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

Monday, October 22, 2012


British Museum
Plate 85, Copy A
We read in Northrop Frye's Fearful Symmetry of the origin of the form of a woman when the 'active creative energy' becomes passive. The exteriorized object is seen as a woman and may become an object of worship. The power ceded to the object creates a destructive scenario. 

Frye states on Page 126:

"There are several accounts of the Fall in Blake which we shall summarize later, but the invariable characteristic of them is Albion's relapse from active creative  energy to passivity. This passivity takes the form of wonder or awe at the world he has created, which in eternity he sees as a woman. The Fall thus begins in Beulah, the divine garden identified with Eden in Genesis. Once he takes the fatal step of thinking the object-world independent of him, Albion sinks into a sleep symbolising the passivity of his mind, and his creation separates and becomes the 'female will' or Mother Nature, the remote and inaccessible universe of tantalizing  mystery we now see. Love, or the transformation of the objective into the beloved, and art, or the transformation of the objective into the created, are the two activities pursued on this earth to repair the damage of the Fall and they raise our state to Beulah and Eden respectively.

On earth the cult of worshipping the independent object or female will takes two chief forms. One is the superstitious reverence for a Mother God, the primitive fear of the sibyl or prophetess whom the Teutons called Vala. This is the symbolic form of nature-worship, and Blake gives the name Vala to nature in his symbolism. The other form is the worship not so much of vegetative nature as of the Queen of Heaven, the remote, mysterious beauty of the starry heavens. This produces on earth the blind devotion to a mistress who is expected to elude and tantalize the lover, the basis for the Troubadour code. The Queen of Heaven's name in Blake is Enitharmon." 

When we consider the role of Enitharmon we find ambivalence. She is both an attractive and admired entity and a destructive force who diminishes her male counterpart. Enitharmon and Los without cooperation from the other continue to fall into vengeance and strife.

Jerusalem, Plate 88, (E 246) 
"For Man cannot unite with Man but by their Emanations 
Which stand both Male & Female at the Gates of each Humanity
How then can I ever again be united as Man with Man
While thou my Emanation refusest my Fibres of dominion.
When Souls mingle & join thro all the Fibres of Brotherhood
Can there be any secret joy on Earth greater than this?    

Enitharmon answerd: This is Womans World, nor need she any
Spectre to defend her from Man. I will Create secret places
And the masculine names of the places Merlin & Arthur.
A triple Female Tabernacle for Moral Law I weave
That he who loves Jesus may loathe terrified Female love  
Till God himself become a Male subservient to the Female.

She spoke in scorn & jealousy, alternate torments; and
So speaking she sat down on Sussex shore singing lulling
Cadences, & playing in sweet intoxication among the glistening
Fibres of Los: sending them over the Ocean eastward into  
The realms of dark death; O perverse to thyself, contrarious
To thy own purposes; for when she began to weave
Shooting out in sweet pleasure her bosom in milky Love
Flowd into the aching fibres of Los. yet contending against him
In pride sending his Fibres over to her objects of jealousy  
In the little lovely Allegoric Night of Albions Daughters
Which stretchd abroad, expanding east & west & north & south
Thro' all the World of Erin & of Los & all their Children

A sullen Smile broke from the Spectre in mockery & scorn
Knowing himself the author of their divisions & shrinkings, gratified    
At their contentions, he wiped his tears he washd his visage.

The Man who respects Woman shall be despised by Woman
And deadly cunning & mean abjectness only, shall enjoy them
For I will make their places of joy & love, excrementitious[.]
Continually building, continually destroying in Family feuds   
While you are under the dominion of a jealous Female
Unpermanent for ever because of love & jealousy.
You shall want all the Minute Particulars of Life

Thus joyd the Spectre in the dusky fires of Los's Forge, eyeing
Enitharmon who at her shining Looms sings lulling cadences     
While Los stood at his Anvil in wrath the victim of their love
And hate; dividing the Space of Love with brazen Compasses 
In Golgonooza & in Udan-Adan & in Entuthon of Urizen."


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