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The Sun in His Wrath, the sixth poem in Linda Chown’s William Blake series

Image courtesy of and copyright The Morgan Library & Museum , William Blakes World/ William Blake (1757–1827)
“The Sun in His Wrath”

Blake’s Stage Directions : [“Milton led by Melancholy into the Groves away from the Suns flaring Beams who is seen in the Heavens throwing his darts & flames of fire The Spirits of the Trees on each side are seen under the domination of Insects raised by the Suns heat.”]



It is my honor and pleasure to bring you the sixth in what will be a series of ten Blake poems by the extraordinary American poet, Linda Chown.  /. J.D.

How this splurge of Blake’s fairytale painting haunts my soul
in its wispy lingering transcendental colors and mystery.
Spontaneous Blake always makes me want to study,
to know his axes whole and catch more turns
layered and hidden inside such trenchant color treasure.
It is like I need a whole new key to see
who’s who and what in this vast Cartesian shakedown.

Body and soul, heat and shade, green and orange
vibrate in my watch. Melancholy walks with book-bound
Milton in all his academic hesitation he goes
under Apollo cavorting his leg-spread body around.
See him again. Look how he mates the sun.
As always, Blake layers his 360 degrees
to let more come through. That strange crooked melon sun
draws these serious people and insects into opaque light.
Blake knew Milton would hide in his robes, wouldn’t he?
This world is all too fecund for him to see.
And this timidity cranks this sun energy crooked
The all mental mind that encloses itself
And hides in a forest crocks the sun’s heart-heat

Blake joyfully proffered once:
“He who kisses joy as it flies by
will live in eternity’s sunrise.”
No sunrise here, or joyful kissing.
Melancholy and a lot of missing.
This haunting half-hearted vision of intensity,
this twisted sun face stuck squeezed and squinting.

© 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

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 and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

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

 

Double Trouble: Lamech and His Two Wives, the fifth poem in Linda Chown’s Blake series

Lamech and his Two Wives, William Blake, 1794 / Image courtesy of the Tate under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported)
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 “When you see with, not through the eye.”   William Blake

[Lamech is the sixth generation descendent of Cain]



Our eyes can be a noose, shutting off all but feeling
when you can only see with.
Blake knows pain’s light’s so fierce
He thus turns it all bright white here unforgettable.
With no hiding in myth or long words,
we see only instant gutted grief everywhere
rolling in eerie-dense earthen white.
Everyone is seeing transitive with their eyes,
not intransitively and freely through.
A tourniquet of frozen seeing freezes word-say
And the three of them alive today only
Horror-see, struck in white trauma.
This painting chants impediment and limit
The very act of looking burns heart-holes with no exit.
This view is split into two larger than life grief crimes:
polygamy on the left and Lamech’s Cain-tinged murder right flat dead

When it gets this bad, everyone sheerly shrieks inside unlooking
No one sees each here. The whole painting a bleached wound.
Blake knew color and looking were dangerous commitments.
“Colours are the wounds of life,” he tellingly said.

Oh say can you see how it feels to be Lamech scorned and doomed
How does it feel at the end of the world when there is nothing to
see, but distance and heartbreak wrapped in “frantic pain”?

© 2019, Linda Chown

Mad Song

Like a fiend in a cloud
With howling woe,
After night I do croud,
And with night will go;
I turn my back to the east,
From whence comforts have increas’d;
For light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain.

William Blake

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

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.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

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

Looking Up High: “The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies, and The Suicides;” the fourth in Linda Chown’s Blake series

The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies and The Suicides, c. 1824–27 by William Blake. Housed at the Tate. / Public Domain photograph.

 “Colors are the wounds of light.” William Blake



I’m delighted to be able to present to you the fourth in Linda Chown’s Blake-poem Series.  Another treasure … / J.D.

Blake’s art always needs at least one second
seeing. His are other than seeming seems.
Always a mysterious energy barely seen.
When at last I saw the color high up high there
in what seemed a stern monochromatic view,
a soundless forest, every thing forward:
harsh twisted trees under that bright ledge,
warped interrupted colors, grain-stains
of people stuck and fixed,
Then I found Blake’s magic: his veiled circus of color,
a cacophony of sights to touch with your eyes.
He knew so much William Blake did.
He knew that colors are not primarily pretty
but are “wounds of light,” the wounds
of life scratching and rubbing deep.

