William Blake’s Tyger – 7

Allen Ginsberg’s 1979 class on William Blake’s “..Tyger” continues from here  –  Allen continues perusing S Foster Damon’s “A Blake Dictionary” 

AG: No, no “symmetry” in here.  What other?  We got the “tiger”, we got the “forests” – (we understand the forests as being Church and State, the forests of the night are Church and State).

“On what wings dare he aspire?” –  (remember the genius Eagle?) –  “What the hand dare seize the fire?/  And what shoulder & what art” – (that’s kind of odd – Los is the artisan, the poetic imagination. So he says “What the shoulder & what art?”) – “And what shoulder & what art/Could twist the sinews of thy heart? / And when thy heart began to beat…”  -( That’s why I dig the heartbeat thing, because finally the heartbeat is the physical symbol within the poem of it all.  The whole poem taking place within the human breast, or within the human).

Student:  Is there a heart image in there?

AG:  Yeah, heart is, remember, Luvah.

Student:  Luvah, right.

AG:  Luvah, emotion, so it’s this emotion of wrath created by Urizen.  The emotion of wrath created by Urizen – your reason, by reason, or, say, a distortion of emotion and a distortion of feeling.         Let’s see.  What was the word I was going to look up?

Student:  Symmetry?

AG:  No, we did that and it’s not there.  It was …

Student:  Heart?

AG:  … heart.  Heart.  So let’s try “heart”. [Allen looks]  No.  It’s just in the schematic.

Student:  Yeah, its element is fire.

AG:  Yeah.  And it’s Luvah, right?

Student:  Um-hmm.

AG:  The heart.

Student:  What’s its calling?

Student (2):  Weaver.

AG:  Weaver, in this case.  But that doesn’t enter in here apparently.  Dealing with emotions, love, music, center, inward, silver, natural beauty, desire, moon, men, fire, Asia.  It’s got all sorts of different associations.  What is it?  It’s East.

Student:  Um-hmm.

AG:  Is there any “east” in here?, no.  Anyway, “…twist the sinews of thy heart/When thy heart began to beat/What dread hand? & what dread feet?.”  “Hammer”,
“chain”, “furnace”, “brain”, “anvil”, “stars” – “water’d heaven with their tears” is really nice.  I guess we more or less (got) everything we could looked up.

to be continued

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