Sunday, March 7, 2010

William Blake: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

One of the most eclectic, or perhaps just downright strange, poets in the history of English literature is the work of William Blake. I will not go into his biography, but suffice it to say, his branch on the family tree of poets writing in English, is an odd off-shoot that has fascinated me, and many others since its composition and dissemination into the world of poets and readers writing in English. He is a certified visionary, and as most visionaries wind up doing, he created an entire world fully understood only to himself, and to those who study his works and ideas.
The most accessible work, ( and most often taught) is The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Within this piece, is probably the best known, and for my money, the most insightful and memorable content that he wrote. The Proverbs of Hell provide a blossoming of perspectives and a sort of alternative to the Commandments that can provide a source of self-examination administered by anyone with an introspective and generous imagination.
If you will, I would like to spend some of your time in what I think might be an amusing, unusual, and sometimes flat-out bone jarring full stop and wonder at some of the ideas promulgated here-in. Let's look at these Proverbs.
Proverb #1. Prisons are built with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion.
Our own incarcerations create the limits that we assume. Outright behavior cannot hold a candle to what goes on in man's own imagination. As an aside, this "proverb" could describe the tedious sniping among those whose moralities need to spill over into turf battles and hair-splitting (perhaps in denial that many who claim righteousness produce discord.)

No comments:

Post a Comment