Allen Ginsberg’s 1978 Naropa class on William Blake’s “The Four Zoas” continues from here
Student: Shall I continue?
AG: Yeah. “It is an easy thing…”
Student (reading Blake) : “It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun/And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn/It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted/To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer/ To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season/When the red blood is filld with wine & the morrow of lambs.”
AG: “& with the marrow of lambs.”
Student (continues): – “It is an easy thing to laugh at the wrathful elements/To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan/To see a god on every wind & a blessing on every blast..”
AG: That’s really ironic.
Student: “To hear sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies house/To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, & the sickness that cuts off his children/While our olive & vine sing /& laugh round our door & our children bring fruits & flowers/ Then the groan & the dolor are quite forgotten & the slave grinding at the mill/ And the captive in chains & the poor in the prison, & the soldier in the field/ When the shatterd bone hath laid him) groaning among the happier dead/It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity/Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!”
Student: “Ahania heard the Lamentation….”
AG: That’s the end of the song..
AG: … And then the narrative begins again – (So I guess, intellectual pleasure) – “… heard the Lamentation & a swift Vibration/Spread thro her Golden frame. She rose up eer the dawn of day/When Urizen slept..” – (She got scared of what Urizen has created, maybe) -“When Urizen slept on his couch. drawn thro unbounded space/ Onto the margin of Non Entity the bright Female came/ There she beheld the (terrible) Spectrous form of Enion in the Void/And never from that moment could she rest upon her pillow” – (So that’s back to that pillow, which was in Book One. And the pillow has several times come up – “… conduct the Voice of Enion….” Well, apparently it’s been done. The voice of Enion has been conducted to the midnight pillow of Ahania. So that really is a serious image that he’s laying out because he’s got it twice in the same book.
And it also goes back to Book One, page ten, line twelve, on page 3three-oh-one: Let’s check back to that. Remember line ten ? –
“…Urizen sleeps in the porch/ Luvah and Vala woke & flew up from the Human Heart/Into the Brain; from thence upon the pillow Vala slumbered”
“From thence upon” – so I guess that pillow is dream, pillow is where the head lays, pillow is the place of Urizen, I guess, pillow is the mind. But that invasion of the pillow recurs over and over again, or the stealing into the pillow occurs several times. Well, “To conduct the Voice of Enion to Ahanias midnight pillow,” we’ve discussed before.
Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty minutes in and continuing till approximately thirty-four-and-a-half minutes in