Ginsberg-Blake continuing – 9

Ginsberg on Blake (from “America- A Prophecy”) continues from here 

AG (reading Blake) sight/Of Albions Guardian..” – (the King) – “.. who enrag’d his secret clouds open’d/From north to south, and burnt outstretchd on wings of wrath cov’ring/The eastern sky, spreading his awful wings across the heavens;/Beneath him roll’d his num’rous hosts, all Albions Angels  camp’d/ Darkend the Atlantic mountains & their trumpets shook the valleys/Arm’d with diseases of the earth to cast upon the Abyss,/ Their numbers forty millions, must’ring in the eastern sky.” – (These are all the plagues of Satan foretold in the Apocalypse in the Bible.  It’s like the sickness of  anger and anger of the revolution, a loosening of plagues.  The King wants to loosen all these plagues on America, (and later on, on Plate 15, the plagues – fires of wrath and anger and war – will return to London, will roll back across the Atlantic and will be revisited on London as an immediate karmic consequence).

We (are) down to Plate 14, line 10:

Fury! rage! madness! in a wind swept through America/And the red flames of Orc that folded roaring fierce around/The angry shores, and the fierce rushing of th’inhabitants together..” – (Some kind of solidarity there, as later on, on line 19) – “But all rush together in the night in wrath and raging fire.” – (Erdman calls that the solidarity of the citizens uniting against the King).

So, what do they do?

“… the fierce rushing of the’inhabitants together/The citizens of New-York close their books & lock their chests/The mariners of Boston drop their anchors and unlade..”

Does anybody know what that refers to, historically?

Students:  The Tea Party?

AG:  Yes!  Of course!  The Boston Tea Party.

“..The scribe of Pennsylvania casts his pen upon the earth.. – (That’s a pretty good one!) – “The builder of Virginia throws his hammer down in fear,” –  (I like it when Blake gives a city and gives a trade and gives a little cartoon action like that) – “Then had America been lost, o’erwhelm’d by the Atlantic,/And Earth had lost another portion of the infinite” – (If the revolution had been thwarted the earth might have “lost another portion of the infinite.”  That’s really pretty.  That’ll come on later on when the gates burn. The gates of the senses burn down in this revolution … toward the end of the revolution, I believe.  They had the gates of senses.  Yeah, the five gates.  The very end – “… the five gates were consum’d, & their bolts and hinges  melted..” – the next-to-the-last line.

So his conception of the revolution is actually simultaneous with an unlocking, a cleansing of the doors of perception.  “If the Doors of Perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is, infinite.” Was that from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”  Remember?  I think we had that.

Student:  Yeah.

AG:  Huh?

Student:  Yeah, the “Proverbs..”.

AG:  The “Proverbs (of Hell)” from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

So, Erdman, in his book Prophet Against Empire has a little comment on that, too, (on) page 28. That solidarity shot.  Erdman notices, “The British soldiers thro’ the thirteen states sent up a howl/Of anguish:” – ( that’s from Plate 13, line 6) –  and “threw their swords & muskets to the earth -“Thus briefly does Blake summarize the military story, emphasizing the British surrenders” – (at Saratoga and Yorktown) – “He then tells the political history from the Boston tea party” on “to the collapse of (the) royal authority in London… America, written, remember, “after the formation of” both “republics in America” – (that’s right!) – “and France” – (after both revolutions – this was written after both revolutions (and) published in 1793)  – “exults both in the failure of royal efforts to smite the wheat and overwhelm the people and in the solidarity of the farmers and citizens who “all rush together in the night in wrath.'””

So that’s Erdmans interpretation of that repeated phrase of the Furies and the fires and the flames rushing together in wrath. It’s the citizens coming together, willing to die, actually, willing to go through the Gates of Wrath“To find the Western Path right thro’ the Gates of Wrath, I urge my way”,  (from that poem).

“But all rush together in the night in wrath and raging fire/The red fires rag’d! the plagues recoil’d!..” (They didn’t hang around America’s shore) – they roll’d – “”then roll’d they back with fury..”

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

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