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

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 84, (E 359)

"This thou well rememberest listen I will tell
What thou forgettest. They in us & we in them alternate Livd
Drinking the joys of Universal Manhood. One dread morn
Listen O vision of Delight One dread morn of goary blood
The manhood was divided for the gentle passions making way
Thro the infinite labyrinths of the heart & thro the nostrils issuing
In odorous stupefaction stood before the Eyes of Man
A female bright. I stood beside my anvil dark a mass
Of iron glowd bright prepard for spades & plowshares. sudden down
I sunk with cries of blood issuing downward in the veins
Which now my rivers were become rolling in tubelike forms
Shut up within themselves descending down I sunk along,
The goary tide even to the place of seed & there dividing
I was divided in darkness & oblivion thou an infant woe
And I an infant terror in the womb of Enion
My masculine spirit scorning the frail body issud forth
From Enions brain In this deformed form leaving thee there
Till times passd over thee but still my spirit returning hoverd
And formd a Male to be a counterpart to thee O Love
Darkend & Lost In due time issuing forth from Enions womb
Thou & that demon Los wert born Ah jealousy & woe
Ah poor divided dark Urthona now a Spectre wandering
The deeps of Los the Slave of that Creation I created
I labour night & day for Los but listen thou my vision
I view futurity in thee I will bring down soft Vala
To the embraces of this terror & I will destroy
That body I created then shall we unite again in bliss"

From the Seventh Night of the Four Zoas we have one of several accounts of the origin of Los, Enitharmon and the Spectre of Urthona. The eternal Zoa Urthona, first has his manhood divided from the gentle passions resulting in the externalization of the female. Urthona begins to manifest internal changes as he continues his work at his furnaces. The masculine spirit issues from Enion's brain. Times passed until Enitharmon issued from Enion's womb. The division into the 'infant terror', Los and the 'infant woe', Enitharmon leaves Urthona as a Spectre.

Illustrations to Gray's Poems, Page 78

Looking at this situation from the perspective of Los as the Imagination, the division has left the imagination without its inspiration which should be supplied by the Emanation and the instrumentality which could be supplied by the Spectre.

Frye, on page 294 of Fearful Symmetry, explains some of the consequences of the division and separation of the unified Zoa Urthona:
"In creation, therefore, the Spectre of Urthona is the inventive faculty, and invention is the art of finding things in nature: it does not create so much as supply the instruments for creating. The Spectre of Urthona, properly controlled, is the obedient demon who brings his master the fire and metals and other physical needs of culture, and brings the artist his technical skill...But once separated from creative and imaginative ends, the instrumental becomes an end in itself, its criteria of use and value are made absolute principles, its media, such as money, become more important than the things they circulate, and vast complications of tools and machines are produced out of sheer automatic compulsion to produce them."

Only the reunion of the disparate functions - the terror and the woe - can restore the bliss of integration.

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