Allen Ginsberg on William Blake – continues from here
Student: The metrics is changed in the song. (in Enitharmon’s Song to Los)
Student: The short line and the long line.
AG: Long and short. “At the first Sound the Golden sun arises from the Deep.” – (that’s septenary) – “And shakes his awful hair/The Eccho wakes the moon to unbind her silver locks.” – ( I don’t know. It’s slightly shorter. The longish lines within that are slightly shorter than the original set, seven-piece (lines). So basically I was figuring it as seven-four-six-four-six. Seven-beat, four-beat, six-beat, four-beat, six-beat. At least “O I am weary lay thine hand upon me or I faint/I faint beneath these beams of thine.” Well, maybe that’s … “… faint beneath these beams of thine” is four, “For thou has touchd my five senses & they answerd thee” – six. “Now I am nothing & I sink” – four – “And on the bed of silence sleep till thou awakest me,” I count it as six. It’s pretty arbitrary, according to your ear).
“Thus sang the Lovely one in Rapturous delusive trance…. (This is interpreted as her delusive idealistic praise of Urizen‘s creation in which they find themselves. Deceiving herself and Los.
“Los heard reviving he seized her in his arms delusive hopes/Kindling She led him into Shadows & thence fled outstretchd/Upon the immense like a bright rainbow weeping & smiling & fading”
Then – “”Thus livd Los driving.. (Generation)..” – (Enion) – “far into the deathful infinite/That he may also draw.. – (Intellectual Beauty’s) – “..Ahania’s spirit into her Vortex/Of material generation” – (that he may draw Ahania’s spirit into her vortex) – Ah happy blindness Enion sees not the terrors of the uncertain/Thus Enion wails from the dark deep, the golden heavens tremble.”
Now this is a song of a fallen world. Enion‘s song of generation (is) what follows now, on page thirty-five – a song of disillusionment in the generated world. Some say… Bloom says part of this is Blake’s own complaint. And this is a really beautiful flight now.
Student: ( I see the blindness,) that that’s introduced by “Enion sees not the terrors of the uncertain”… and then the whole lament is.. from then he seems to be in love for her
Student: So I don’t quite understand why…
AG: Well, the blindness would be that he may “draw Ahania’s spirit into her Vortex.” The “happy blindness” may be Ahania‘s, maybe.
Student: Um-hmm. But, still, there seems to be …
Student: … a proposition here. “Enion sees not the terrors..”
Student: ..”.of the uncertain/Thus” – therefore – “Enion wails from the dark deep.”…
And then sings this song. I don’t get connected with being that statement and that song..
AG: Um-hmm. Well it’s… Well, of course you could say what’s happening is Los is making Ahania listen to the following song of Enion. Los is making Urizen’s mate listen to the complaint of Enion about the material universe that Urizen has created. Enion’s wail is perhaps partial, in the sense that it’s just the disillusioned negative. It’s a complaint, totally.
But I don’t understand the line any more than you do there from that.
Let’s read that (again). – “Thus livd Los driving Enion far into the deathful infinite/ That he may also draw Ahania’s spirit into her Vortex”. I’m taking that to be Enion’s vortex.
Student: Oh. I thought it was Ahania’s. Yeah..
AG: I was guessing that to be “That he may also draw Ahania’s spirit into the Vortex of Enion” Which is to say, that he may draw the geometrical pleasure of the intellectual abstraction into the vortex of generation and disillusionment, and thus get at Urizen by teaching Urizen the terrors of his own creation. But that doesn’t explain “Ah happy blindness Enion sees not the terrors of the uncertain”. Because she does seem to see them. But maybe…
Student: Maybe it means Enion “sees not the terrors of the uncertain” until Enion’s spirit is drawn into her vortex, and then, she “wails from the dark deep.”
Student (2): Either that, or (explaining) a distinction between what Enion is wailing about here and something else that are “the terrors of the uncertain”…
Student : Yeah
Student (2): …..And all those things about (the “serpent for a councellor & the dog/For a schoolmaster”) … those aren’t uncertain, but.. but those are factual, palpable things..
AG: Okay. Would someone like to read Enion’s song? Anybody got a good operatic voice?
Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately twenty-and-a-half minutes in and continuing until approximately twenty-six-and-a-half minutes in