William Blake’s America – A Prophecy – 4

Tehran, 1979 – image from the Iranian Revolution

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake’s “America – A Prophecy” continues fom here.

AG  (continuing  to read from Blake):    “For never from her iron tongue could voice or sound arise,/But dumb till that dread day when Orc assay’d his fierce embrace/ Dark virgin; said the hairy youth, thy father stern abhorr’d..” – (Los, who is poetic imagination, is the father of Orc. But how come the father’s poetry is scared of revolution there? We’ll find that out later on in our lives and we’ll also find it later on in Blake in the Book of Urizen, when the birth of Orc and his relation to his father, poetic imagination, is revealed more.

See, the whole point is that poetic imagination, Los, is jealous of the fury and energy of the revolution.  At the same time, he realizes that it’s a bastard kid, that only is born when it’s needed for the energy and the fire and the destruction, but that. after the revolution, it’s a big pain-in-the-ass.  It’s chaos after the revolution, because that unrestrained fire that has to have a battle with Urizen – the king, law-maker, Jehovah, -giver – Once he triumphs over the king, then who’s going to curb him?

So we’ll come to that a little later perhaps, but we might read from today’s [sic] New York Times: 

Ambassador Sullivan called Iran’s Revolutionary authorities for help when the Americans were freed by forces of Ayatollah Khomeini, led by a Deputy Prime Minister of the provisional government.  The assault on the American embassy underscored the problems that Ayatollah Khomeini’s forces face in trying to bring the country under their control.  It was not clear who started the attack on the embassy. Some supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini accused the Communists having been responsible for the assault, while others blamed the People’s Fehedeen, a Marxist guerilla group.  Later the People’s Fehedeen denied responsibility.  Many of Ayatollah Khomeini’s followers did not heed his order of yesterday’s return of weapons seized when the country’s armed forces capitulated last weekend. In an effort to end the chaos in the country, the religious leaders issued a proclamation today asking all Iranians to return to their jobs on Saturday, the beginning of the Moslem week. ‘Now that you’ve demolished the pillars of the Pahlevi dynasty and the Revolutionary temporary government has been established, all workers, merchants, office staffs, students and teachers are hereby requested to resume work on Saturday.’  The Ayatollah said that because of the strikes that were necessary to the Revolution the country is now in such a state that the economy must be immediately revived. ‘Those who disobey the Revolutionary Government will be regarded as opponents of the Revolution,’ Ayatollah Khomeini said.  The response to the back-to-work order should show whether the Iranians are as obedient to the Ayatollah now that the Revolution has triumphed as they were during the struggle a radical government demanded.  Leftist groups have already challenged the Khomeini forces.”  And so forth. It’s (from) the New York Times, February 15th, 1979.  So we’ll get more of this.

You see, he (Blake) has made an eternal model for revolution and reaction and chaos. He’s still on the side of revolution, but we’ll see.  In the “Preludium” itself there’s a certain question that’s raised.

to be continued

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately eighteen-and-three-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately twenty-three minutes in] 

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