The Poetical Works of William Blake; A New and Verbatim Text from the Manuscript Engraved and Letterpress Originals
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from ... Show synopsis This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1905 edition. Excerpt: ... stanzas, written in pencil, numbered 1 and 2, and the unnumbered stanza ' Poor pale pitiable form' are not cancelled, and Blake may have intended to arrange them as part of the poem in a final draft. If so, their natural place would seem to be after stanza 3. The position of this poem in the MS. Book--the first piece written from the original beginning of the volume after it had been half filled by earlier poems written from the reversed end--proves that it was composed soon after Blake removed to Felpham, when he resumed his use of the old sketchbook as a notebook for poetry. The next piece of any importance is the poem (xli), three pages further on, which contains internal evidence of having been written about the same time as the lines to Butts in Blake's letter of October a, 1800: xxxvii may therefore be dated October or November, 1800. Swinburne (Essay, pp. 378, 279) describes 'My Spectre' as 'perfect Jerusalem both for style and matter, ' and 'meant for insertion in some fresh instalment of prophetic rhapsody by way of complement or sequel' to that work. It is, however, rather an offshoot of The Four Zoas, written in 1797, the argument and symbolism of which are practically the same as those of Milton and Jerusalem. Blake's use of the terms 'spectre' and 'emanation, ' the former to signify the reasoning-power in man, and the latter his imagination and emotion, supplies the clue to the meaning of this beautiful but obscure poem. The theme is identical with that of the later Prophetic Books, i.e. the separation of reason and emotion into two contrary and conflicting selves, and their reunion in a state of regained humanity and moral liberty, through selfannihilation achieved by the infinite tolerance and forgiveness of sin. Cp. the author's.