The Visionary Imagination Week 2 – William Blake and company

As a man (or woman) is, so he (she) sees: what an arresting idea from William Blake- that how we see the world reflects how we are, what state we are in. We all seek to be open to others and to what is around, we seek to be harmonious inside, integrated, innerly balanced and not driven crazy by associative thoughts. Blake knew all this very well. Witness “The Human Abstract” and “The Poison Tree”. And Blake’s formula for this open seeing, inner balance was to be available to the noumenous, to the divine all around him. And what he needed was “Imagination” which was his word for a capacity to be open to the wonder, the miracle of every moment, every situation. Listen to how he writes to his friend Thomas Butts on October 2, 1800 about walking along the beach near Felpham where he stayed for a few years (the only time he travelled out of London):

Felpham Beach Sussex UK


Felpham Beach Sussex

To my Friend Butts I write

My first Vision of Light

On the yellow sand sitting

The Sun was Emitting

His Glorious beams

From Heavens high Streams

Over Sea over Land

My Eyes did Expand

Into regions of air

Away from all Care

Into regions of fire

Remote from Desire

The Light of the Morning

Heavens Mountains adorning

In particles bright

The jewels of Light

Distinct shone & clear…

I stood in the Streams

Of Heavens bright beams

And saw Felpham sweet

Beneath my bright feet…

Possible Blog Topics for this week (2-3) include:

1/ Take a single line from any Blake poem that has struck your fancy and use this as a first line for a poem that focusses on your own experience. 

2/ In “The School Boy”, in “The Poison Tree”, in “The Human Abstract” -and in his letters- Blake shows penetrating insight into the human condition. What part of the human condition has he most to say about to you?

3/ Blake’s lines can help conquer “fear”. We heard this from the Bass Guitarist in the film Singing for England? Does this idea mean anything to you, from your reading into Blake so far.

4/ Create a mini-digital resource kit and share 2 or 3 of the best resources you have found giving a brief commentary on why you have found these most useful.

Remember to comment on at least one peer each week. And also remember that if you haven’t posted your URL up into the space in LEO yet…. we are all waiting for you!!



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