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

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Wikipedia Commons
Book of Ahania
Plate 2

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Urizen did not make an ideal husband. In the beginning, however, Urizen and Ahania were compatible. Urizen engaged in strenuous work and Ahania provided relaxation and rest. Gradually Urizen's work became more burdensome to him and Ahania noticed his darker side. Ahania had been treated by Urizen as a part of himself with no mind or will of her own. When she began to see Urizen's depression about the present and fears about the future, Urizen recognized that she had a life of her own. Rather than listen to Ahania's observations reflected back to him, he threw her out. Of course, the irony is that the changes Urizen saw taking place in Ahania were taking place in himself.  

Wikipedia Commons
Book of Ahania
Plate 1

Book of Ahania, Plate 2, (E 84)
7: Dire shriek'd his invisible Lust                           
Deep groan'd Urizen! stretching his awful hand
Ahania (so name his parted soul)
He siez'd on his mountains of jealousy.
He groand anguishd & called her Sin,

Kissing her and weeping over her;           
Then hid her in darkness in silence;
Jealous tho' she was invisible.

8: She fell down a faint shadow wandring
In chaos and circling dark Urizen,
As the moon anguishd circles the earth;     
Hopeless! abhorrd! a death-shadow,
Unseen, unbodied, unknown,
The mother of Pestilence.

Book of Ahania, Plate 5, (E 89)
"13: The sweat poured down thy temples           
To Ahania return'd in evening
The moisture awoke to birth
My mothers-joys, sleeping in bliss.

14: But now alone over rocks, mountains
Cast out from thy lovely bosom:                          
Cruel jealousy! selfish fear!
Self-destroying: how can delight,
Renew in these chains of darkness
Where bones of beasts are strown
On the bleak and snowy mountains
Where bones from the birth are buried
Before they see the light.

Ahania was meant to be the mind's delight in the embodiment of ideas in the outer world. Without Urizen to supply the ideas which fed the blissful images of her world, she was sucked toward the void and lamented on the borders of nonentity. Contrarily, without Ahania, Urizen's work was futile and sterile, never bringing to life his spontaneous outpouring of thought. He focused instead on limiting creativity, emotion, and enjoyment of the present moment.
Four Zoas
Page 36 


Four Zoas, Night II, Page 36, (E 325)
"It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity
Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!  
Ahania heard the Lamentation & a swift Vibration Spread thro her Golden frame. She rose up eer the dawn of day 
When Urizen slept on his couch. drawn thro unbounded space 
Onto the margin of Non Entity the bright Female came
There she beheld the Spectrous form of Enion in the Void
And never from that moment could she rest upon her pillow End of the Second Night"

Four Zoas, Night III, Page 42, (E 328)
"She ended. for [from] his wrathful throne burst forth the black hail storm

Am I not God said Urizen. Who is Equal to me
Do I not stretch the heavens abroad or fold them up like a garment

He spoke mustering his heavy clouds around him black opake
Page 43 
Then thunders rolld around & lightnings darted to & fro
His visage changd to darkness & his strong right hand came forth 
To cast Ahania to the Earth be siezd her by the hair
And threw her from the steps of ice that froze around his throne

Saying Art thou also become like Vala. thus I cast thee out      
Shall the feminine indolent bliss. the indulgent self of weariness
The passive idle sleep the enormous night & darkness of Death
Set herself up to give her laws to the active masculine virtue
Thou little diminutive portion that darst be a counterpart
Thy passivity thy laws of obedience & insincerity
Are my abhorrence. Wherefore hast thou taken that fair form
Whence is this power given to thee! once thou wast in my breast
A sluggish current of dim waters. on whose verdant margin
A cavern shaggd with horrid shades. dark cool & deadly. where
I laid my head in the hot noon after the broken clods            
Had wearied me. there I laid my plow & there my horses fed
And thou hast risen with thy moist locks into a watry image
Reflecting all my indolence my weakness & my death
To weigh me down beneath the grave into non Entity
Where Luvah strives scorned by Vala age after age wandering      
Shrinking & shrinking from her Lord & calling him the Tempter
And art thou also become like Vala thus I cast thee out."

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