Ginsberg on Blake continues – 39

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

AG:  And (reads) – “I carried her in my bosom as a man carries a lamb/I loved her I gave her all my soul & my delight/I hid her in soft gardens & in secret bowers of Summer/Weaving mazes of delight along the sunny Paradise/Inextricable labyrinths, She bore me sons & daughters…” – (Now, this is a description of how an Emanation is drawn out from one of the Zoas, actually.  or how an Emanation is birthed, I guess, how the original Zoa, beginning with a calling-forth of the earthworm, nurturing from serpent to dragon, commanding existence to hide, or guard, or accommodate, to the Emanation,Vala) –

“..She bore me sons & daughters/And they have taken her away & hid her from my sight” – (Now, how does that work out?  Vala bore Luvah sons and daughters. Who are those sons and daughters?  That’s not a repeat of Los and Enitharmon).

Student:  It’s the same idea, but these (similar..)
AG:  Okay, let’s take a look.
Student:  It seems to me like there’s something going on here which is parallelling the religious history of the world, too. That is….
AG:  Well, the growth of the mystery of external nature as being supreme and dominant.
Student:  Right.
AG:  Or of the material world.
Student:  And that there was a time that the serpent and Eden and then there was a kind of a flood, and more of that … and then along came this lamb-like …
AG:  Um-hmm.
Student:  … as if that’s the beginning of Christianity, almost.
AG:  Um-hmm.
Student:  where she becomes worm-like again.  And then … but the sons and daughters somehow or other seem, like, to take away the powerfulness of nature, in preference to the Christian idea of a spirit …
AG:  Um-hmm.
Student:  … which then separates even more, rather than integrates.
AG:  Um-hmm.
Student:  So that, you know… they.. (bad results) seem to….

Student (2):  She’s hidden from his sight now because she’s working the bellows to make the furnace operate where he’s locked in, right?
AG:  Um-hmm.  Yes.  “furnaces” –  “And Vala fed in cruel delight, the furnaces with fire.”  Stern Urizen beheld, urged by necessity to keep the evil day afar and if, perchance, with iron power he might avert his own despair.  In woe and fear he saw Vala encircled round the furnace where Luvah was closed.  In joy she heard his howlings and forgot he was her lover, with whom she walked in bliss in times of innocence and youth.  And then there’s this complaint by Luvah of how he grew Vala, nurtured Vala, who is now material nature – who is now torturing him.

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately forty-five minutes in and concluding at approximately forty-nine minutes in

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *