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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Children of the Future Age

In Blake there are no simple answers and no single
answers. In his Introduction to A BLAKE DICTIONARY,
Damon says:

"Blake was not content only to record: he wanted to
force his reader to think along with him. No great work
of art has its meaning on the surface, ... He was
determined not to have his own meanings sidetracked
by surface meanings. So he removed surface meanings."

We struggle to figure out what Blake meant as he wrote
it, what his imaginative insights mean to us, what they
mean to others, what they would mean if applied to the
psyche or the society.

The poem to which this quote is prefaced:
Songs of Experience, ALittleGIRLLost1; E29
Link to Blake Archive with multiple copies
Link to Plate and Text

"Children of the future age
reading this indignant page
know that now in former time
love, sweet love
was thought a crime."

This brings to my mind how our children will see and
experience the world differently from the way we do.
Our indignation is different from theirs. Love, sex,
and criminality play different roles in society in
different ages.
Blake is interested in a New Age where the reasoning
power will not dominate the imagination, where many
values will be inverted, where forgiveness will replace
wrath. But he didn't give us a map to guide us into the
world to come, just a myth.

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