William Blake 1979 Naropa Lectures continues – 13

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake’s Europe continues from here 

AG:  “Enitharmon slept,/Eighteen hundred years –  Man was a Dream!” – (Reducing man to a dream state.  That’s a great line, though –  “Eighteen hundred years – Man was a Dream!” –  Well, under Christianity, yes.  Given Blake’s point of view on Christianity, Man was a dream and then when man wakes up he looks like this, finally.  When Orc rises or starts his big fight or wakes completely, there’s the revolutionary illustration of the naked boy rising on the hill, otherwise known often as “Glad Day”.  Do you know that?  Does anybody know that “Glad Day”.  Let’s see if I can find it.  I’m sorry if I’m hanging you up.  “Man was a Dream..” (which results in the illustration on) page 182 (of Blake Prophet Against Empire  Sorry to hang you up here.  “Glad Day” – do you know this?

AG:  So it’s only when Los wakes up and gets away from Enitharmon‘s dream that this takes place.  Till then, Man is but a dream.  This is the wakening from that dream. The French Revolution, actually.  “Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves, Giving himself for the Nations,” this creature, this punk-haired creature, as I’ve said before, “danced the Dance of Death,” which is to say, willingness to die in revolution. Willingness to die.  No pie in the sky.

Reed Bye: Sort of the same stance …
AG:  Christ.
Reed Bye:  … as Da Vinci.

AG:  Yeah, taken from Da Vinci’s “Wheel of Man” (“Vitruvian Man”) and it’s also Christ’s picture.  It’s also the fiery hair of Orc.  It’s really beautiful (and) one of Blake’s great archetypal conceptions. There’s a warm caterpillar and then a butterfly escaped from the cocoon at his foot.  The serpent and a butterfly escaped. William Blake, 1780.  W.B., 1780.   (He) has small genitals.

So   “Man was a Dream!’/The night of Nature and their harps unstrung:/She slept in middle of her nightly song,/ Eighteen hundred years, a female dream!” – (What would Gertrude Stein say?  What would Woman’s Lib say about this analysis of history?) – ” Shadows of men in fleeting bands upon the winds:/Divide the heavens of Europe:/Till Albions Angel smitten with his own plagues fled” – (Remember, this Albion angel is still King George III, smiting with his plagues.  Those were the plagues loosed in the Revelation, which were to be loosed on America but which returned to blast out London’s soul and cause riots in Bristol, in London.

Well, let’s skip on a bit…

Okay.  So now the counter-revolutionary forces gather.

“The cloud bears hard on Albions shore:/ Fill’d with immortal demons of futurity/ In council gather the smitten Angels of Albion” – (Miltonic.  Like the Councils in Hell of Milton’s Paradise Lost) – ” The cloud bears hard upon the council house” – (Parliament, actually, according to Erdman) – ”  … down rushing/On the heads of Albions Angels.”

to be continued

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