Author Archives: Rachel M

Why so many “Moravian” animals?

This post is a response to the previous post’s fourth question,  ”Does the line ‘The Tigers couch upon the prey & suck the ruddy tide’ (Europe 18/15:7; page 106) allude to a Moravian view of Christianity or, literally, to images of fearful tigers in other Blake poems (such as ‘The Tyger’ for instance)?” Firstly, why […] Continue reading

Posted in "The Tyger, Europe, Milton, sexuality, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, The Shifting Times, Urizen's Tears (10/23) | Comments Off on Why so many “Moravian” animals?

Enitharmon’s dream: what do women want?

To answer the question of why Enitharmon’s eighteen hundred year-old slumber is described as a “female dream,” we must first establish exactly what her dream is. There are three important facts about her dream: 1)      It begins with the birth of Christ and lasts for eighteen hundred years until the French Revolution. 2)      It is […] Continue reading

Posted in Enitharmon, Europe, female desire, Mary Wollstonecraft, The Flames of Orc (10/16) | Comments Off on Enitharmon’s dream: what do women want?

Seemingly Never-Ending Chaos; or, Blake the Anarchist?

In class on Wednesday, I had difficultly reconciling the apocalyptic revolution depicted in “A Song of Liberty” with its abrupt, triumphant ending. The poem’s allusions to the Book of Revelation notwithstanding, “Empire is no more! and now the lion & the wolf shall cease” is a very simplistic resolution to the violence, conflict and chaos of […] Continue reading

Posted in apocalypse, contraries, Empire vs. Revolution (10/2), perception, revolution, Samuel Beckett's Endgame, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell | Comments Off on Seemingly Never-Ending Chaos; or, Blake the Anarchist?

“The most sublime act is to set another before you.”

I chose this proverb because it is very incongruous with the Proverbs of Hell. If, as a footnote in our Norton Critical Edition explicates, the proverbs are “nuggets of infernal wisdom [that] counter the prudent ‘heavenly’ Proverbs of the Hebrew Bible,” then why would Blake include a proverb that sounds so like a biblical one? […] Continue reading

Posted in christianity, Energy, Proverbs of Hell (9/18), The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, the sublime | Comments Off on “The most sublime act is to set another before you.”

What do we expect to come out of the mouths of babes?

At first, the twin poems “Infant Joy” and “Infant Sorrow” seem to present contrary understandings of childhood. The infant in “Infant Joy” knows only happiness, presumably because he is just two days old and has no experience of the world. Indeed, the child’s separation from earthly reality is conveyed by the illustration, which suggests the […] Continue reading

Posted in Experience, Earth, and Adulthood (9/11), ideas about childhood, limits of experience, Songs of Innocence and Experience | Comments Off on What do we expect to come out of the mouths of babes?

Imagination as comfort

This is a story about a lost child’s desire for a home. A little boy is abandoned by his father in a dark wet wood. He is very frightened because he knows he cannot find his own way home. The same little boy is then found and apprenticed to a chimney sweep. As he is […] Continue reading

Posted in child-parent relationships, children and imagination, Innocence, Eden, and Childhood (1/27), Songs of Innocence | Comments Off on Imagination as comfort

Deforming Great Art

The analogy “Israel deliverd from Egypt is Art deliverd from Nature & Imitation” is about slavery and deliverance in relation to art. Blake is saying that an artist who imitates other artists or nature is enslaved. I think this print is as much about the reception of art as its creation because Blake wants us […] Continue reading

Posted in art world, artistic greatness, Blake's philosophy of art (8/28), Imagination, The Laocoon | Comments Off on Deforming Great Art