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Blake’s printing house in hell : metaphors of illuminated printing in the poetic works of William Blake Kobelka, Eugene John Dmitri 1976

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BLAKE'S PRINTING HOUSE IN HELL: METAPHORS OF ILLUMINATED PRINTING IN THE POETIC WORKS OF WILLIAM BLAKE by EUGENE JOHN DMITRI KOBELKA B.A., University of Alberta, 1972 •I A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of English We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1976 In p resent ing t h i s t he s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the Un i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s ha l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e fo r reference and study. I f u r t he r agree tha t permiss ion for ex tens i ve copying o f t h i s t he s i s f o r s c ho l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r ep re sen ta t i v e s . It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t he s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l ga in s ha l l not be a l lowed without my w r i t t e n pe rm i ss i on . Department The Un i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date ABSTRACT W i l l i a m Blake was an a r t i s t and a craftsman as w e l l as a poet, and he l i t e r a l l y made as w e l l as wrote h i s books of poetry. I t i s easy t o see t h a t , as an a r t i s t , Blake was f u n -damentally concerned w i t h the p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n of h i s books of poetry, s i n c e f o r him, the p h y s i c a l form of h i s works was as much a p a r t of t h e i r meaning as the c o n t e n t of the v e r s e . But t h i s p r i m a r i l y a r t i s t i c i n t e r e s t i n the p r o d u c t i o n of h i s i l l u m i n a t e d books a l s o f i n d s e x p r e s s i o n i n the l i t e r a r y a s p e c t of h i s work. There i t takes the form of a c a r e f u l l y v e i l e d , y e t s u r p r i s i n g l y c o n s i s t e n t and d e t a i l e d metaphoric d i s c u s s i o n of the a c t u a l stages of p r o d u c t i o n by which he c r e a t e d h i s famous i l l u m i n a t e d books. By l o o k i n g f i r s t at the metaphors i n t h e i r most mature, most f u l l y - d e v e l o p e d e x p r e s s i o n , t h i s t h e s i s attempts to accom-p l i s h two t h i n g s . The f i r s t g o a l i s t o c l e a r l y i d e n t i f y the vocabulary, imagery, and r h e t o r i c a l p a t t e r n s which c h a r a c t e r i z e Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors. Once t h i s i s accomplished, the aim of the t h e s i s i s t o look back i n t o Blake's e a r l y p o e t r y i n an attempt to p l o t the e a r l y emergence and development of these metaphors, and then t o look forward t o h i s l a t e r work t o t r a c e the metaphors as they e v o l v e i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h h i s myth and w i t h h i s t e c h n i c a l e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n . In the e a r l y work "The Tyger," Blake i s c l e a r l y i n f u s i n g i i h i s d e v e l o p i n g myth wi t h the elements o f h i s process of pro-d u c t i o n , but a t t h i s e a r l y stage, Blake i s not y e t t a p p i n g the metaphoric p o t e n t i a l a v a i l a b l e t o him. I t i s i n the course of w r i t i n g The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l t h a t Blake begins t o make f u l l use of the metaphors, and i n the subsequent work of America, Europe, The Book of U r i z e n , The Book of Ahania, and The Book of Los the metaphors o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g s t e a d i l y i n c r e a s e i n coherence, d e t a i l , and frequency. But b e f o r e Blake ended h i s p o e t i c c a r e e r , the metaphors per se seemed t o l o s e p a r t of t h e i r i n t e r e s t f o r him and i n the l a t e r poem M i l t o n , the r e l a t i v e frequency w i t h which they occur drops markedly. Never-t h e l e s s , the g e n e r a l p a t t e r n s of Blake's process of book r e -p r o d u c t i o n remain as important s t r u c t u r a l elements of the poem — a testament of the f a c t t h a t Blake's p h y s i c a l techniques of p r o d u c t i o n e x e r t e d a fundamental i n f l u e n c e on h i s p o e t i c v i s i o n . i i i CONTENTS Chapter Page I. INTRODUCTION 1 II . THE BOOK OF URI2EN 12 I I I . THE POETRY BEFORE URIZEN 