Proverbs from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell – 7

“The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands & feet, Proportion.”

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake continues

The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty…” (that’s terrific! – “the genitals Beauty”! – there weren’t many poets who were liberal and soft-hearted and imaginative enough to say that one – “the genitals Beauty” – Most poets would take a kind of setting-sun view, a little negative, about the genitals. (Jack) Kerouac has a line about a woman’s cunt, right? – “a slash that looks more like murder than a.. ” or, “a slit that looks more like murder than a hole of joy”, or something like that. You know, like a Catholic, growing up Catholic. So that’s (why).. You hear more of that, more from poets, than “the genitals Beauty”.

Peter Orlovsky: Well you heard it in Villon, what did he say about the garden in…

AG: In Francois Villon

Peter Orlovsky: Yeah .

AG: Well, that’s the “Lament of the old Heaulmiere”, or something (“Les Regrets de la Belle Heaulmiere“, translated as “The Complaint of the Fair Armouress” by Swinburne)..

PO:. “..the sweet fresh flower/ Of Youth, between the perfect thighs..”

AG: I forgot the line. That’s right, but (yes), he does describe.. She does.. (“..the sweet fresh flower/ Of Youth, between the perfect thighs,/That hides within his pretty bower”) The old lady, Heaulmiere, who’s now very old and withered, does describe the beauty of her genitals when she was young. There’s not too many poets that really get it.. on. Usually it’s “the pearly gates” or something.

But he (Blake) does have that. Like Antamonremember, the figure of Antamon, which is “the pearly dew” of the morning, or semen, is painted in very pretty.. pretty tones with a nice name and a nice figure of a cloud (if you look at the cloud-semen Antamon figure in “The Book of Thel”, as it is in the illustration in “The Book of Thel”, it’s quite a handsome youth, flying through, wing-ed, in the clouds. – (“Where is the youthful Antamon, prince of the pearly dew”) – (so) “..the genitals Beauty..”

“….the hands & feet, Proportion.” – Imagine saying that in 1790, though! – That’s very eternal-now consciousness, eternal-now insight, freshness. Imagine what it must have felt like to people in 1790, all involved in the American Revolution – or, (1793, this is), all involved in the American Revolution, preparing for the French Revolution, getting ready for the most horrific battle, the mills beginning to expand in every direction until they cover earth and destroy… the fields of cows by Willens farm (sic). ”

– “(T)he genitals Beauty..” – (you) can’t beat that for basic good nature.

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here beginning at approximately forty-five-and-a-half minutes in, and continuing until approximately fifty-four minutes in

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