Proverbs from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell – 6

“When thou seest an Eagle, thou seest a portion of Genius, lift up thy head!”

AG: Well, like, you have to look up at the eagle. “Lift up thy head”. And then I think there’s an eagle, a great eagle somewhere (else) in this.. lets see.. The eagle is Genius always, and there’s eagles all over… on the… Well, I guess there’s an eagle in “One thought fills immensity”. And I think there’s an eagle of some sort… yeah, at the end. The eagle.. in the “Memorable Fancy” of Plate XV (I think it’s an eagle – Yes, it was an eagle with wings and feathers of air, there’s an eagle rising triumphant, carrying with it.. the Genius, carrying with it the snake of Reason, I would say. So, Genius is wrath or emotion there. What is Eagle? That’s… who is the eagle in the symbolism? – Urthona? is symbolized by an eagle? – Ok – Imagination carrying the serpent of matter or reason, or whatever you want to have it, (the opposites).

And there’s a funny… in Plate… on the fourth line of Plate IV, (get us Plate IV, – line…) I’m sorry, it’s Plate VI, I guess.. Plate VI, let me find it. It’s supposed to be some kind of eagle-serpent combo. I’m sorry, excuse me, it’s Plate V, I’ll try and locate it so I can actually see it – fourth line from the bottom ‘ “An eagle serpent”. after “sin and death” – It’s very faintly traced. Can you see it? – an eagle rising with a serpent’s tail, or some kind of dragon’s tail curling away from it.

“The original..” – speaking of “..the original Archangel or possessor of the command of the heavenly host is call’d the Devil or Satan and his children are call’d Sin & Death” (Remember when he’s reversing the devil to be the angels, to be the good guys)..

So his picture of Genius united with Reason is this weird serpent-eagle form. Can you see it in the black and white (reproductions)? If you can’t see it, take a look at somebody’s book. Don’t sit there staring into the void! Go find yourself an eagle with a serpent’s tail. If you don’t go beyond your boundaries to find the forms you may never see an eagle with a serpent’s tail – for its four, five lines. one, two, three, four, five lines from the bottom, next to “Sin & Death”, and under”Devil or Satan”. There’s a lot of little jokes like that throughout Blake.

“To create a little flower is the labour of ages “

Line fifty-seven, fifty-six. I like that. [to Student] It’s like your line of Newton’s on “standing on the shoulders of giants” – “To create a little flower is the labour of ages ” – And it’s the one experience directly that I’ve had of Blake that made, like, total visionary sense. because I once had a experience where I heard his voice, and the impression that I had, having some sort of a mystical experience at the time, was of the labor of ages that it took to make the sky, and the labor of ages that it took to assemble the components, and energies, and intelligence, and eyes and hands, and mallets and chisels, that carved all the cornices and roof(tops) of New York City.

Hi [Peter Orlovsky arrives in the class] Hi, want a seat?

“Exuberance is Beauty!” – “Damn braces. Bless relaxes.” – Damn! braces – It’s “Damn”- period – “braces”. So therefore, the very “tyger of wrath” of “Damn” is bracing (sits you up straight, makes you sit up straight). “Bless” (well, you can relax)

“Prayers plough not! Praises reap not!” – So he’s saying bullshit doesn’t get you anywhere. You can’t eat bullshit – “Prayers plough not! Praises reap not!” – Then, “Joy laughs not! Sorrows weep not!” – (which goes back to the “Excess of joy weeps..” – maybe we did that one before? – “Excess of joy weeps, excess of sorrow laughs”? – was that his formulation? (somewhere.. there it is – “Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.”) But it’s real fast – [Allen goes to the blackboard] – “Joy laughs not. Sorrows weep not.” – “Prayers plough not!”, that’s kind of interesting. If “plough”.. If the plough is Urizen‘s rational mind, if the plough is Reason’s plough, “Prayers plough”, is kind of interesting. If there a.. If there has to be.. at a certain point, the plough of your reason is some sort of applied science (but it’s “sweet Science”, or it’s Small is Beautiful science, or, appropriate technology). Blake ends one book [“Vala, or The Four Zoas”] praising “sweet science” and showing the proper role of Urizen. [“The dark Religions are departed, & sweet Science reigns”] – So “Prayers”, in that sense, to the mystical God, theistic prayers “plough not”, (they don’t do anything practical), and “Praises reap not” (in the sense of.. well, they’re just different scenes, different modes). But it’s economically expressed and neatly expressed. If a man would think upon neatness, there’s a good example to observe.

to be continued

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately forty-two-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately forty-five-and-a-half minutes in]

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