The title  page of America a Prophecy, copy A (printed 1795), collection the Morgan Library
/ Public Domain

He was the loom’s loom,
spinning the fiber of revelation;
offering songs of social injustice,
the sexual potency of nature,
and the blessedness of the lamb.
Patti Smith

Like in a rocking chair on the edge of time,
this painting an overture to freedom, a ladle of love,
a luminous nest of linking ladders. Each level going up united.
It’s for to cherish this visual calmness as Blake’s visionary glory.
While his poetic prophecy may seethe with crackling doubt and dissent,
revolutionary odes, contentious acts of history and deceit,
This, the first painting with his name spelled out.
Blake fondly calls these sweet colors “illuminated paintings”
where he lays out his revolutionary love in peopled play.

It’s as though we’re inside an urban subway station
looking up. With Blake, it’s always some kind of looking.
People and how they do what matter in Blake’s sight.
Here, people spread about touching everywhere
in the kind of gentle that cooperation brings.
Fallen warriors in medieval garb, nude woman pointing to this poem.
Women reading, consoling, kinding.
This poetic prophecy one of Blake’s cosmic mythologies:
Orc’s refulgent passion grazes Urizen’s linearity.
Blake charts a new course for mental liberation.
The newspaper-like headline compels because it hearkens
a linking, a jumping up above and caring down below.
The prophetic poem contains fierce strife among nations and type.
But this sweeping image unfolds sweet closeness.
A new, all American revolutionary delight.

As Blake writes: “the fair Moon rejoices
in the clear & cloudless night.” And what a new light!
How lovely the people together democratic,
concentrating in peace, as though Thomas Paine bathed them
in common sense, and faith, hope, and charity.
Aware of the novelty of cultural freedom, Blake affirms,
“Let the inchained soul shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Rise and look out, his chains are loose, his dungeon doors are open.
Like Walt Whitman, for Blake, the sacred “loom’s loom,” the center sphere,
this image affirms a new vision of democracy, of human affairs:
a belief that “For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life.”

© 2019, Linda Chown

The other poems in Linda’s ongoing Blake-poem series:

  1. Refections into William Blake’s “Brutus and Caesar’s Ghost,” Linda Chown
  2. Cohering Clashes: Wiliam Blake’s “The Red Dragon and The Woman Clothed in the Sun,” Linda Chown
  3. This New Ending of the Beginning: William Blake’s “The Body of Abel Found by Adam and Eve,” Linda Chown
  4. Looking Up High: “The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies, and The Suicides,”Linda Chown
  5. Double Trouble: Lamech and His Two Wives, Linda Chown
  6. The Sun in His Wrath, Linda Chown
  7. Touching Without Holding, Linda Chown

I am delighted to let you know that Linda Chown’s Narrative Authority and Homeostasis in the Novels of Doris Lessing and Carmen Martín Gaite (Routledge Library Editions: Modern Fiction) is now available through Amazon in hardcover and Kindle. Linda tells me a budget-wise paperback edition will be available in six-to-eight months.

This study, originally published in 1990, assesses a shift in the presentation of self-consciousness in two pairs of novels by Doris Lessing and Carmen Martín Gaite: 1) Lessing’s The Summer Before the Dark(1973) and Martín Gaite’s Retahílas (1974) and 2) Lessing’s The Memoirs of a Survivor (1974) and Martín Gaite’s The Back Room (1978). Three major structural divisions facilitate examining implications of the novels for 1) feminism 2) literary narrative and 3) the lives of people-at-large. / J.D.

Linda’s Amazon Page is HERE.

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, 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 and encourages activist poetry.  Email for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications: Jamie Dedes, Versifier of Truth, Womawords Literary Press, November 19, 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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