39 IV. THE POETRY AFTER URIZEN 77 NOTES 102 BIBLIOGRAPHY 118 iv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS following page 101 1. Frontispiece to Europe, Copy L. 2. Plate 5 of The Book of Urizen, Copy G. 3. Plate 6 of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Copy D. 4. Plate 14 of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Copy Ii. 5 . Plate 1 of Milton, Copy B. 6. Plate 45 of Milton, Copy B [Plate 50 in Copy D] . v NOTE ON CITATIONS A l l q u o t a t i o n s of Blake's works are from The Poetry and Prose  of W i l l i a m Blake, ed. David V. Erdman, 4th p r i n t i n g r e v . (Garden C i t y , N.Y.: Doubleday, 1970). On a few o c c a s i o n s I have changed Erdman's square b r a c k e t s [thus] t o angle b r a c k e t s <thus) t o a v o i d c o n f u s i o n w i t h my own square b r a c k e t s . The quote from the Notebook on page 79 i s v e r b a t i m as i n Erdman's t e x t , except f o r e l l i p s i s . The f o l l o w i n g a b b r e v i a t i o n s have been used: A America: A Prophecy Ah The Book of All an i a E The Poetry and Prose of W i l l i a m B l a k e , ed. David Erdman E Europe: A Prophecy IM An I s l a n d i n the Moon BL The Book of Los M M i l t o n MIIH The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l ST. Songs of Innocence U The Book of U r i z e n VLJ A V i s i o n o f the L a s t Judgement v i . . . I am under the d i r e c t i o n of Messengers from Heaven Daily & Nigh'ly but the nature of such things i s not as some suppose, without trouble or care. Temptations are on the r i g h t hand & l e f t behind the sea of time & space roars & follows s w i f t l y he who keeps not r i g h t onward i s l o s t & i f our footsteps s l i d e i n clay how can we do otherwise than fear & tremble. — W i l l i a m Blake i n a l e t t e r to Thomas Butts, January 10, 1802 (E 688) v i i 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION W i l l i a m Blake — a r t i s t , poet, p r o p h e t — • was a craftsman by t r a d e . For Blake, the c r e a t i o n of h i s p o e t r y d i d not stop w i t h the s u c c e s s f u l t r a n s f e r of h i s mental c o n c e p t i o n from thought to paper. At the p o i n t where most poets leave t h e i r c r e a t i v e work Blake as a r t i s t took i t up a g a i n , f o r u n l i k e any o t h e r major poet, Blake p h y s i c a l l y c r e a t e d h i s books of p o e t r y , t u r n i n g the poet's bare w r i t t e n work i n t o a v i s i o n of interwoven t e x t and d e s i g n . As w e l l as b e i n g h i s own adver-t i s e r and b o o k s e l l e r , Blake was p e r s o n a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r every aspect of h i s books' p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n except the manufacture of the paper. A f t e r w r i t i n g the verse and com-pos i n g the d e s i g n s , Blake prepared and etched the c o p p e r p l a t e s with which h i s books were p r i n t e d , p r i n t e d the poems h i m s e l f w i t h a w a t e r c o l o u r i n k he had ground and mixed, and then c o l o u r e d the p r i n t e d p l a t e with p a i n t s of h i s own manufacture b e f o r e having h i s w i f e b i n d them by hand. The f a c t of Blake's l i f e as a craftsman and of h i s experience of p h y s i c a l l y producing h i s i l l u m i n a t e d books of poetry was a major i n f l u e n c e on the u l t i m a t e form, s t r u c t u r e , and content of those poems. In d i s c u s s i n g the way i n which Blake's techniques of p r o -d u c t i o n i n f l u e n c e d h i s poetry, l e t us not be a f r a i d t o take note of the obvious: t h e i r p h y s i c a l form as p a i n t e d page i n c l u d i n g both t e x t and d e s i g n was a d i r e c t r e s u l t of the technique of 2 p r o d u c t i o n t h a t Blake h i m s e l f innovated. Such an elementary, p h y s i c a l o b s e r v a t i o n i s not i n a p p r o p r i a t e because, as a t e c h n i c a l craftsman, Blake was minutely i n v o l v e d i n the phy-s i c a l form of h i s books and very i n t e r e s t e d i n them as p h y s i c a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of i m a g i n a t i v e v i s i o n s . Indeed, t h i s p r i m a r i l y t e c h n i c a l i n t e r e s t i n h i s books as an e v o l v i n g a r t form becomes an i n c r e a s i n g l y important element of h i s p o e t r y i t s e l f , and p a r t o f i t s m a n i f e s t s u b j e c t matter concerns the process by ivhich Blake's i n s p i r e d songs achieve p h y s i c a l form. Even as e a r l y as "Samson" i n P o e t i c a l Sketches, Blake's v i s i o n o f h i s own r o l e as poet/prophet i s i n v o l v e d w i t h the p h y s i c a l p r o-d u c t i o n and, by e x t e n s i o n , d i s s e m i n a t i o n of h i s p o e t i c word: "0 white-robed Angel, guide my timorous hand t o w r i t e as on a l o f t y rock w i t h i r o n pens the words of t r u t h , t h a t a l l who pass may read ("Samson," E 4 3 4 ) . 