This New Ending, of the Beginning: William Blake’s “The Body of Abel Found by Adam and Eve,” a poem by Linda Chown

Image courtesy of the Tate Museum; Image released under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported) license

“You never know What is enough
Unless you know what
Is more than enough …”
William Blake



(How can I see so much into
those burned and writhing faces?
Not together. They are so apart.)

In a siege, an overture of feeling,
Blake pulled emotions flat,
froze the tears, hung guilt in a running,
Eve rounded stiff, giving her birth away to a grave.
Adam knows the cows won’t come home
And his arms roam in anguish.
The whole painting a tomb
of what should not, could not, but was.
Arms stretching unique,
Wheels, a circular unrolling,
The sun a fiery inert shape
casting dubious anti-light.
Behind the straight lines,
ineffable tragedy burning.

Father I can’t say Son, please don’t go away
Death dropped me dead, dad, in a coffin under
I wonder who sees anything over anyway
These colors exacerbate us all alone

Bread and stone locked in bone here
Blake pours out the beginning of the end
A deafening overtone driving us deep
A heartland of grief in ballistic color.
Looks without seeing. Nights without breathing.
Blake lets us look, stunned, alone, after, while grief is weeping.

© 2019, Linda Chown

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This is the third in a ongoing series by esteemed American Poet and Scholar, Linda Chown. The other two are:

Linda Chown

LINDA E. CHOWN grew up in Berkeley, Ca. in the days of action. Civil Rights arrests at Sheraton Palace and Auto Row.  BA UC Berkeley Intellectual History; MA Creative Writing SFSU; PHd Comparative Literature University of Washington. Four books of poetry. Many poems published on line at Numero Cinq, Empty Mirror, The Bezine, Dura, Poet Head and others. Many articles on Oliver Sachs, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Twenty years in Spain with friends who lived through the worst of Franco. I was in Spain (Granada, Conil and Cádiz) during Franco’s rule, there the day of his death when people took to the streets in celebration. Interviewed nine major Spanish Women Novelists, including Ana María Matute and Carmen Laforet and Carmen Martín Gaite.


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

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