Poetics and Meditation – (William Blake – Auguries of Innocence 5)


Continuing with Allen’s reading from, and annotation of, William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence”

He who torments the Chafers Sprite/Weaves a Bower in endless Night” (William Blake)
AG: Do you know  what “the Chafer” was? – “He who torments the Chafers Sprite”. What is a “Chafer“? – what kind of bird?

Student: No, (it’s) an insect..

AG: An insect ? What kind?

Student 2: (… It’s a cicada..?)

AG: Ah! – Thus – “Weaves a Bower”


[“The poison of the Snake & Newt/ Is the sweat of Envys foot” 

“The poison of the Honey Bee/Is the Artists Jealousy”]

AG: So how do we get the poison of the Snake and Newt being “the sweat of Envys foot”?, (as distinct from the Honey Bee, “the Artist’s Jealousy” – the poison of the Honey Bee being “the Artist’s Jealousy”). I’ve never understood  that.

Student: Maybe it goes back to the heel?, maybe that’s how the snakes moves?. It’s always, a little along the ground,  (having) their bellies on the ground?.. 

AG: How does Envy go out by the heel? – that’s interesting..  It sounds like a classic statement! ..

Student:  (On all people, a subtle balance)
AG: Pardon me?
Student: (On all people, a subtle balance)
AG: Yes

[“The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife/And yet forgives the Butchers knife”]

(Gregory Corso: But, see, for the butchers, Al  – Newt? Ergo? Ergot?)

AG: Yeah, we’ll have the toadstool in a minute.

“The Princes robes & Beggars rags..”  “The Princes robes and Beggars rags/Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags” – In other words, the rot of the miser keeping his money is Beggar’s rags or Prince’s riches – robes..
“A Truth…”  (and  (that) (here) it gets sort of..almost like (a) child-like-y insightful) – 

“A Truth that’s told with bad intent/Beats all the Lies you can invent“

“It is right it should be so. Man was made for Joy & Woe”
 “And when this we rightly know/Thro’ the World we safely go” – Actually, that’s
 The First Noble Truth – Man was made for Joy and Woe – Existence contains Suffering – “And when this we rightly know/Thro’ the World we safely go” – the concept of that, I think I mentioned before – it’s not so much the Suffering of Woe, that is woe and pain, than  (it) is the suffering of Suffering, the echo of Suffering, the clinging to Suffering. The suffering of Suffering is the clinging to Suffering, the cultivation of it, the addiction to it 
(in the sense of repeated thought of it, rather than letting the thought drop to allow another haiku) –  “Man was made for Joy and Woe/ And when this we rightly know/Thro’ the World we safely go” 

“Joy & Woe are woven fine/A Clothing for the soul divine”
“Under every grief a& pine/Runs a joy with silken twine” 
“The Babe is more than swadling bands/.Throughout all these Human Lands”
“Tools were made & Born were hands/ Every Farmer Understands” 
“Every Tear from Every Eye/Becomes a Babe in Eternity”
“This is caught by Females bright/ And returned  to its own delight”
“The Bleat the Bark Bellow and Roar/Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore”
“The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath/Writes Revenge in realms of Death”

to be continued

[Audio for the above can be heard here starting at approximately twenty-one-and-a-quarter minutes in and continuing until approximately twenty-four-and-a-half minutes in]

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