The Flee John Donne (1573 - 1631),
Today’s quote To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour. ~ William Blake
Week 10 • 1. The Flee • 2. Illuminations/ Song of Innocence • 3. Homework and discussion • 4. preparation for presenting “Ode to …” (during week 12-13)
Woman Catching Fleas. c.1630.Georges de la Tour. Musée Historique, Nancy
1 • Mark but this flea, and mark in thisHow little which thou deny'st me is;It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,And in this flea our two bloods mingled be:Thou know'st that this cannot be saidA sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead;Yet this enjoys before it woo,And pampered swells with one blood made of two,And this, alas, is more than we would do.
2 • Oh stay, three lives in one flee spare,Where we almost, yea, more than married are.This flea is you and I, and thisOur marriage bed, and marriage temple is;Though parents grudge, and you, w' are met,And cloistered in these living walls of jet.Though use make you apt to kill me,Let not, to that, self-murder added be,And sacrilege, three sins in killing be.
3 • Cruel and sudden, hast thou sincePurpled thy nail in blood of innocence?Wherein could this flea guilty be,Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?Yet thou triumph'st and say'st that thouFind'st not thyself, nor me the weaker now;'Tis true, then learn how false fears be:Just so much honor, when thou yield'st to me,Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.
Blake, William • (b. Nov. 28, 1757, London--d. Aug. 12, 1827, London) • English poet, painter, engraver; one of the earliest and greatest figures of Romanticism. • The most famous of Blake's lyrical poems is Auguries of Innocence, with its memorable opening stanza:
Hold infinity. . . • To see a World in a Grain of Sand • And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, • Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour. • In Eternity! Unknown, unprolific!
Blake Digital Text Project • http://www.english.uga.edu/~wblake/home1.html • Blake's of Innocence and of Experience, graphical hypertext
William Blake • His father ran a hosiery shop. William, the third of five children, went to school only long enough to learn to read and write, and then he worked in the shop until he was 14. When he saw the boy's talent for drawing, Blake's father apprenticed him to an engraver.
Catherine Boucher • At 25 Blake married Catherine Boucher. He taught her to read and write and to help him in his work. They had no children. They worked together to produce an edition of Blake's poems and drawings, called Songs of Innocence. Blake engraved both words and pictures on copper printing plates. Catherine made the printing impressions, hand-colored the pictures, and bound the books. The books sold slowly, for a few shillings each. Today a single copy is worth many thousands of dollars.
Whirlwind of Lovers (Illustration to Dante's Inferno)Birmingham Art Gallery
the Book of Job • Blake's fame as an artist and engraver rests largely on a set of 21 copperplate etchings to illustrate the Book of Job in the Old Testament. However, he did much work for which other artists and engravers got the credit. Blake was a poor businessman, and he preferred to work on subjects of his own choice rather than on those that publishers assigned him.
“vision”/ visionary mystic • British poet, painter, visionary mystic, and engraver, who illustrated and printed his own books. Blake proclaimed the supremacy of the imagination over the rationalism and materialism of the 18th-century.
The Tyger • Tyger! Tyger! burning bright in the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? • In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? and what dread feet? • What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dead grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears, And water'd heaved with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? • Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Hell and Heaven • Unlike that of Milton or Dante, Blake's conception of Hell is not as a place of punishment, but as a source of unrepressed, somewhat Dionysian energy, opposed to the authoritarian and regulated perception of Heaven.
All the sensible objects • The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could perceive. • And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity;
Illuminating manuscript • The Bible was hand written in Belgium, by Gerard Brils, for reading aloud in a monastery.
A 13th century manuscript illumination the earliest known depiction of Thomas à Becket's assassination
More useful links • http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/blake/