Allen Ginsberg on William Blake’s Visions of the Daughters of Albion continues from here
AG: “Enslav’d, the Daughters of Albion weep – a trembling lamentation/ Upon their mountains; in their valleys. sighs toward America” – (So he’s putting the sexual revolution and the political revolution together. Dig? Right there and then. Right in front of your eyes. America means freedom of the body, freedom from slavery, freedom of the body. Women’s Lib means freedom of the body, right? Our own bodies? . But, meanwhile, they’re enslaved. And remember, there’s this argument of slavery going on. This is printed in 1793, and that argument is still going on. What the Parliament should be do about….
Wilberforce. (Bishop Wilberforce) was the head of the London British-English anti-slavery- sales Society. Anti-slave-trade society) – Bishop Wilberforce. But, because Wilberforce got scared by all the revolutions and murders in France, he joined a society for the protection of French Royalist priests that came to England – the Liberals. He tried to.. He was scared.. So he’s actually Theotormon – Bishop Wilberforce. So, “sighs toward America” – “trembling lamentation..sighs toward America” – “For the soft soul of America, Oothoon wanderd in woe” – (It’s like thwarted love, in a way) – “Along the vales of Leutha seeking flowers to comfort her..” (ecstasies, experiences, orgasms – her “flowers” are orgasms – “seeking flowers to comfort her”) – “And thus she spoke to the bright Marigold of Leutha’s vale..” – (Now, what would be the “bright Marigold of Leutha’s” valley? – the Valley of Delight – The “bright Marigold” of the Valley of Delight. Well, that probably is, according to Damon, Mary’s gold – (Mary the Virgin – the gold of Mary) – but probably, in this case, would be the first experiment with sex, the first orgasm – Or, could be, politically, the first anti-slavery rebellion in the Caribbean (which was going on right then and there), first political orgasm. Damon notices she seeks the flowers in her genitals. Soft soul of America… “sighs toward America”… soft soul of America” – physical freedom, physical liberation. The liberation of ecstasy, of the orgasm, or the physical liberation of the revolution.
“And thus she spoke to the bright Marigold of Leutha’s vale/ Art thou a flower! art thou a nymph? I see thee now a flower/ Now a nymph! I dare not pluck thee from thy dewy bed!’ – ( great that phrase, “thy dewy bed”. We had that before) – “The Golden nymph” (the first orgasm) “replied, “Pluck thou, my flower. Oothoon the mild!” – “Another flower shall spring, because the soul of sweet delight/ Can never pass away. she ceas’d & clos’d her golden shrine.” – (So this was, like, the vision there, or ecstatic erotic vision that Oothoon had, playing with herself, and the first orgasm, or allowing, admitting, letting sex come into her universe, allowing herself to be born, sexually (as Thel did not – who, instead, Thel fled screaming back into the Vale of Har, the vales of Never-Never Land, limbo, where nothing ever happens (because there’s) no experience). So -“Then Oothoon pluck’d the flower saying, I pluck thee from thy bed/ Sweet flower. and put thee here to glow between my breasts/ And thus I turn my face to where my whole soul seeks.” – (which is sex-love – she desires) – “”Over the waves she went in wing’d exulting swift delight/ And over Theotormon reign, took her impetuous course” – (Now she’s going now to her real lover, Theotormon) – “Over the waves she went in wing’d exulting swift delight” (and that’s the picture on the title page, of Oothoon going in “winged exalted swift delight”. Dig? That’s quite literal there – between the troughs of the waves). But, what is this above her? Above her “is a jealous god, soaring with horizontal wings…. (H)is mouth is open above a cloven beard,” (like Urizen). He’s hugging himself, “his right hand scratching his left shoulder, is left hand fending off flames.” See his right hand scratching his shoulder? If you haven’t bought this book yet, get it. Look at it. So you’ll have all these images at your disposal. This is Erdman‘s analysis there
to be continued
Audio for the above can be found here, beginning at approximately sixty-nine-and-three-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately seventy-five-and-a-quarter minutes in