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

Thursday, November 6, 2014


British Museum
Plate 11, Copy D
Cumberland's inscription on Plate 11 of Europe, Copy D:  
"Mildews blighting ears of Corn."
The dream world is not the real world. Our minds create the dream world out of scraps of experiences, memories, emotions, and unresolved agendas. Enitharmon's world, although it may seem real to her, is constructed of such fragments to create an illusion. Blake's point is that there is a real world which is other the Enitharmon's dream.
To Blake the events of history occupy this shadowy world of illusion from which he would like to disassociate himself as he indicates in these exerts from his statement known as the Public Address:
Public Address, (E 579)  "PAGE 18  I am really sorry to see my Countrymen trouble themselves about Politics. If Men were Wise the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them If they are not Wise the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny. Princes appear to me to be Fools Houses of Commons & Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools they seem to me to be something Else besides Human Life" 
Public Address, (E 580)
"PAGE 20
     The wretched state of the Arts in this Country & in Europe
originating in the Wretched State of Political Science which is
the Science of Sciences Demands a firm & determinate conduct on
the part of Artists to Resist the Contemptible Counter Arts
Established by Such contemptible
Politicians as Louis XIV & originally set on foot
by Venetian Picture traders Music traders & Rhime traders to the
destruction of all true art as it is this Day.  To recover Art
has been the business of my life to the Florentine Original & if
possible to go beyond that Original  this I thought the only
pursuit worthy of a Man."
The blight pictured on Plate 11 of copy D of Europe, is set into motion by fairies blowing into serpentine trumpets. We are reminded by Erdman in The Illuminated Blake, that the scale of the picture is determined by the grains of wheat or barley. The suggestion is that contributing to the woes of man, are elemental forces in nature which begin chains of actions which lead to disasters. 
Blake's irony on this plate is that he pictures fairies spreading blight, and writes of the politics of war in 18th century England. It is the readers job to determine a connection between the two. What we see will be determined by our Perceptive Organs.
Jerusalem, Plate 30 [34], (E 177)
"Los rolled, his Eyes into two narrow circles, then sent him
Over Jordan; all terrified fled: they became what they beheld.

If Perceptive Organs vary: Objects of Perception seem to vary:  
If the Perceptive Organs close: their Objects seem to close also:" 

Europe, Plate 9, (E 63)
"Enitharmon slept,                                                
Eighteen hundred years: Man was a Dream!
The night of Nature and their harps unstrung:
She slept in middle of her nightly song,
Eighteen hundred years, a female dream!

Shadows of men in fleeting bands upon the winds:  
Divide the heavens of Europe:
Till Albions Angel smitten with his own plagues fled with his bands
The cloud bears hard on Albions shore:                           
Fill'd with immortal demons of futurity:
In council gather the smitten Angels of Albion
The cloud bears hard upon the council house; down rushing
On the heads of Albions Angels.

One hour they lay buried beneath the ruins of that hall;
But as the stars rise from the salt lake they arise in pain,     
In troubled mists o'erclouded by the terrors of strugling times."

No comments:

Post a Comment