1 C h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y , the d i s c u s s i o n of the p h y s i c a l c r e a t i o n of the poem i s p r e s e n t e d as a p r e l u d e to the poem proper, such as a preludium or i n t r o d u c t i o n , and o f t e n takes the form of Blake s i t t i n g down t o w r i t e i n response t o the d i r e c t i o n s o r d i c t a t i o n o f a s p i r i t u a l f r i e n d o r f a i r y . For example, the i n t r o d u c t o r y p l a t e t o Europe d e s c r i b e s Blake c a t c h i n g a f a i r y , symbol of h i s p o e t i c i m a g i n a t i o n , who promises to " w r i t e a book on leaves of f l o w e r s " (E i i i : 1 4 , E 59) and ends: when I came Into my p a r l o u r and s a t down, and took my pen t o w r i t e : My F a i r y s a t upon the t a b l e , and d i c t a t e d EUROPE. (E i i i : 2 2 - 2 4 , E 59) T h i s passage f o l l o w s a p a t t e r n e s t a b l i s h e d e a r l i e r i n Songs of 3 Innocence. In what i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y the f i r s t poem of h i s f i r s t t r u e book of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g , Blake s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y focuses the reader's a t t e n t i o n on the process of the p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n of the poem as he c a r e f u l l y o u t l i n e s h i s response to the d i c t a t e of another s p i r i t u a l f r i e n d , t h i s time a f a i r y -l i k e c h i l d : P i p e r s i t thee down and w r i t e In a book t h a t a l l may read-So he v a n i s h ' d from my s i g h t . And I p l u c k ' d a hollow reed. And I made a r u r a l pen, And I s t a i n ' d the water c l e a r , And I wrote my happy songs Every c h i l d may j o y to hear ("Introduction, 1' 11. 13-20,E 7) T h i s m o t i f o f Blake's process of p r o d u c t i o n i s r e i n f o r c e d g r a p h i c a l l y i n the a s s o c i a t e d design which shows a f i g u r e o p e r a t i n g a p r i n t i n g press ( l e f t hand s i d e , t h i r d p a n e l from the top, c o p i e s I & V). T h i s design and the poem's q u a i n t , i d e a l i z e d account of Blake's process of p r o d u c t i o n are the p r e c u r s o r s of a more f u l l y a r t i c u l a t e d d e s c r i p t i o n of Blake's p r i n t i n g methods. The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s to show t h a t t h i s e a r l y and fundamental concern w i t h the p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n of h i s books i s s u s t a i n e d and developed throughout the l e n g t h of h i s e n t i r e i l l u m i n a t e d canon, and t h a t the d e s i g n and t e x t of those books embody a coherent and d e t a i l e d m e t a p h o r i c a l account of h i s process of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g . Before d i s c u s s i n g the d e t a i l s of Blake's techniques of 4 p r i n t i n g , and b e f o r e e x p l i c a t i n g the m e t a p h o r i c a l accounts of t h a t p r o c e s s , i t must be emphasized from the s t a r t t h a t Blake d i d not look upon the techniques of p r o d u c t i o n as a s t r i c t l y t e c h n i c a l or n e u t r a l means t o an end. Blake's i n t e g r a t e d v i s i o n of the u n i f i e d r o l e of the a r t i s t denied him such a c o m f o r t a b l e , a b s t r a c t e d p o s i t i o n . By assuming complete r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n of h i s p o e t i c a l t e x t s , Blake r e a l i z e d h i s v i s i o n of t o t a l a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n , and the techniques t h a t he used i n producing h i s books are as much a p a r t of t h e i r meaning as the imagery, symbols, and s u b j e c t mattev c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n them, f o r as Robert Essick. observes: When d e a l i n g w i t h v i s u a l images