In his letters William Blake gives some startling revelations about how he sees the world, not through “single vision”, but through “fourfold vision”. He expresses this in a way that gives real insight into how he saw and experienced the world, a way that is far from what most of us are capable of knowing. We may be able to understand and sympathise with it, but to have an experience that matches the one he describes to his “Friend Butts“ on October 2 1800 is somehow beyond our reach…. And yet….
On the yellow sands sitting
The Sun was Emitting
His Glorious beams….
What does it take us to bring us to the kind of visionary consciousness that Blake describes in this poem? His letters give ample sense of how this consciousness was part of his everyday life- lucky man? Or unlucky? In his poem “Mary” and in his letter to Butts on August 16, 1803 he seems to lament this condition rather than savouring it. Somehow, he felt torn between his having access to a wider vision than most of us have, between this and his wish to be “normal”.
Blog Topics for Week 3:
- Do you think Blake was lucky or unlucky? Explain with reference to some of the readings from this week.
- In the persona of Thomas Butts (Blake’s friend) write a letter responding to his letter of October 2, 1800
- Write a poem of your own using any single line from Blake’s poem “To my friend Butts I write” as the starting point for your own creation.
- Construct your own blog topic for this week, based on this week’s readings and maybe including some reflections from your own experience.
REMEMBER YOU MUST MAKE AT LEAST ONE PEER REVIEW EACH WEEK. COPY AND PASTE THIS REVIEW INTO YOUR OWN BLOG JOURNAL, MAKING SURE THAT YOU INCLUDE THE URL OF YOUR PEER’S BLOG.