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

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Milton Percival sees the high value Blake places on the imagination as crucial to his message. Through using the imagination as the essential ingredient of his writing, artistic productions and living,  Blake wove inner and outer, mental and physical, spirit and body into a single production of Eternity. 

On page 286 of William Blake's Circle of Destiny we read:

"When will this mortal world put on immortality? Only when the selfhood puts on imagination.

Meanwhile, the world being what it is, Blake adopted a way of life which many seekers of the good life in a bad world have adopted - the life of art. In this field of activity there is less selfish interference with another, more indulgence of the creative impulse and of the individuality than in any other. And in this way of life what Blake called 'mortal contingencies' can be disregarded, as Mrs Blake well knew. In the Laocoon inscriptions art is put forward as the one and only good way of life; all other ways and all hindrances to that way are disparaged. But the term 'art' is used in its esoteric sense, for Blake declares that Christ and his disciples were all artists. The logical justification of this assertion, if there is one, is that they directed their energies to imaginative ends. But it will not do to overemphasize a group of aphorisms inscribed upon a single plate. Blake is not an esthete. Los, the hero of the prophetic books, who is the real Blake, is not an artist except in the esoteric Blakean sense. He is the very center of the fray, hammering upon his anvil with the energy of Thor himself, breaking down the sterile forms which represent every phase of human activity, breaking them down in the hope of bringing the separated principles together in a fruitful union. He is Blake's dramatization of the good life, lived from within, lived energetically, devoted in all its variety to imaginative ends." 

Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 121) 
"Loud shout the Sons of Luvah, at the Wine-presses as Los descended
With Rintrah & Palamabron in his fires of resistless fury.

The Wine-press on the Rhine groans loud, but all its central beams
Act more terrific in the central Cities of the Nations
Where Human Thought is crushd beneath the iron hand of Power.    
There Los puts all into the Press, the Opressor & the Opressed
Together, ripe for the Harvest & Vintage & ready for the Loom.

They sang at the Vintage. This is the Last Vintage! & Seed
Shall no more be sown upon Earth, till all the Vintage is over
And all gatherd in, till the Plow has passd over the Nations     
And the Harrow & heavy thundering Roller upon the mountains

And loud the Souls howl round the Porches of Golgonooza
Crying O God deliver us to the Heavens or to the Earths,
That we may preach righteousness & punish the sinner with death
But Los refused, till all the Vintage of Earth was gatherd in.  

And Los stood & cried to the Labourers of the Vintage in voice of awe.

Fellow Labourers! The Great Vintage & Harvest is now upon Earth
The whole extent of the Globe is explored: Every scatterd Atom
Of Human Intellect now is flocking to the sound of the Trumpet
All the Wisdom which was hidden in caves & dens, from ancient    
Time; is now sought out from Animal & Vegetable & Mineral

The Awakener is come. outstretchd over Europe! the Vision of God is fulfilled
The Ancient Man upon the Rock of Albion Awakes,"
British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
When Blake says 'The Awakener is come. outstretchd over Europe! the Vision of God is fulfilled' he indicates an accomplishment not in the past or in the future but in the ever present now; the moment when the 'poets work is done'. Becoming a labourer in the Vintage means exercising ones imagination to link oneself with the eternal, invisible world which intersects with our world of time and space between two beats of the artery.

Milton, Plate 29 [31], (E 127)  
"For in this Period the Poets Work is Done: and all the Great
Events of Time start forth & are concievd in such a Period
Within a Moment: a Pulsation of the Artery."
Percival views Blake's message optimistically:
"It is Blake's faith as a mystic that Los must eventually triumph. It is not man's destiny to remain forever as he is. Out of endless folly, wisdom must at last be born. Out of the long succession of generative froms, regeneration must a last emerge."  Page 289

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