William Blake’s Birthday

William Blake was born today, two hundred and sixty years ago, in London, England

We salute the great, inspired, poet, painter, visionary.

Here’s poet, scholar, literary maverick, Iain Sinclair, for the British Library, on an essential quality of the man – William Blake’s radicalism

[Blake’s image of Albion, accompanying the words Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves/Giving himself for the Nations hedanc’d thedance of Eternal Death]

and here’s Sinclair speaking of Blake’s spiritual visions

[The Ghost of A Flea – William Blake (c.1820)]

Allen Ginsberg and William Blake – we have covered the relationship consistently on The Allen Ginsberg Project and will continue to do so. More of Allen’s in-depth lectures on Blake in the future.

William Blake and Allen Ginsberg, Poets of a Fallen World, Prophets of the New World, Topher Thomas’ 1988 thesis, as we have previously noted, can be read in its entirety on line.

[Allen Ginsberg at William Blake’s cottage]

This year (this past June)  saw the re-release on Omnivore Recordings of  The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience, Allen’s legendary settings of those Blakean primary texts (two separate recording sessions from 1969 and 1971)

and there’s more, Allen, on his death-bed, reminded Steven Taylor, “Finish the Blake, Finish the Blake”. and rumor has it he’s been fulfilling that request, recording upstate New York (the recordings will hopefully be available next year)

Here he is, (Steven) from back in 2015, singing, accapella, at the St Mark’s Poetry Project, Blake’s  “A Cradle Song”

And here’s, fellow Fug, Ed Sanders singing (likewise sweet), “How sweet I roam’d from field to field”.  (arguably, the first poem Blake ever wrote)

and “Ah Sunflower!”

and here’s Allen reading “Ah Sunflower” (mixed in with the musical accompaniment of “Spiegel im Spiegel” by Arvo Part)

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