By Edward Larrissy (auth.)
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Extra info for Blake and Modern Literature
S And the poems are often given the 'different voices' of a number of mythological or fictional characters: Aedh, Mongan, Michael Robartes. In the revised version, which was available from 1906 in the first volume of the Poetical Works, these facts are obscured. In 1906 the characters' names are removed from the titles and the notes are not included. Later, as in the familiar collected edition, the notes are included in a reduced form at the back of the volume, many pages away from The Wind Among the Reeds.
The point at issue is the abstraction involved in the Deists' idea of a rational god, partly modelled on the Newtonian supreme being, versus the concreteness of the orthodox account of the incarnation. Blake has much of relevance to say about this, and Auden comments: 'With his usual unerring insight Blake saw that the crucial points at issue were the Incarnation of Christ and the Forgiveness of Sins. A supreme architect cannot incarnate as an individual, only as the whole building; and a pure Judge cannot forgive; he can only condemn or acquit.
There are other examples, and perhaps the most striking is to be found in Gerontion, a fact which is given further piquancy by the knowledge that Eliot's first thought Eliot between Blake and Yeats 33 had been to make it an opening or introductory section of what became The Waste Land. l2 The other reference, to Blake's 'The Tyger', is no mere playing with associations, but is profoundly Blakean. ' But 'The Tyger' is not simply to be equated with the symbol of a wrathful God the Father, for Blake's contemporaneous work, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, which Eliot knew very well and admired in his qualifying way, equates Christ with a fiery and wrathful principle, in a work which also contains the Proverb of Hell, 'The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction' - wrath again.
Blake and Modern Literature by Edward Larrissy (auth.)