Ginsberg on Blake continues – 73

 Allen Ginsberg’s 1978 Naropa class on William Blake’s The Four Zoas continues from here

AG: And you had something about the Last Judgement?  or,  what was the next thing?Student:  Then, finally, in Book the Ninth, which is skipping a whole lot of real intricacies and everything, you see various things.
AG:  So that would be the nadir of the scene, the pits,  the zenith..?
Student:  I guess. Now they’re going to (keep their eyes) up.  Luvah says, on page three eighty-eight…
AG:  Three what?  Three-Eighty-Eight.
Student: (reading from Blake)   “By Attempting to be more than Man we become less…”
The (emphasis to) change or move destroyed the Eternal Man.

Student (2):  You have to speak up a little.
Student:  Okay, I’m sorry. Three-eighty-eight, line twenty-one – “Attempting to be more than Man we become less..”
AG:  Why don’t you declaim it?
Student:  What’s that?
AG:  Declaim it. You’re a poet.
Student:  Okay – (Student attempts a more rhetorical tone) “Attempting to be more than Man We become less said Luvah..”
AG:  That’s better.

Student:  (That’s the) moral of the emotions learning.. – skipping a bit, a page later, three-ninety – “The Eternal…” –  about line five, near the top – “The Eternal Man darkend with Sorrow & a wintry mantle/Covered the Hills  He said O Tharmas rise & O Urthona”

AG:  That’s Albion talking now.

Student:  Yes, that’s the Great Man.  He’s awakened and he’s putting things back into their proper places.

“Then Tharmas & Urthona rose from the Golden feast satiated/ With Mirth & Joy Urthona limping from his fall on Tharmas leand/ In his right hand his hammer Tharmas held his Shepherds crook/Beset with gold gold were the ornaments formd by sons of Urizen” – (Which is the shepherd’s staff has been covered with gold, which is Urizen’s metal.  And he’s going to shake it off and rise back up. So we see action like that of the different parts of the human form moving back to their proper and spaces (and resolved)  And that’s the overall action that I see in the central form.

AG:  Yeah, might as well read just the last few lines, so you get the final conclusion – “One Earth..” – (that’s page three-nine-one) – “One Earth one sea beneath nor Erring Globes wander but Stars/Of fire rise up nightly from the Ocean & one Sun/Each morning like a New born Man issues with songs & Joy/Calling the Plowman to his Labour & the Shepherd to his rest/ He walks upon the Eternal Mountains raising his heavenly voice/ Conversing with the Animal forms of wisdom night & day/That risen from the Sea of fire renewd walk oer the Earth./  For Tharmas brought his flocks upon the hills & in the Vales/Around the Eternal Mans bright tent the little children play/Among the wooly flocks The hammer of Urthona sounds/ In the deep caves beneath his limbs renewd his Lions roar/ Around the Furnaces & in Evening sport upon the plains/They raise their faces from the Earth conversing with the Man/ How is it we have walkd thro fires & yet are not consumed/How is it that all things are changd even as in ancient times/ The Sun arises from his dewy bed & the fresh airs/ Play in his smiling beams giving the seeds of life to grow/And the fires Earth beams forth ten thousand thousand springs of life/Urthona is arisen in his strength no longer now/Divided from Enitharmon no longer the Spectre Los/ Where is the Spectre of Prophecy where the delusive Phantom/ Departed & Urthona rises from the ruinous walls/ In all his ancient strength to form the golden armour of science/ For intellectual War The War of swords departed now/The dark Religions are departed & sweet Science reigns. – End of the Dream”
That’s a great end for a dream!

Okay, we’ve got some perspective – some panoramic perspective of the whole book and the actions of all the characters.

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fourteen-and-a-half minutes in and concluding at approximately eighteen-and-a-half minutes in

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