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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Songs of Innocence

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
From Augeries of Innocence, by William Blake

William Blake is one of my favorite poets, whose poetry spans both sadness and grief and madness, and light. You have his Songs of Innocence, before pain, alcohol and what today might be called bipolar disorder, gave us his Songs of Experience- of sadness, of pain, of longing for what could have been, what was, and what will never be.

I actually like his poem about a beautiful rose, being slowly choked from the inside: it can be translated to be a veiled sexual allusion, of beauty being choked by something dark and evil... draw your own conclusions here:

O Rose, thou art sick!
The Invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of Crimson joy;
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
(Since this tends to be found under titles like "The auto-eroticism of Blake", yes, you can bet he was referring to something rather sexual.)

Blake also gave us the idea for a Thomas Harris book, the prequel to Silence of the Lambs, with his Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed By The Sun works.

Tonight, I sing of innocence... lost, found...treasured. The worm is no more...I have grown in these past many years and will continue. I have breathed, and I am far better, including physically. I am ready to take on the world. Even though the sun is not shining, and the May air has a chill instead of blissful warmth. I will be warmth. I will be a blessing, a joy. A center.
There is joy braided into all my sadnesses. And I count each blessing. The sadnesses can teach me a lesson. And that I cannot help but consider a beautiful blessing.

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