Blog 5!

Find a single line in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and write a short paragraph explaining what it is about this line that you find so arresting.

“I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these Ten Commandments: Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.”
This line from within “A Memorable Fancy” plates 23 and 24 in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is for me the most arresting. The demon is a symbol for evil and is infamous for temptation and here the demon does in fact succeed, not in just enticing the angel but also enticing me as the reader. It very much speaks to what Blake was about as well; he is very much about seeing through the eye and finding faith from outside institutions which have more of a perception that begins and ends with only seeing with the eye and not beyond. Blake’s demon points out that virtue is non-existent if everything is rigid. He uses Jesus as the example to defeat the angel’s theories, but this is not the focus which is important because Blake doesn’t entangle his writings with religious institutions. I think the line resonates with me because it is an ideal way to live life, to walk through your existence without going unfeeling, to live on impulse not to directly follow rules. To be guided by experience and emotion rather than guidelines which are imposed upon our lives.

Plates 23 and 24 of “A Memorable Fancy” from A Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Blog 4

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite”. This is the next line in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell after his description of his printing method. Describe to a friend what you think Blake means by this. If possible include some reference to the rock group The Doorswho were deeply inspired by Blake’s ideas.

So what Blake means by; “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite” is that simply an infinite amount more could be seen if our perception was clear of everything else. If like Blake’s printing method we could eliminate the unnecessary from the path which we view our worlds, we would be able to see much clearer, we wouldn’t just see narrow perspectives as if through windows or screens but we could open the door to every idea.
The Doors, an influential band of the 1960’s, front man Jim Morrison suggested they take their name from Aldous Huxley’s Door’s of Perception, a title which obviously in turn was inspired by Blake’s quote. Perhaps the band used their music to cleanse the door like Blake did with his printing process. One of the first official The Doors’ singles was named “Break on Through (to the other side)”, with lyrics like “I found an island in your arms/Country in your eyes” it is easy to identify Blake’s influence upon their music. They suggest a change of perception, to widen its scale and see more than the minimum and normal.

Blog Post 3!!

3/ “London”- do the insights that Blake applies to the London of his times have any relevance at all to the Sydney in which you live? Write a short paragraph or compose a short poem that gives your sense of the relationship of your modern city to the Blake’s “London”.

Winding through streets of Sydney,
Like the charter’d streets of London in all but name.
In every face that passes me,
I see passing sadness, passed into despair.

In every silent scream of every person,
In every silent plea,
In every silenced voice,
The mind-forg’d manacles re-emerge to clamp on tighter than before.

These are the main relative insight’s Blake’s London shares with my Sydney. I see an unhappy population, bound by law. Where the inequality on supposedly liberal streets abounds, prime examples are the homeless and also those who suffer at the government’s hand. Those who are affected by the unemployment rate of some other knock on effect of the economic crisis. However the reason I didn’t continue is that I couldn’t find any relevance in Blake’s further insights.

Blog 2!

2/ In “The School Boy”, in “The Poison Tree”, in “The Human Abstract” -and in his letters- Blake shows penetrating insight into the human condition. What part of the human condition has he most to say about to you?

Blake has a great talent for expressing his insight into the human condition. The condition he has the most to say about to me is the importance of our emotions. That we as humans are strengthened by our emotions and we can also wield our emotions for our experiences. That we use our emotions for many purposes which can be both physical, like in The Poison Tree and spiritual like in The School Boy. Blake also delves into more traditional emotions like wrath and jealousy in The Poison Tree which slowly and metaphorically morph into a more physical shape as vengeance succeeds at the end of the poem with a foe’s death. This differs to a more spiritual use that I see in The School Boy, wherein Blake uses the poem to argue the importance of emotion, that it can be learnt through one experience and applied to another experience. Blake uses the example of a school boy wrapped in studies with zero life experience, to test his emotions. What type of courage will the School Boy have to wield when met with adversity, if he has no experience with emotional adversity, if the School Boy’s emotions are not tested by real world experience.

Semester 2, 2014 Blog 1

1/ Does Allen Ginsberg’s account (page 519) of his experience with WB give you any sense of the power of Blake’s art (poetry and painting)?

In Ginsberg’s account of his experience with William Blake’s poetry, he describes it as a catalyst. It’s an awakening at the sound of Blake’s voice. His better understanding makes him more aware of his surroundings. Ginsberg also describes it as a heightened conscious. This conscious allows Ginsberg to see more details of the life around him, as well as the ability to see the conscious that lies within others, referring to this as the unconscious. By the sheer power of Blake’s words Ginsberg’s imagination was able to conjure up something much more physical. Through this stronger representation Ginsberg is able to more deeply understand the poem which unlocks Blake’s own revelations to Ginsberg. This has the result of influencing how Ginsberg views the world. Anything that can have this type of influence over thought, in this case Blake’s poetry over Ginsberg’s perceptions, is an art that I sense to be immensely powerful and effective.

Peer Review 9, Semester 2 2013

Jude Salonga

Hey Jude,
Your digital resource kit on Margaret Atwood was really pretty succinct. I liked that you had resources that were related to all facets of Atwoods life and work. The documentary and biography give me a good indication of her life, the poetry extracts show what her work material is like and the interview with Margaret herself is very appealing to read. To hear how an artist identifies themselves is quite fascinating.

Peer Review 8, Semester 2 2013

Catherine Evans

Hi Catherine!
Reading your thoughts on Gastby was pretty enlightening. I agree with all of what you said. I too think that Gastby in his courtship of Daisy, he was in turn tainted, Corrupted like the question says. In his attempts to win over Daisy, Gatsby reduced himself and his morality by declining to the level of the majority of the other characters. Gatsby works and works to win over Daisy, but I agree very much that Gatsby is indeed morally bankrupt by the end of the story.

Peer Review 7, Semester 2 2013

Emma Randall

Hi Emma,
This was a great read. Different from some of the others I have read. In the ones I’ve seen most have chosen “The Daughters of the Late Colonel”. To read up on a different choice is refreshing and educational. As I learn about Katherine Mansfield’s use of descriptive language and he emphasis upon social class distinction, especially the constraints it had for women and the strict division that it enforced between the wealthy and the lower class. Although maybe paragraphing might be useful to accentuate the points of your argument, I definitely enjoyed going through that.


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