The monumental William Blake show at the Tate in London may have closed, but we on the Allen Ginsberg Project continue our Blake focus. Allen, from 1978 at Naropa, continues his observations (from here)
AG: Here’s a song – “Holy Thursday”.. (I haven’t worked out all the (songs))…
“The Clod and the Pebble” is interesting, because it’s (a) psychological shot. Remember, if you understand Thel, malleability, and being used over and over, and “the cut-worm forgives the plow”, and is willing to die. The pebble is a little harder.It’s sort of selfishness and self-enclosure, solidification of ego.So, the clod says:
“Love seeketh not Itself to please,/Nor for itself hath any care;/But for another gives its ease,/And builds a Heaven in Hells despair./ So sung a little Clod of Clay,/Trodden with the cattles feet,/ But a Pebble of the brook,/Warbled out these metres meet.” – (Equal. These equal meters. He’s interested in meter here, anyway) – Love seeketh only Self to please,/To bind another to its delight,/Joys in anothers loss of ease,/And builds a Hell in Heavens despite”.”
So it’s two contrary psyches. But it took me a long time to understand this. That’s simply putting those two in opposition, not too much taking sides except that he obviously does understand the clod from the first prophetic “Book of Thel” . Do you remember the clod in “..Thel”? The mother, actually. The clod was Mother Earth.
And then, “Holy Thursday”. Let’s see, I had a tune for that.
It’s perfect country ‘n western lyrics for that.
“Is that trembling cry a song?/Can it be a song of joy?” – “And their sun does never shine./And their fields are bleak & bare./And their ways are fill’d with thorns./It is eternal winter there.” – “For where-e’er the sun does shine,/And where-e’er the rain does fall:/Babe can never hunger there,/Nor poverty the mind appall.”
It’s like duh-duh-dah-bah-dum bah-dah bom-bom. Chunka chunk chunk. It’s like good Nashville sound.
Student: That’d be good.
to be continued