Allen Ginsberg on William Blake (The Four Zoas) continues from here
“… raging Luvah pourd/The Lances.”
AG: What is this? This is the line you were interested in, Mr. Barnes (sic). The Lances of Urizen. What was that?
Student: I couldn’t see the image.
AG: “While thus he spoke his fires reddend oer the holy tent/Urizen cast deep darkness round him” – (meaning Luvah, I guess – or himself) – “… silent brooding death/Eternal death to Luvah..” – (So, reason now wants to completely suppress all emotion). – “… raging Luvah pourd/The Lances of Urizen from chariots. round the holy tent/Discord began & yells & cries shook the wide firmament..”.
Now, I don’t know what that syntax means there: “… raging Luvah pourd/The Lances of Urizen from chariots.” It’s page twenty-two
Student: I guess … I guess what … it would make sense to me if Urizen … I mean, Luvah has usurped Urizen’s chariot so that he’s….
Student (2): Right. He’s raging, he’s taken over Urizen’s place.
Student: ..that he’s in the chariot.
Student (2): Yeah.
Student: That’s what (I see)
Student (2): That’s right. That’s right. Okay.
Student (2): Otherwise …
Student: That’s how I interpreted it ….it would be that… that … that the emotions are making up reasons (for..)
Student(2): Yeah. Using reason as darts.
AG: Yeah. Let’s see. A chariot pulled by horses. The horses and the chariot have to do with Urizen’s horses, which were plowing.
Student (2): Horses of instruction.
AG: Yeah. Horses of?
Student (2): Instruction, Blake calls them (in the Marriage..(of Heaven and Hell)
AG: Yeah. Okay, yeah. That’s good.
Student(2): And it’s like the emotions now are using Urizen’s tools…
Student(2): – thoughts, ideas..
Student(2:) …chaotically, or ragingly..
Student(2): ..which causes discord around the”wide firmament”.
AG: Urthona is the next figure that comes in to do battle or to relate to Urizen in that battle.
“(Before) his anvil..” – (The anvil of imagination, of creation, of giving form to error, of imagination creating things) – “(Beside) his anvil stood Urthona dark, a mass of iron/Glowd furious on the anvil prepard for spades & coulters..” – What’s a coulter? Does anybody know a coulter?
Student: Yeah. It’s the front part of the plow that makes the clods…
AG: Yeah. Fine.
“… the anvil prepard for spades & coulters All/ His son fled from his side to join the conflict pale he heard/ The Eternal voice he stood the sweat chilld on his mighty limbs/He dropd his hammer, dividing from his aking bosom fled…” – (fled what? His Emanation) – “… fled/A portion of his life shrieking upon the wind she fled..” – (That’s Enitharmon. Los, remember, is sort of a manifested form of Urthona, and Los’s Enitharmon, or Spiritual Beauty -space itself) – Now, what happened to her, when she fled?
“(And) Tharmas..” – (The body) – “…took her in pitying Then Enion” – (Lust) – “…in jealous fear/Murderd her” – (Spiritual Beauty flees from Imagination’s bosom. It goes to the body who finds a place for it with its Spectral Emanation Enion, or jealous fear, or lust, who murders her and hides Spiritual Beauty in her own bosom, embalming her, for fear/ She should rise again to life. Embalmed in Enion’s bosom”)
“& hid her in her bosom embalming her for fear/ She should arise again to life. Embalmed in Enions bosom/ Enitharmon remains a corse such a thing was never known/In Eden that one died a death never to be revivd.” (“No no never can it be./Never never can it be.” – “Can such things be on Albion’s shore?” – In The Songs of Innocence and Experience you get a similar tone – and “”.. such a thing was never known/ In Eden that one died a death” – Well, “such a thing was never known in Eden”, certainly,. “that one died a death never to be revived.”
