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William Blake - Book Report/Review Example

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Some of the ideas expressed earlier by Erigena could be a theme for visionary poetry in the hands of Blake.
It is true that Blake is a mystic, but it is not so easy to see him as an anarchist as the title of the Peter Marshall's book states. Behind the speculative arguments in this poem we find some dosage of anarchy. From the very beginning in The Argument, we get the feeling of reading a visionary mystic but at the same time a visionary anarchist. Let's see:
Blake makes a random connection between knowledge and experience. There is a subtle anarchy in the way he relates knowledge and experience. His verses are concise and clear. They go right to make a point, but at the same time we sense some kind of rhetorical speculation right beneath their roots. This is poetry. It is not really philosophy. Blake knows this fact about his poetic discourse, so he is free to speculate, to sing freely asserting that "all religions are one" without giving sound theological reasons for this bold assertion. Blake continues in the same vein with his seven principles. The first one equals Man to an angel, a spirit and a demon in a verse characterized by its tight syntax and its semantic freedom. Let's see:
The Poetic Genius is an equality essence that gives unity to Blake's vision, to Blake's verse. The unitary element in Man's diversity is the Poetic Genius according to Blake. He calls it that way knowing that Poetic is Creative, not Creator. Blake is not a pantheist, so he knows the difference between being creative and being the Creator. Poetic Genius is the unifying element in Man's spirit that makes Man wonderful, impressive and universal as a creature made in the image and likeness of the Creator. Blake can get away with his profundity of his poem thanks to the anarchy and the mysticism blended together in his verse. Anarchy brings beauty to surface in his voice. Mysticism establishes the necessary order in his divine verse. Prophecy is of a distinct kind of variety for Blake as he states in his Principle 5.
All Religions are One , copy A, plate 8 (Bentley 8, Erdman 8, Keynes 8)
01 PRINCIPLE, 5
02 The Religions of all Nati-
03 -ons are derived from each
04 Nations different reception
05 of the Poetic Genius which
06 is every where call'd the Spi
07 -rit of Prophecy.
There is no doubt that Prophecy and Poetry come together in Blake as an alibi for anarchy and mysticism. With a very primitive and nave taxonomy based on Man as angel, spirit and demon, on prophecy and poetic genius, with knowledge and experience, Blake produces the miracle of transmitting his visionary anarchy and mysticism with eloquence and clarity of thought. It is indeed astounding how Blake can work this ...Show more

Summary

William Blake (1757-1827) sings as a visionary mystic in his poem "All religions are one", but at the same time he seems to be a visionary anarchist in those inspired cryptic verses. This kind of philosophical poetry takes Humankind as its center taking a universalist position…
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William Blake essay example
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