From Jelly Beans to William Blake
My last post began with a quotation from William Blake. Week of June 17
Chances are, you don’t know anything about him. In a nutshell, he is a dead poet with a metaphysical point of view that breathed of scandal during his lifetime. I might consider him the father of free sex. Scholars consider him the most unread poet with the greatest impact on English poetry.
Two Bits About Blake
Literary boffins consider “Songs of Innocence” his masterwork. Nobody but boffins reads Blake these days, but those of us born before 1957 (in other words, those of us required to read in school) probably encountered “Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright” during a high school English class.
Anyway while I was looking for the quotation that I used in last week’s post, I discovered treasure after treasure of William Blake quotations. They have inspired me to sit down and read some Blake-finally.
Two Bits About Poetry in General
When I was struggling through an English degree at UCLA, poetry was an obstacle to climb over in order to get a grade. It required considerable more exertion of mind than prose. Over the decades, however, it is the poetry that has stayed with me. Lines and phrases bounce inside my head.
Two Bits About T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot whose work showed up in every single class except Medieval Lit., was the bane of my existence. Finishing a term paper assigned to his “Four Quartets” and it’s relation to Bergson’s theory of time was two weeks in purgatory. Funny, it was the “Four Quartets” to which I turned to find words for my mother’s memorial: “in the end is our beginning.” If I could go back in time, I’d do a better job on that term paper.
A Blake Quotation or Three
Returning to the original subject of Blake, I’ve listed some of the quotes that caught my attention.
“In the Universe there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between there are the doors.”
“What is now proved, was once only imagined.”
“We are not meant to resolve all contradictions, but to live with them and rise above them.”
That old chestnut “Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright” has something going for it. It’s out there on the ‘net.’ Take a look at it for yourself.