Posts Tagged ‘Blake’

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day — William Blake Month: A Proverb of Hell

June 9, 2010

One of the “Proverbs of Hell,” from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.


“Prisons are built with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion.”

I think the door does protest too much. Like, I didn’t even ask, dude.

William Blake Month: “A Poison Tree”

June 8, 2010


I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.


And I water’d it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,


And into my garden stole
When the night had veil’d the pole:
In the morning, glad I see
My foe outstretch’d beneath the tree.

(William Blake, “A Poison Tree.”)



(I was concerned that the photo credits would break up the rhythm and impact of the poem, so I’m putting them down here.)

top: Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme…, aka Female Don Juan, aka If Don Juan Was A Woman (Roger Vadim, 1973).

second from top: Jacqueline Sassard and Stéphane Audran, Les Biches (Claude Chabrol, 1968). Spoiler: one is about to stab the other in the back. Interpret freely and watch for yourself.

third: “Grand Apple Face” by patron saint Sam Haskins. In-camera photo montage before the age of photoshop. Amazing. RIP.

last: “Poisoned with love” by miss- alienation on the d.a.

William Blake Month: “The Smile”

June 7, 2010


There is a smile of love,
And there is a smile of deceit,
And there is a smile of smiles
In which these two smiles meet;


And there is a frown of hate,
And there is a frown of disdain,
And there is a frown of frowns
Which you strive to forget in vain,


For it sticks in the heart’s deep core,
And it sticks in the deep back bone,
And no smile that ever was smil’d,
But only one smile alone.


That betwixt the cradle and grave
It only once smil’d can be,
But when it once is smil’d,
There’s an end to all misery.

(William Blake, “The Smile.”)


It happens.



Screencap comes from Masculin féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966), and the actress speaking is yé-yé singer Chantal Goya.

William Blake Month: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

June 6, 2010


“Birth of an Angel” photographed by Daniel Ilinca.

I have always found that Angels have the vanity to speak of themselves as the only wise; this they do with a confident insolence…


Asia Argento.

Once I saw a Devil in a flame of fire, who arose before an Angel that sat on a cloud. And the Devil utter’d these words, “The worship of God is: Honouring his gifts in other men each according to his genius, and loving the greatest men best; those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there is no other God.”

… When he had so spoken, I beheld the Angel, who stretched out his arms, embracing the flame of fire & he was consumed and arose as Elijah.


Credit lost.

This Angel, who is now become a Devil, is my particular friend: we often read the Bible together in its infernal or diabolical sense, which the world shall have if they behave well.

I have also The Bible of Hell — which the world shall have whether they will or no.

(William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell excerpt.)

William Blake Month: “Rose, thou art sick”

June 4, 2010


Marilyn Monroe on her honeymoon. Arthur Miller in background.

O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

(William Blake, “The Sick Rose.”)

This is a bad day. Bad things are happening. Shocking, incomprehensible things miles away, coming at a time when I thought accords were being reached and newer, happier stages begun. I don’t understand any of it and there’s nothing I can do to make it better because none of it is anything I’ve done, even though it will all deeply impact me for a long time to come. Once again, I do not control the events of my own life.


Photographed by Andre de Dienes.

All I can do is keep praying for the safety of people I care about, even if I sense they would not care either way about my concern, and hope for peaceful resolutions to their conflicts. I also need to remember that I have my own personal life with its own dreams and priorities, and make sure I am tending to those in order to succeed on my own, and putting a true emphasis on the good, kind, wonderful people involved in my immediate present with the proper attention and attitude. I can’t spend all my time numb, indifferent to food, and losing hair and sleep over lives and behaviors that I am not sure I can ever understand.

My real life is not knots in my stomach and pacing around, but is the glad things that bring me joy; my real self and its happiness comes from my friends and family and spending time doing the things I love, like writing, reading, teaching, and photography. Not agonizing and gaining grey hairs over pre-existing situations that I could never better in a month of Sundays. It’s not that I will stop trying, it’s just that I will stop staking my identity and emotions on it. That’s not who I am. A happy person who deliberately seeks friends and family in a positive and creative environment: that is who I really am. I have to remind myself of that.

Soon, I will take my grandmother and we will go pick up kidlet from her last day of kindergarten, and take her out for a girls’ lunch, and I will lay these dark times aside to let her light shine on me for awhile.

William Blake Month: Bow of burning gold

June 3, 2010


Photographed by Philiberte de Flaugergues, c. 1920s.

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

(William Blake, “Jerusalem.”)

Oh, hey — it’s William Blake month starting now.