William Blake’s Visionary Imagination
A creatively private and intimate experience is the best way to summarise the impact of wordpress journal writing. In studying Blake this semester, a real creative thirst overcame me to allow words to reach into the silence. Blake’s concepts in Songs of Innocence and Experience at face value deceivingly seem simple and easily read and understood, one may think it would be that simple to write in that manner so easily. However this is far from truthful. When faced with wordpress’s blank canvas, difficulties arise of how to even begin your entry let alone structure it with intense thought. Reflected within the classroom, this made me pay more attention to the technical details of Blake’s songs and poems. In practicing being in Blake’s shoes, a larger appreciation (if possible) was credited to Blake and all other poets and literalists for their creative geniusness.
Nurtured by traditional pen and paper, my private diaries are filled with grammatical errors and incomplete sentences because I would know what I am talking about. The freedom of creativity can often be a loose cannon that explodes into messiness when formally or physically expressed in writing. Journal writing however, has always reminded me that there is an audience present and must be catered for within my writing. Aspiring one day to be a published poet and/or author, this experience in journal writing has disciplined my writing.
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The above image is a picture I took on my walk home after spending time cloud watching in the park. Don’t be fooled, these aren’t ordinary clouds. Below is an entry that will provide some insight on their extraordinariness.
Glance. Look. Gaze. Stare.
Your accelerated stillness elevates all my senses to sense nothing but wonder.
On a velvet blue canvas, you soar with the spirit of an artist’s infinite brushstrokes to the
depths of the skies.
Within reach I grasp what’s left of you,
An open palm of your mystic scent.
Untraceable if you leave or join this world,
Are you descending from the heavens to bless us with your grace?
Or abandoning the troubles of humanity’s race?
Once divinely related to the heavens and Gods,
You have fallen so far you from your mysticism.
So often I see you as a cloud
Rarely do see you as I see you now,
alive When I look away, you cease to breathe and statically drift away unnoticed.
Seeing you with the eye amazes all my senses, elevating the spirit of my lain body to be lost in your reflection.
As the winds curl out the hands of the clouds to an infinite stretch,
Their thickness is disarmed, exposing their naked layers of beautiful insecurity.
An exchange of secrecy between the clouds and I take place in an infinite moment
captured by intimate stares
In the depths of these seconds, it appears that we are closer than ever to each other
So close that by lifting my arms, you are almost within my grasp.
Untouchable to each other, I watch you drift by, helplessly trying to anchor yourself on the
Leaving me in wonder,
Were you leaving this world
Or did u descend to bless me with the infinite.
Explain as best you can how Blake’s poem in his letter to Thomas Butts (oct 2nd 1800) embodies “visionary imgination”
My understanding of the Visionary imagination is the imagination that has a transformative force. With this understanding, I see that Blake’s poem in this letter embodies the visionary imagination on many levels.
My understanding of the Visionary imagination is the imagination that has a transformative force. With this understanding, I see that Blake’s poem in this letter embodies the visionary imagination on varying levels.
Firstly, Blake’s poem is initially written about his “vision of light” (line 2). The reoccurring theme of light holds symbolic significance to Blake’s notion of awakening. Geniusly (or coincidently), the strength of this symbolism alludes to religious awakenings “Let there be light” or “Come to the Light” – yet in true creativity, it has been used and presented in a Blakean awakening. Light in this poem to Thomas Butts initiates a vision into the visionary imagination and transforms everything captured by the human eye to resurrect beyond its materialistic and bodily elements. The connection Blake experiences with the land during these transformations goes beyond words and achieves appreciating mundane, microscopic value of the everyday or the norm on macro, cosmic levels. The awakening of every natural element around him embodies the very essence of a visionary imagination.
Blake details the role, action and emotion of each natural and divine participant. This detailing is executed so magnificently that I don’t think anyone who has read it can ever look at a beach as something that is just sand and water anymore. Whilst reading this poem, Blake manages to bring the reader with him on this amazing experience. The reader is not just a witness to Blake’s visionary imagination, but they are inevitably experiencing it through Blake’s writing. Blake achieves this by his short lines and word selections that accentuate the height of his thrill and the sacredness of this moment that is forever accessible in this poem.
The experience that Blake and his audience encounter has the effect of the visionary imagination. “My eyes did expand” (line 7). This very moment was imprinted within Blake and expressed in words which granted readers access to the visionary imagination and transformed our doors of perception.
The image above was taken after a summer trip to the beach. Reflecting back, I did not encounter a visionary imagination during that day because it was well before I was exposed to Blake. I do however remember the feeling of the cool water tickling the sensitivity between my toes when I took this photo. I have posted that photo in this post because although my experience was not one of visionary imagination, I was contently happy in life feeling the comfort and freedom of the water.
“Awake!” he says, “Awaken!” “Resurrect to see the true beauty of life”
But I am already awake. Indeed I am most awake when I am most asleep.
Ginsberg’s awakening is one romanticised ephiphany extracted from Blake’s calling. Truth is, everyone already has those moments of ‘awakening’ where they follow their trails of thought deeper into their conciousness until they reach a trecherous subconcious. The destination of a free flowing exploration or questioning against life, existence, beauty, power and any other extraordinary in the ordinary. These moments of ‘awakening’ occur to us when we are most asleep – when our minds absorb itself and we daydream in the backseat of the classroom, when we tune out at church sermons, when we wonder in nature’s breath or stare blankly in the face of an everyday object, when we dream. These to me, are moments of awakening – moments when follow our subconcious.
Although we were awakening in those moments, not many of us return to reality awakened – therefore journeys of ephiphanies are incomplete.