Ginsberg on Blake continues – 22

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake (“The Four Zoas”) continuing from here

AG: I’m trying to jump on to the major story line.

“(But) Los & Enitharmon sat in discontent & scorn/ Craving the more the more enjoying,..”

So they’re sitting in the middle of their creation, “Craving the more the more enjoying.”  Unsatisfiable pleasure.  Pleasure in the creation but unsatisfiable.  They’re like hungry ghosts, “Craving the more the more enjoying.”

“… drawing out sweet bliss/From all the turning wheels of heaven & the chariots of the Slain”

That’s a bit in Buddhist terms (like) the First Noble Truth, that that kind of existence is, by its very nature, suffering –  “drawing out sweet bliss” from the “chariots of the slain”

Now, Enion has a song –  page seventeen –  An overview of the suffering of nature, of the natural world.

“Why does the Raven cry aloud and no eye pities her?/Why fall the Sparrow & the Robin in the foodless winter?/Faint! shivering they sit on leafless bush, or frozen stone/Wearied with seeking food across the snowy waste; the little/Heart, cold; and the little tongue consum’d, that once in thoughtless joy/Gave songs of gratitude to waving corn fields round their       nest./  Why howl the Lion & the Wolf? why do they roam abroad?…”

Lion and wolf generally are spiritual wrath- the lion -and wolf predator – greed or aggression.  The lion very often being the guardian – the spiritual wrath that guards the lamb.  But there’s a great dualistic conflict set up in mortal existence.

“… why do they roam abroad?/Deluded by summers heat they sport in enormous love/And cast their young out to the hungry wilds & sandy desarts/ Why is the Sheep given to the knife?”

Then there’s a real interesting passage coming up.  A very personal portrait of a spider.

“The Spider sits in his labourd Web, eager watching for the Fly/Presently comes a famishd Bird & takes away the Spider./(His little web us left all desolate that his little anxious heart/So careful wove and spread it out with sights and weariness)”

tape ends at this point and then continues with a fresh tape

Student:  (I notice the state of, (the) nature (of Enion) at this point. She’s decrepid.
AG:  She’s been decrepid for some time, actually.  Since she gave birth to the children Los and Enitharmon and they rejected her, drew out their spectrous energy from her, or drew a Spectre’s energy from her..
Student:  Yeah.
AG:  ..used her up.  It’s very similar to our regular mortal mother-children relationship.

Student (2):  It’s interesting that the spider would be eaten (by maybe some kind of barn owl)
AG:  Um-hmm.
Student (2):  … going out …
AG:  Well that would be, I imagine …
Student (2):  … (a bird)
AG:  … Urizenic.  Some Urizenic symbolism there.

Student(3):  Is there anything on the incest taboo?  Because that seems like….

AG:  Must be, because Los and Enitharmon are (brother and sister).

Student (3):  Right.  It seems so accepted, you know.  In every culture, it’s like (an (acknowledged) situation.  Brother and sister.

Student(2):  But all the gods are also brother and sister – mates. I mean, it’s traditional.

AG:  In this case there must be some … some problem must have arisen..  coming from … do you remember where else Los and Enitharmon come from?  Are there other myths (or) situations in Milton or Jerusalem   where they have different births?
Student (2):  Than (that) of being from…
AG:  Enion…
Student (2):  …Enion and Tharmas?
AG:  Tharmas and Enion, yeah.
Student(2):  In Milton?  (and (The Book of) Urizen?)
AG:  Let me see…. [Allen and student(s) begin look through their books]

Student:  Yeah, that’s in … yeah, that’s right.  Urizen.  In The Book of Urizen.  In the Book of Urizen it’s repeated.. word for word, only it’s in a different meter.

AG:  Yeah, they seem to come from….

Student:  …Urizen.  Urizen and Los.

AG:  Um-hmm.

Student:  And then splitting apart for a time and then, (it’s) sort of, like, (what) happens 9to them). There’s nothing….there’s no parentage in that one.

AG:  Well, we had the lamentation of Enion around the golden feast – which is the marriage of the Spectres of Los and Enitharmon.  That’s page eighteen, line eight – “Eternity groand and was troubled at the image of Eternal  Death” – (that eternity –  troubled by the image of this situation we are in as one of eternal death..

to be continued

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

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