Blake continues – 6

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake continues

AG: As to the question of dictation, if you get to the preface to Europe he gives you some notion of how he derives his poems. On page fifty-eight. Europe -A Prophecy. Europe is a prophecy which is a continuation of The French Revolution because America and Europe and Visions of the Daughters of Albion (are) developing the political and spiritual theme.  But this is just a terrific little poem by itself, the preface to Europe.

“Five windows light the cavern’d Man…” – (that is, the senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) – “Five windows light the cavern’d Man; thro’ one he breathes the air;/ Thro’ one, hears music of the spheres; thro’ one, the eternal vine/ Flourishes, that he may recieve the grapes; thro’ one can look./ And see small portions of the eternal world that ever  groweth/Thro’ one, himself pass out…” – (through the genitals) – “Thro’ one, himself pass out what time he please, but he will not;/For stolen joys are sweet, & bread eaten in secret pleasant. So..” – (The above).

“So sang a Fairy mocking as he sat on a streak’d Tulip,/ Thinking none saw him: when he ceas’d I started from the trees!/ And caught him in my hat as boys knock down a butterfly/ How know you this said I small Sir? where did you learn this song/ Seeing himself in my possession thus he answered me:/My master, I am yours, command me, for I must obey./ Then tell me, what is the Material World, and is it dead?/ He laughing, …” – (The fairy, laughing) – “..answer’d –  I will write a book on leaves of flowers,/If you will feed me on love-thoughts, & give me now and then/ A cup of sparkling poetic fancies; so when I am tipsie,/ I’ll sing to you to this soft lute; and shew you all alive/ The world, when every particle of dust breathes forth its joy./ I took him home in my warm bosom: as we went along/ Wild flowers I gatherd; & he shew’d me each eternal flower:/ He laugh’d aloud to see them whimper because thy were pluck’d./ They hover’d round me like a cloud of incense: when I came/ Into my parlour and sat down, and took my pen to write:/  My Fairy sat upon the table, and dictated EUROPE.”

AG:So that’s how he got (Europe). (And that’s what he meant) when he said the book Jerusalem  was dictated to him, if anybody’s curious what he meant there

Well, we’re  back to.. I did want to get back to.. the plot of …
Student: Two eighty seven.
AG: What page are we on?
Student: Two eighty seven.

AG: Okay.  I’ve got to run through this a little faster.

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately forty-and-three-quarters in, and concluding at approximately forty-four minutes in]

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