Ginsberg on Blake continues – 77

Hieronymus Bosch (detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights (circa 1490-1500) – (“begetting little monsters/Who sit mocking upon the little pebbles of the tide/In all my rivers”)   (William Blake) – oil on wood panel –  Collection of Museo del Prado

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

AG: So now Tharmas‘s speech.  And here’s what he said, or cried – “crying…” –  a very pretty poetic passage here about body plasm, material plasm.

“(..crying)/ Fury in my limbs, destruction in my bones & marrow/My skull riven into filaments, my eyes into sea jellies/ Floating upon the tide wander bubbling & bubbling/ Uttering my lamentations & begetting little monsters/ Who sit mocking upon the little pebbles of the tide/ In all my rivers & on dried shells that the fish/ Have quite forsaken”.

That’s a little vision out of Hieronymus Bosch, actually. Something that’ a particular form that he’ll repeat a little bit a little later – You’re going to have to die the death of man, I guess.

I used a similar form, when I was first reading this.  I got inspired to that kind of plasma logic rhetoric.  In a poem called “The Contest of Bards” I tried imitating that kind of language. So this is the old Urizen on his knees on the ground looking at a poem –   Let’s see now.  He’s kneeling on the ground, breathing.

“Inspirations drawing populous-hued tides of living plasm thru seaweed pipes/from breast to brain, phantasms of interior ocean freshening the surface of the eyeball,/Old breath familiar exhaling into starry space that held shore & heaven/Where sat his tiny stone house..”- (The brain) -” … lost in black winds lapped by black waters fishy eyed/ oft phosphorescent when jellied monster sprites floated to the golden sand,/wet bubbles of vehemence mouth’d by a ripple, tiny  translucent spirits/ dried in the eyebeams of the frowning Face o’ the moon..”  – In other words, just a little cadenza after Blake.

And I tried another — Urizen arguing with Luvah, I guess. Or something similar.  With Orc. Urizen arguing with Orc.

… Uncompassionate Angel!/ Know th’ emptiness your own Soul! Think you’re a king in       oceans of Thought?/Neptune himself with his Crown of drown’d gold over a beardless face pale ivory with vanity! Re-waken ignorant desires no mortal boy can satisfy?/I go to a death you never dreamed, in iron oceans! homeless skull/washed underwave with octopus and seahorse, flicked by soft wings of pink fish my eyelids!/   Teeth a silver wormhouse on the sandy bottom, polypus & green-suckered squid in my ribs, wavy/snake-tailed insensible kelp and water-cactus footed in watery loins! clams breathe/their cold valved zephyrs where my heart ached on translucent shelves! Typhoons carry my voice away!’

So those were two little sort of appropriations of Blake’s plasmic bubble image.  Plasmic sea-jelly imagery.

“..begetting little monsters/Who sit mocking…”  –  That’s very strange.   “begetting little monsters/Who sit mocking upon the little pebbles of the tide/In all my rivers” –
Straight out of (Pieter) Bruegel, out of (Bosch’s) “The Garden of (Earthly) Delights“, or any of the little Urizenic fantasies that he has.

Student:  What do you think those little monsters are in that allegory?

AG:  I think just cells of the body – the blood vessels and the lymph glands and the independent-thought-ed cancers and the phagocytes or whatever they call them and the white corpuscles and red corpuscles and the eyes.  The eye is nothing but a lot of sea-jelly, anyway.  Why not?  It’s like a piece of kelp.  Except you can see.

“Floating upon the tide wander bubbling & bubbling.” – ( That’s really funny sounds)-    ” … my eyes into sea jellies/ Floating upon the tide wander bubbling & bubbling/ Uttering my lamentations & begetting little monsters” – (That’s as good as Shakespeare almost.  Almost.  Not quite as airy as Shakespeare, but maybe a little more funky.  I mean funky meat.  He’s describing funky meat and nerves).

And the next…And then in the next book there’s going to be like  total funk of birth – like that globe of red blood.

“So Tharmas bellowd..” – (like a big jock, actually) – “So Tharmas bellowd oer the ocean thundring sobbing bursting/The bounds of Destiny were broken & hatred now began/ Instead of love to Enion..” – (Enion, which was a generative urge.  He began to hate her at this point for making a big fleshly seed bubble).

So Enion.  What happens to her once she’s rejected?  Urizen has rejected …

Student:  Tharmas?

AG:  … Ahania –  And Tharmas is now breaking off totally with Enion. – “… Enion blind & age bent/Plungd into the cold billows living a life in midst of waters/In terrors she witherd away to Entuthon Benithon/ A world of..” – what’s that? (Entuthon Benithon)? – “A world of deep darkness where all things in horrors are rooted..” – (where the mortal meat looks like horrible mortal meat, like on an acid trip, of the worst kind)

So, “Entuthon Benithon” (is) variously described by the commentators as (the) generative urge transformed into abstract philosophy.  “A world of deep darkness where all things in horrors are rooted” – abstract philosophy or cut off from any spirit.   A wilderness of Ulro.

Student:  I used to pronounce it Ben-ee-thon.
AG:  Ben-ee-then.
Student:  Like it’s beneath.
AG:  Skin and bones.
Student:  ..(like) Ulro
AG:  Yeah.  Entuthon? –   Tooth and bones?
Student:  Maybe, I don’t know.
AG:  Tooth and bones.
Student (2):  “Ens” is like being and “tu” , “thee” and “thon – like “thonic” or earth or… I don’t know. Ens- E-N-S…
Student:  Yeah.
AG:  Whose philosophy has the “ens” – is that (Jakob) Bohme or something?
Student:  Plotinus maybe?
AG:  Plotinus –  Ens.  – Benithon’s, though, is funny.  Benithon, that could be.
Student:  Yeah, it’s interesting.

AG:  Well, the physical frame of generated man.  In this case you could say that Enion had just sunk into this physical matter of us.

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-nine minutes in and concluding at approximately forty-six-and-a-quarter minutes in

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