Thursday, July 2, 2015

William Blake - Auguries of Innocence - 4


                             [William Blake's script - from "Augurires of Innocence" in the Pickering manuscript]



Continuing with Allen's reading from, and annotation of, William Blake's "Auguries of Innocence"


AG: “The Catterpiller on the Leaf/ Repeats to thee thy Mother’s grief “ – That’s a mysterious one. How do we make that one? - “The Catterpiller on the Leaf/ Repeats to thee thy Mother’s grief “

Student:  (Maybe the caterpillar being born…)

AG: Being born. Yes. Being born of earth, really. In the Book of Thel, actually, if you read the Book of Thel, that actually completely explains that couplet, because it’s a conversation between Thel, who’s a little scared to be born, a virgin from the Bardo Thodol, [Tibetan Book of the Dead], who’s not sure she wants to be born, and so she enquires of the lightning, of a Cloud (which represents male sperm), and she enquires of a Clod of Clay and a little Worm on the Clod of Clay and the Clod of Clay (and the Clod of Clay is the Mother, the little Worm is the “little Babe born”), and they invite her to look into the grave and see how they operate. (And) she’s scared to get born lest she have to go into the Clod of Clay  and become a Clod of Clay -  So, “The Catterpiller on the Leaf/ Repeats to thee thy Mother’s grief "


“Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly/For the Last Judgement draweth nigh”

"He who shalt train the Horse to War/Shall never pass the Polar Bar“ – I don’t know what "The Polar Bar" is. Anybody know that one?

Gregory Corso: Yeah Al, It's usuallyyou can’t pass the bar, get past the bar. Me, myself, I passed the bar. But (what) he means by "the Polar Bar", obviously, is where they’ve never trekked before

AG: Yeah.. "He who shalt train the Horse to War/Shall never pass the Polar Bar“ 

“The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat /Feed them & thou wilt grow fat”

"The Gnat that sings his Summer’s Song /Poison gets from Slanders tongue"

"The poison of the Snake & Newt/ Is the sweat of Envys foot" 

"The poison of the Honey Bee/Is the Artist’s Jealousy"
Gregory Corso: ' Scuse me, Al, what was that one before the honey-bee?
AG: "The poison of the Snake &  Newt..
Gregory Corso: Newt
AG: ... Is the sweat of Envys foot"
Gregory Corso: Foot 
AG: How do we interpret that?
Peter Orlovsky: (in attendance in the class also): What’s a newt?
AG: A newt is like a little…
Gregory Corso: A little chameleon
AG: (A) little lizard, little water lizard, babe-lizard, or, actually, the beginning of a frog, isn’t it?
Student: No, that’s something else..
AG: (A little) chameleon-like thing.



[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately eighteen-and-a-quarter minutes in, and concluding, approximately twenty-one-and-a-quarter minutes in]  

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