we u s u a l l y assume t h a t meaning i s a f u n c t i o n of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . That i s , the a r t i s t r e p r e s e n t s a l i o n , and then we begin t o determine what a l i o n s i g n i f i e s i n t h i s o r t h a t i c o n i c language. But meaning can a l s o be a f u n c t i o n of s t y l e or technique.3 E s s i c k i s r e f e r r i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y t o Blake's v i s u a l images, but the p o i n t i s as a p p l i c a b l e t o the t e x t as t o the designs of h i s books. Blake's unique method of e t c h i n g away most of the s u r -face o f h i s c o p p e r p l a t e s and h i s method of i n k i n g r e s u l t i n g i n t h i c k l i n e s w i t h heavy, r e t i c u l a t e d ink s u r f a c e s i s a very r e a l p a r t of the meaning behind h i s i l l u m i n a t e d books. In o p p o s i t i o n t o Blake's i n t e g r a t e d system of producing the e n t i r e book and p r i n t i n g the t e x t and d e s i g n from the s u r f a c e of a s i n g l e r e l i e f p l a t e was the s p e c i a l i z e d and t h e r e f o r e f r a g -mented commercial method of p r o d u c t i o n of the day. T h i s system of p r o d u c t i o n depends on the f o r c e d union of d i s t i n c t e n t i t i e s 5 i n the Guttenbergian c o u p l i n g o f c o n v e n t i o n a l type s e t i n f l a t forms w i t h the o c c a s i o n a l i n t a g l i o e n g r a v i n g i n s e r t e d when the book was bound. In Blake's eyes, perhaps the most p e r n i c i o u s r e s u l t o f t h i s s p e c i a l i z e d method of p r o d u c t i o n was the g r a d u a l lowering of engravers from t h e i r o r i g i n a l r o l e as c r e a t i v e a r t i s t s t o the p o s i t i o n of mere r e p r o d u c t i v e hacks, the cogs i n the wheels of a mechanized, a s s e m b l y - l i n e process o f p r o d u c t i o n . Blake's own experi e n c e of a seven-year a p p r e n t i c e s h i p i n the methods of I t a l i a n r e p r o d u c t i v e engraving drove the p o i n t home, and i n time the very techniques of t h a t s t y l e of engraving came t o r e p r e s e n t i n Blake's eyes a l l t h a t he as an a r t i s t was r e a c t i n g against.'* These " d o c t r i n a l " reasons were at l e a s t as important as a e s t h e t i c and economic concerns i n p r o v i d i n g the Impetus behind Blake's experimen-t a t i o n and t e c h n i c a l i n n o v a t i o n t h a t produced a method t h a t i s t e c h n i c a l l y the o p p o s i t e of i n t a g l i o e n g r a v i n g and i n i t s very techniques and stages of p r o d u c t i o n embodies many of Blake's ideas of a r t and v i s i o n . ^ Given t h a t the p h y s i c a l techniques o f p r o d u c t i o n were so important t o Blake, i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t o f i n d t h a t i n much of h i s po e t r y he d i s c u s s e s the d e t a i l s and e x p l o r e s the r a m i f i -c a t i o n s o f h i s unique process of book r e p r o d u c t i o n . However, be f o r e t h i s metaphoric d i s c u s s i o n can be i n t e l l i g i b l y e x p l i c a t e d , a b a s i c knowledge of Blake's e t c h i n g , p a i n t i n g , and c o l o u r i n g techniques i s r e q u i r e d . A l l of the f o l l o w i n g d e t a i l s of h i s techniques are important i n r e c o g n i z i n g and " t r a n s l a t i n g " the 6 m e t a p h o r i c a l language t h a t Blake uses t o d i s c u s s h i s process of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g . Blake experimented w i t h most forms of e t c h i n g and eng-r a v i n g , and e a r l y on was i n t e r e s t e d i n u s i n g h i s t r a i n i n g as a r e p r o d u c t i v e engraver t o develop an e c o n o m i c a l l y v i a b l e method of re p r o d u c i n g h i s own books. An I s l a n d i n the Moon, a prose s a t i r e w r i t t e n when Blake was twenty-seven, c o n t a i n s a fragmentary r e f e r e n c e t o a scheme of r e p r o d u c i n g books from etched c o p p e r p l a t e s . P a r t o f the manuscript i s l o s t , and t h i s passage begins a b r u p t l y : them I l l u m i n a t i n g the Manuscript....Then s a i d he I would have a l l the w r i t i n g Engraved i n s t e a d of P r i n t e d & a t every o t h e r l e a f a h i g h f i n i s h d p r i n t a l l i n t h r e e Volumes f o l i o , & s e l l them a hundred pounds a