Ginsberg on Blake (Visions of The Daughters of Albion – 5)

AG: Okay, now, we’ll get back to the picture to see what more is going on.  Theo-torment – that would probably be Theotormon. She’s in erotic ecstasy and that’s Theotormon sort of hugging himself and scratching himself hovering over (her) with like a Jehovaic, Urizenic, worried face.  Very worried about the liberation.  But she’s also running across the Atlantic’s froths, to America.  It’s the spirit of liberty and freedom.  It’s the revolution running.  It’s the delight of the revolution.And then there’s a figure up on the cloud on the right that looks like a kind of demon with long fingers going, “Down!”  Bam!  You got him?, on the right there?

And a bunch of folk up on the left with big asses and tits.  The guy on the right is called “a cross-legged conjurer” by Erdman, (also called “the evil demon” in a separate pencil drawing (in another separate pencil drawing by Blake it’s called ”the evil demon”) – seeming to direct the storm that rains from the dark side of the clouds (and incidentally directing us into the book).”   – Duh-dum!

We’re now going to have the Visions of the Daughters of Albion with “the evil demon” going, “Down!  Watch it!  Go right into the book…  next..” –  “Over the waves she went in wing’d exulting swift delight”  (“despite the menaces of Bromion and Theotormon under the aegis of the selfish jealous father-god Urizen,” according to Damon).

So, “Bromion rent her with his thunders, on his stormy bed/ Lay the faint maid, and soon her woes appalld his thunders hoarse/  Bromion spoke – “Behold this harlot here on Bromion’s bed,/And let the jealous dolphins sport around the lovely maid,/ Thy soft American plains are mine, and mine thy north &  south..” – (Remember the American Revolution, or the Civil War, both the industrial slave-holding north and agrarian slave-holding south) – “and mine thy north & south/Stamp’t with my signet are the swarthy children of the sun” – (those are black slaves) – “They are obedient, they resist not, they obey the scourge/Their daughters worship terrors and obey the violent” – (So even the women in this day and age, not only the slaves but slaves and women, all have to obey the male, macho, aggressive, rapist, slave-holding, devouring, Bromion, who is considered by everybody else a version of Urizen. It is Reason as a condemner, or as a domineerer (a Law-Reason), as Law-Reason, Reason-Law.  His opposite would be loving Science  (the opposite of Bromion, as condemning Reason, would be loving Science, or tender science, the “sweet science” that we’ll get to at the end of Vala)

So reason raped the ecstasy.  In other words, reason raped, got into and tried to control, Oothoon’s ecstasy. Or reason, the counter-revolution, raped the revolution, or tried to bind down the revolution.

You could say that in the present Persian-Iranian situation, it may be that Bromion would be the Army.  And then the Mullahs saying, “Now, listen, we don’t want to have a big fight here,” and Bromion and the Army is saying, “I’ve got to bind it down and may rend the Iranian Revolution with its thunders. Behold this revolution here on our bed.  “The soft American plains are mine, and mine thy north and south” (the Iranian army might say), “Stamp’t with my signet are the swarthy children of the sun.”

(In any case, Bromion is a slave-owner who enslaves women, too.  Remember he’s directly the slave-owner – “Stamp’t with my signet are the swarthy children of the sun” – He’s also enslaved feminine ecstasy and raped it.  He’s got his signet on the slave).

We might get some commentary on that. Let’s see. Because I want to set the stage.  If we understand who the three figures are and their relations, politically and psychologically, to each other, then we can go right through and read the poem.  Because the only thing that happens in this poem is Bromion rapes Oothoon, and Theotormon hides his head in his hands. And then the rest is all their different lamentations and speeches. So, once we get the stage set, we know what they represent and what they’re up to.  Then we can just zap right through and read and understand what they’re talking about. Erdman in his Prophet Against Empire has a number of interesting little notes on (all) that.

It’s five after nine.  So.  Well, I better not.  I think we’ll quit.

class and tape ends here

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately seventy-five-and-a-quarter minutes in, and concluding at the end of the tape

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