And up there in that pulsing arpeggio of light infusing color.
Those brazen colors, like in a local circus,
Virgil swept big in pale red, Dante gazing blue, puffed out harpies, all those smirking bloated shapes,
shaky suicides ambiguous in occupied trees.
Blake’s heroic grains of sand vertical, standing:
all his world a sweet melding
among the grain-texture of forest trees

A new life and death infinity in this touch of your hand,
And in this one Blake let life and death be together.
in this blue blur of shapes and sufferings, heads straight, stranded in this strange hypnotic delirium of a lost place and its puzzled peoples. Stuck in trees upside down transgendered. It was an image of how it was
not representational at all.
Blake was too far from particularity
to copy merely, tritely.
This odd aloneness of many gasping, shaken, all transmogrified. It’s a soundless forest, stunned where reality shifted like in an infinity-keen Redwood Forest,
the needles underfoot, crackling to stay. Here as always, Blake votes for all, gives the suicides and the harpies
their darting wound of color, to become more than the label living gave them and held them together with that teasing, penetrating all color.

© 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
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.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

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

Cohering Clashes: William Blake’s The Red Dragon and The Woman Clothed in the Sun, a poem by Linda Chown

Bible for Thomas Butts (series)
c. 1805
pen and gray ink with watercolor over graphite

“The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known.” Viktor Shklovsky

“Everything can go wild within the fierce symmetry of Blake’s art.” Laura Cumming

“Good and evil may well have the same face or physique in Blake’s conceit.” Laura Cumming



Brown bears in Yosemite, the rangers said in the heat, beware.
In all the splendor of this gray stone, thick smells of money over-
whelm the perfumed shorts of the extra-tanned tourists.

These bears they said could jump and strike,
so be safe, they said. It was almost like someone
had struck a match and turned safety upside
down. Made the dawn-to-dusk-already-insecurity-of
our-flimsy-poor- man’s-Camp-Curry-life more unfamiliar
and fearful. Made daily life big and soupy, defamiliarized.
Russian Formalist Viktor Shklovsky once urged artists to make
old things new by turning them strange and unfamiliar.
All these people saying unfamiliar things I muttered soft over their saying.

William Blake, he takes these extremities
and clashes them closer.
Mashes them into themselves.
When I look hard at these bold colored shapes:
that huge monster dragon, the woman pressed dainty upon a yellow sun-heart,
I don’t know if I’m seeing juxtaposition or sameness. Or know what he’d hope I’d see. They kind of collapse together curiously, peaceful and disturbed: different and bound.
In fact they meet strangely and fill space up almost as a voracious bundle.
I had almost missed their looking, that hot frozen attention,
examining each other inside like a scientist counting cells
What stuns when I look more is that they are so big,
so nearly eye to eye.
They stare hard it seems to preserve
the astonishment of this wordless moment

Just like the always strangeness of the way William Blake kisses our eyes,
daring our looking more in the fervent struggle to see it his way.
He takes emotions on a life ride, much like life in Yosemite
he rides us far into our fear of bears and awe of the stone and then that woman
oddly “clothed,” nearly buried in the sun who flaunts her looking
at the dragon, daring him with coy looking like a Victorian lady would.

Blake collided good and evil like this, he welded and wedded them,
Close and ineffable. Astride and authentic.
His heart-life on the side of the woman and goodness
But he would keep it whole and near, keep it together.
Laura Cummings surmised that good and evil may well
have the same face or physique in Blake’s conceit.
White and dirty, big and small.
Good and evil. Innocence and experience.
Those basics which we differentiate too soon.

Blake’s wild and immaculate art helps look deeply beyond that division,
To see it not as something finished, tamed and pretty
But its naked contrasts raked and real, agitated, and spun
In a sea/see of magnificents like they are, in all of this fixed looking.
Master Blake puts on his canvas what he knows when he sees it, not after.

© 2019, Linda Chown

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.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

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