Blake seeks to provide the Golden String which can lead us through the labyrinth of our experience or his own poetry.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I ended an earlier post by saying: "The picture I get is that Jesus, Newton, Blake, the Creator and Urizen shared the same instrument (the compass) as well as some of the same activity. That activity was giving body to ideas."
Here is the passage from Northrup Frye' s Fearful Symmetry (Page 267) about giving body to ideas.

"The artist does not use natural images to clothe his ideas so much as to give body to them. An abstract idea is a spectre, a collapsing skeleton; a concrete image has flesh and blood. Hence the rather violent image of woven bodies which Blake employs in this context: from the skeleton's point of view it is rather difficult to say whether the flesh is body or clothing.
In making the familiar intelligible, in imposing a permanent vision on the flux of time, the artist creates a body out of nature which has a mental form. He thereby teaches us to see, in the small part of mystery which he has made coherent, the image, that is, the form of reality, of a universal coherence; he suggests, in other words, that if his natural body is a mental form, then the entire body of nature, from atoms to stars, may also be form of the human mind, if the imagination could get hold of it. Our fallen senses hollow out a tiny grotto in a boundless stretch of mystery, and this grotto is our home. But the center of the real universe is wherever we happen to be, and its circumference the limit of the radius of our experience. In the perspective of the awakened mind, the radius of of our experience is the universe, and art reveals to the senses of distant contact, eyesight and hearing, a universal home or Paradise which is ready for us to inhabit."
Jerusalem, Plate 92, (E 252)
"Los answerd swift as the shuttle of gold. Sexes must vanish & cease
To be, when Albion arises from his dread repose O lovely Enitharmon:
When all their Crimes, their Punishments their Accusations of Sin:
All their Jealousies Revenges. Murders. hidings of Cruelty in Deceit
Appear only in the Outward Spheres of Visionary Space and Time.
In the shadows of Possibility by Mutual Forgiveness forevermore
And in the Vision & in the Prophecy, that we may Foresee & Avoid
The terrors of Creation & Redemption & Judgment. Beholding them
Displayd in the Emanative Visions of Canaan in Jerusalem & in Shiloh
And in the Shadows of Remembrance, & in the Chaos of the Spectre
Amalek, Edom, Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Ashur, Philistea, around

This is the world turned upside down.
What we have called reality is seen
to be illusion; what we have called
illusion is seen to be reality. The
powers which have controlled us
have become powerless. Albion
arises and a new day dawns.

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