Ginsberg on Blake (Song of Los – Africa – 2)

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake‘s Africa (from The Song of Los) continues from here

AG:   So, “Adam shudderd! Noah faded! black grew the sunny African/When Rintrah gave…” – (When wrath, righteous wrath, or the Mosaic rule – “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”) –  “When Rintrah gave Abstract Philosophy to Brama in the East” – (“Abstract Philosophy”) – “Night spoke to the Cloud!”

“Night spoke to the Cloud!” –  (does anyone have any idea what that is?  We’ve had night before being the darkness and limitation or Urizen.  The cloud is Urizen’s fog,  mind fog.  So it’s like saying, “Void spoke to Void.”  “The Unreal spoke to the Unreal.”  “Night spoke to the Cloud!”  “The night of Reason spoke to the Cloud of Obscurity.”  It’s the ultimate put-down:  that when Moses got the Tablets of the Law, Night spoke to the Cloud. It’s a very funny line, actually.  In other words, (it’s as) if some great President gets up on television.. –  “Night spoke to the Cloud!”  In other words, you can’t understand what they’re saying because they’re not saying anything.  Well, “Abstract philosophy”.  So, “Night spoke to the Cloud!”

“Lo these Human Form’d spirits in smiling hipocrisy War/Against one another; so let them war on; slaves to the eternal Elements)/Noah shrunk, beneath the waters;/Abram fled in fires from Chaldea;/ Moses beheld upon Mount Sinai forms of dark delusion..”

Now that’s really chutzpah for a poet to get up and say (condemn the) entire Western history, including the Old Testament of the Bible – “Moses beheld upon Mount Sinai forms of dark delusion..” –  that’s that!  It’s really, “I will sing you a song of Los, the Eternal Prophet”, going behind the Bible even.  Behind the entire foundation of Western civilization.  “Night spoke to the Cloud!”  And calling all of Western civilization “Night talking to Cloud”!

“To Trismegistus. Palamabron gave an abstract Law:/ To Pythagoras Socrates & Plato.”

He’s counting Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato for his own philosophic purposes as among the armies of Night, among the precursors of Newton, the rationalist, or abstract philosophers who did not pay attention to “Minute Particulars” or “Little Ones” (Allen is quoting here from Blake’s Jerusalem – “Labour well the Minute Particulars: attend to the Little Ones”).

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty-two-and-a-quarter minutes in and continuing to approximately fifty-four-and-a-quarter minutes in

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