William Blake: London

Blackfriars Bridge, London/ by C Horner

    I wander through each charter’d street Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.  And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe.   In every cry of every Man, In every Infants cry of fear, In every voice: in every ban, The mind-forg’d manacles I hear    How the Chimney-sweepers cry Every blackning Church appalls,  And the hapless Soldiers sigh Runs in blood down Palace walls    But most thro’ midnight streets I hear How the youthful Harlots curse Blasts the new-born Infants tear  And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse  WILLIAM BLAKE   Picture: … Continue reading

Agonism and Apocalypse: the Leviathan in William Blake

William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, a poem conceived at the time of the French Revolution, consisting of equal parts prophetic, dialectic, wild fantasy, and political commentary, contains many startling and ambiguous images: angels and devils conversing in space, huge spiders stalking the cosmos, and the famous section titled Proverbs of Hell, many lines of which have passed into popular consciousness. One of the images that is paid less attention, perhaps because it is at once a familiar image both in Blake and apocalyptic literature generally is that of Leviathan; specifically the Leviathan that appears in the phantasmagorical … Continue reading