“Urthona stood in terror but not long his spectre fled” – (Where? To Enion. So what does this mean, then?) – “Urthona stood in terror but not long his spectre fled/To Enion, & his body fell.” – (Well, if Enion is the sexual urge and imagination stood in terror and then, seeking some kind of refuge, went to the sexual urge, that’s kind of interesting. So the entire universe of imagination became obsessed and fixated on material sex).
Student: Enitharmon is hidden inside Enion.
Student: Is inside the breast now, so the only way he can get his own Emanation is through lust.
AG: Ah, right. Right.
“…Tharmas beheld him fall” – (His body fell) – .”…Tharmas beheld him fall/ (Endlong) a raging (phallus) rolling round the holy tent” – “(Endlong) a raging serpent rolling round the holy tent” – (Sex, pure and total. That’s a great description, “Endless a raging serpent rolling round the holy tent.”)
“The sons of war astonishd at the Glittring monster drove/Him far into the world of Tharmas into a cavernd rock” – (So it was just made into a big prick on a body under a skull) – “But Urizen with darkness overspreading all the aires/Sent round his heralds secretly commanding to depart/Into the north…” – (To Urthona’s imaginative realm) – “… Sudden with thunders sound his multitudes/Retreat from the fierce conflict all the sons of Urizen at once/Mustring together in thick clouds leaving the rage of Luvah/To pour its fury on himself & on the Eternal Man..” – (“himself” there meaning Luvah?) –
… the sons of Urizen at once/ Mustring together in thick clouds leaving the rage of Luvah/To pour its fury on himself & on the Eternal Man..” – (That may be the war begins, which will redound back or be a war on Urizen and on Albion) – “Sudden down fell they all together into an unknown Space/Deep horrible without End” – (So this is the fall again. All falls down here, again).
“.. Separated from Beulah far beneath/The Mans exteriors are become indefinite opend to pain/In a fierce hungring void & none can visit his regions/ Jerusalem his Emanation is become a ruin/Her little ones are slain on the top of every street/And she herself le(d) captive & scatterd into the indefinite/ Gird on thy sword O thou most mighty in glory & majesty/Destroy these opressors of Jerusalem & those who ruin Shiloh/ So spoke the Messengers of Beulah.”
Now, Beulah was that imaginative space. What will we use Beulah for here, again?
Student: Sort of the antechamber of Eden. I don’t know.
AG: Yeah, in between Eden and this chaos that’s created. But an imaginative space which is not resolved, not clear, dream, human dream, human confused imagination. But nonetheless some kind of space to begin to reform or begin to consider or begin to daydream or begin to dowse.
Student: Or create poetry. The daughters of Beulah …
Student: …inspires …
Student: … poetic….
AG: So, some inspiration, some unconscious, some wisdom left over, some door to the mortal world and at the same time a door to Eden. Doesn’t Beulah have doors into Eden? Yeah. I don’t know the Buddhist term for that. The alaya vijnana, actually. There’s literally a similar function by the alaya vijnana, which is sort of subconscious gossip. Unconscious gossip and storehouse. (A) storehouse of images, like you have that antechamber. A storehouse. An antechamber which is used as a storehouse of images or possibilities.
AG: Yeah. Useful, some of it.
“So spoke the messengers of Beulah. Silently removing/The Family Divine drew up the Universal tent…” – (I think Bloom said they closed everything around them. They closed themselves in a tent or closed the tent round all this, to safeguard what was left unfallen. But where did they put it?
“Above High Snowdon…” – ( Mount Snowdon in (Wales) is celebrated for … is that the highest mountain in England and Wales? Does anybody know? – Yeah.
Student: I think Erdman said, basically, Eryri is the highest peak [Editorial note Eyri is the Welsh term for Snowdonia]
Student: It’s where (William) Wordsworth later had his visions.
AG: Yeah. So it’s the Muses’ mountain. It’s the Parnassus of England.
Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately seventy-six-and-a-half minutes in and continuing to approximately eighty-seven minutes in