The Four Zoas – Ginsberg on Blake continues – 6

Allen Ginsberg’s class on William Blake’s The Four Zoas continues from here

AG: And we’re plunging now in the heart of the plot, where Blake begins to outline all the confusions that all of the Zoas have fallen into.

Through the “Song of Death”, or “Song of Vala” – Albion  – “The Fallen Man takes his repose..” (We’re on page 301 of Erdman, page 10, line 9.  Line 10 now) – “The Fallen Man takes his repose..” – (That’s Albion in his sleep.  He’s not awake.  Albion is sick or in slumber) -… “Urizen sleeps in the porch” –

AG: What is “Urizen sleeps in the porch”?  I couldn’t figure that out
Student:  Porch is usually the senses.
Student (2):  Yeah.
AG:  Pardon me?
Student:  Porch signifies the senses..
AG:  Ah.  Is that right?  Does that make sense?
Student (3):  Yeah, I also think of it (of that line in) “Hamlet” – “And in the porches of mine ears”
AG:  Ah.
Student (3):  He takes that way in.  So Urizen is there (sleeping)
AG:  That would make sense.
Student (3):  Like … like (a) poisonous effect in the ear.
AG:  Okay.  Urizen has been put to slumber in the senses.
Student :  Also, when he talks about the “Golden Hall of Urizen'”  (“The Golden Hall of Urizen whose western side glow’d bright/With ever streaming fires beaming from his awful limbs”), Hall would be reason and (so he) steps out onto his porches …
AG:  Uh-huh.
Student:  … so it’s part of the actual architecture.
AG:  Yeah.  Good deal.  Okay, porch would be from the inside out to the outside – the senses.  As he said, the porch, in the sense of the eyes and ears and tongue, are porches of the interior – the external……

tape ends here and then resumes

AG:  … and emotion’s Emanation, or desire and desire’s Emanation.  Heart.  Luvah – the heart.  Lover and his girlfriend – “Luvah and Vala woke up & flew up from the Human Heart/Into the Brain..” – (So they displaced themselves.  They went to the wrong spot.  They went up into the brain).

But here we have Vala – the “Song of Vala”.  Now, who is Vala?

Student:  Nature.

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty-eight-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately sixty-and-a-half minutes in


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