Ginsberg on Blake continues – 46

Ezekiel’s Vision – “Temple of Solomon,” – Pieter de Witte ((c. 1548 – 1628),  undated. pen and wash bistre or ink on paper, 321 x 234 mm. Weimar, Germany

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

AG: Okay, so what have we got now?  There’s (this) complicated Central Domed palace. (“The) wondrous building & three Central Domes..”) –  I don’t know what the symbolism of that is.  Now, would that be anything related to what we were talking about to the architecture in … what was it?  Isaiah?

Student:  Ezekiel.

AG:  Ezekiel.

Student:  To me, it goes back through John’s vision on Patmos of the apocalyptic ultimate (building command), through this vision of Ezekiel, (the chapter that he had when they were exiled in… in the.. in Babylon)

AG:  What was Ezekiel….
Student:  (In Ezekiel, it was) a kind of a temple they’d build when they get home.  “In the five and twentieth year of our captivity the hand of the Lord was on me.”
AG:  Which chapter is that now?
Student:  It’s the beginning of Chapter Forty, I think.
AG:  Okay.
Student:  “Behold there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand and a measuring reed.  He stood in the wing.”  And it goes on for chapters about these measurements..
AG:  Uh-huh.
Student:  (that were) square….

AG: But is there anything…  It’s very, very clear about the gates and the cubits and the chambers, but I wonder if there’s anything here that relates to the three domes?
Student:  Well, the square in it has three main pavilions inside it.
AG:  Ezekiel?
Student:  Yeah.
AG:   Ah, okay.

Student (2):  Isn’t it also sort of a little bit like Moses’ building of the Ark, according to the rules that he got from when he was on the mountain?…. I mean….
AG:  Well, there was a lot of (the Ark) –  there’s the Temple, there’s the Ark..
Student (2):  Yeah, right.  And that each of these sort of builds on the tradition of the other, of exact measurements.

AG:  But I wondered.  The three Central Domes –  would those be, like,  the threefold vision? [Editorial note – “The Sexual is Threefold; The Human is Fourfold – William Blake writes in Milton]  Is that possible?

Student (2): I don’t know.  There’s the three daughters, the only thing that clicked in my head, but I don’t … we don’t have any reason to believe that so far.  Later on Blake talks about the three daughters as the Ark…

AG:  Yeah.  Well, I’m just thinking of the architecture here.

“The Golden Hall of Urizen whose western side..”- (or bodily, Tharmas‘ side) – … glowd bright/With ever streaming fires beaming from his awful limbs…”

So I’m wondering if this would be…  what would be left out of “fourfold vision” here [Editorial note – “Now I a fourfold vision see/And a fourfold vision is given to me/Tis fourfold in my supreme delight – William Blake – Letter to Thomas Butts, November 22nd, 1802]  if it’s “the Golden Hall of Urizen? – hmm?  Built with the energy of Luvah? –  With three domes –  ‘Each dome opened towards four halls” –  Well, I don’t know.  I haven’t seen any notes on it, any esoteric notes on it.

Student:  I think the point I think he’s trying to make is a little bit simple, but, like, Ezekiel, in this in exile, had a vision of the palace or building when they get home, and it will be the symbolic dwelling place of the Lord….

AG:  Um-hmm.  Well, there’s always that original architecture of the Temple of Solomon, then.

Student:  Yeah.  And then when you try and do it with mortar, I think that something happens.  Do you see what I mean?  I see Urizen’s Palace here of being a travesty or an attempt to build Ezekiel’s vision.. But not… but it isn’t Ezekiel’s vision.

AG:  I guess my question is, Is this description closer to Ezekiel than to the Ark or the Temple of Solomon, do you think?

Student:  I think the Solomon in.. (Ezekiel)?
AG:  Yeah, the one you were just (reading, or) that Gerda (Norvig) (sic) mentioned.  I was just wondering, architecturally.
Student:  No, I think this is.
AG:  This is the closest?  Ezekiel’s?
Student:  Yeah.
AG:  Okay.  I’ll go home and read Ezekiel.  That’s a long chapter.
Student (2):  (It’s also) in (The Book of) Revelation
Student:  Based on the myth, yeah.  It’s where they’re having  a hundred and forty-four thousand …
Student (2):  Right.
Student:  and…

AG:  Well, there’s a couple interesting shots in here, within it –  “The golden Hall of Urizen whose western side glowd bright..” – (That would be the Tharmas’ side – the body) – “With ever streaming fires beaming from his awful limbs/His Shadowy Feminine Semblance..’ – (Ahania) – “ reposd on a White Couch..” – (“His Shadowy Feminine Semblance” I’m assuming is Ahania. – his idealism, his pleasure) – “reposd on a White Couch/ Or Hoverd oer his Starry head…”

And then, down further, in line twenty-eight – “…cold in paling fears she sat/ A Shadow of Despair therefore toward the West…” – (toward Tharmas’s body) – “…Urizen formd/A recess in the wall for fires to glow upon the pale/Females limbs in his absence & her Daughters oft formed/ A Golden Altar burnt perfumes with Art Celestial formd/ Foursquare sculpturd & sweetly Engravd to please their shadowy mother..” – (That recess is sort of like a vagina, I thought.  It would be at least the body.  A body- a physical body – something relating to the physical body there).

And then down lower, in line thirty-six and thirty-seven – “With lives of Victims sacrificed upon an altar of brass/On the East side..” – (that would be Luvah’s side).

Student:  That’s…   Ezekiel’s Temple has all sorts of…
AG:  Same?
Student:  …altars for sacrifices…
AG:  Yeah.
Student:  … (explicitly) specified.
AG:  Then this would parallel that.

Okay, zapping on.  I don’t think we’re going to get through this…..

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately eighty-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately eighty-six-and-a-half minutes in.  

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