up and down 6000 years allowing time and space for such moments to occur and to be made permanent in the Body and the Spirit."
In November 2018 Ellie added:
When we read the Old Testament or Blake's Prophecies we find many disturbing passages. We may be inclined to close the book to avoid subjecting ourselves to the negative feelings engendered by reading of struggles among competing individuals or entities. Were it not for the hope of finding gems of truth and beauty embedded in the mire of confusion and dissension we may not read on.
One on Larry's favorite expressions was, "The Bible is all poetry, and poetry is the highest form of truth." Like the Bible, Blake's writing (even the prose) is poetry. It is not to be taken literally but metaphorically. It points to truth which is beyond expression. Blake's God availed himself of the opportunity to begin again repeatedly. We might follow that lead and begin again when reading gets rough.
Jerusalem, Plate 75, (E 230) "For Los in Six Thousand Years walks up & down continually That not one Moment of Time be lost & every revolution Of Space he makes permanent in Bowlahoola & Cathedron." Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 128, (E 397) "So spoke the Sinless Soul & laid her head on the downy fleece Of a curld Ram who stretchd himself in sleep beside his mistress And soft sleep fell upon her eyelids in the silent noon of day Then Luvah passed by & saw the sinless Soul And said Let a pleasant house arise to be the dwelling place Of this immortal Spirit growing in lower Paradise He spoke & pillars were builded & walls as white as ivory The grass she slept upon was pavd with pavement as of pearl Beneath her rose a downy bed & a cieling coverd all Vala awoke. When in the pleasant gates of sleep I enterd I saw my Luvah like a spirit stand in the bright air Round him stood spirits like me who reard me a bright house And here I see thee house remain in my most pleasant world Page 129 My Luvah smild I kneeled down he laid his hand on my head And when he laid his hand upon me from the gates of sleep I came Into this bodily house to tend my flocks in my pleasant garden So saying she arose & walked round her beautiful house And then from her white door she lookd to see her bleating lambs But her flocks were gone up from beneath the trees into the hills I see the hand that leadeth me doth also lead my flocks She went up to her flocks & turned oft to see her shining house She stopd to drink of the clear spring & eat the grapes & apples She bore the fruits in her lap she gatherd flowers for her bosom She called to her flocks saying follow me O my flocks They followd her to the silent valley beneath the spreading trees And on the rivers margin she ungirded her golden girdle She stood in the river & viewd herself within the watry glass And her bright hair was wet with the waters She rose up from the river And as she rose her Eyes were opend to the world of waters"Song of Solomon
 The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.
 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.
 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.
 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.
 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.