p i e c e , they would P r i n t o f f two thousand... (IMx, E 456) T h i s technique s t i l l t r e a t s t e x t and d e s i g n s e p a r a t e l y , but Blake continued t o w r e s t l e w i t h the problem over the next s e v e r a l y e a r s . In 1787, t h r e e years a f t e r An I s l a n d i n the Moon was w r i t t e n , Blake's b r o t h e r Robert d i e d . Blake s a i d t h a t Robert's s p i r i t — p r o b a b l y the o r i g i n a l o f the d i c t a t i n g c h i l d -s p i r i t o f the " I n t r o d u c t i o n " t o Songs of I n n o c e n c e — a p p e a r e d t o Blake and i n s t r u c t e d him i n the technique of p r i n t i n g d e s i g n and t e x t t h a t i s today r e c o g n i z e d as a t r u e i n n o v a t i o n and Blake ' s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the a r t of p r i n t making. One o f Blake's r e l i e f p l a t e s p r i n t s i n b a s i c a l l y the same way as the common rubber stamp. The words or de s i g n t o be p r i n t e d appear i n r e v e r s e on the r a i s e d s u r f a c e of a c o p p e r p l a t e and the spaces which are t o appear white on the f i n i s h e d p r i n t 7 are r e c e s s e d so t h a t only the s u r f a c e o f the p l a t e r e c e i v e s the i n k . When pressed onto the paper, the i n k i s t r a n s f e r r e d from the p l a t e and the l e t t e r s and de s i g n appear on the page r i g h t s i d e around. (In Blake's metaphoric language t h i s copper-p l a t e i s commonly r e f e r r e d t o as a cave or a rock.) In the Ei g h t e e n t h Century, and even i n t o the Twentieth Century, en-grave r ' s c o p p e r p l a t e s were beaten or hammered i n t o the r e q u i r e d t h i c k n e s s r a t h e r than r o l l e d t o a c e r t a i n gauge as they are today. Beaten copper i s p r e f e r r e d by engravers because i t i s hardened by the b e a t i n g and becomes u n i f o r m l y r e s i s t e n t i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s , whereas r o l l e d copper i s s o f t e r i n one d i r e c t i o n , and an engraving t o o l tends t o run away from the a r t i s t when he i s c u t t i n g a curve. T h i s f a c t i s s i g n i f i c a n t s i n c e Blake o c c a s i o n a l l y i d e n t i f i e s the c o p p e r p l a t e i n h i s metaphors as a "beaten mass," as i n Chapter I of The Book of Ahania. Although the f i n i s h i s more c r u c i a l i n i n t a g l i o p r i n t i n g , the s u r f a c e of a co p p e r p l a t e i s prepared f o r r e l i e f e t c h i n g o r i n t a g l i o e ngraving by p o l i s h i n g i t t o a f i n e , m i r r o r - l i k e f i n i s h . Then, u s i n g some form of a c i d - r e s i s t e n t medium such as s t o p p i n g -out v a r n i s h , Blake would w r i t e h i s t e x t on a s p e c i a l l y t r e a t e d sheet of paper, perhaps one t h a t had been soaked i n gum a r a b i c . The c o p p e r p l a t e was then heated, the paper w i t h the t e x t l a i d on top of the c o p p e r p l a t e , and both were sent through the p r e s s . When the paper was soaked o f f i n water, the t e x t i n the a c i d r e s i s t appeared on the p l a t e , w r i t t e n i n r e v e r s e . Blake then brushed on the de s i g n around the t e x t I n the same r e s i s t and the 8 p l a t e was then ready t o be etched. The a c t u a l e t c h i n g was perhaps the most t e d i o u s and l a b o r i o u s stage i n Blake's method of p r o d u c t i o n . Once p r o -p e r l y prepared, the c o p p e r p l a t e was submerged i n a bath o f what i s g e n e r a l l y assumed t o have been aqua f o r t i s ( n i t r i c a c i d ) . Blake's most common m e t a p h o r i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s consuming l i q u i d which d i s s o l v e s the s u r f a c e of the p l a t e i s , a p p r o p r i a t e l y , f i r e : f i r e water, r i v e r s o f f i r e , and f i r e s which produce heat but no l i g h t (the a c i d becomes q u i t e warm i n the ch e m i c a l r e a c t i o n w i t h the p l a t e ) . N i t r i c a c i d i s , o f coursa, c o l o u r l e s s i n i t s pure s t a t e , but as i t r e a c t s w i t h a p l a t e i t assumes a f a i n t b l u i s h green t i n g e and a f t e r i t has etched numerous p l a t e s and i t s c o r r o s i v e p r o p e r t i e s are ex-hausted, i t w i l l be a dark muddy b l u e / g r e e n . In f a c t , f o r a l l i n t e n t s and purposes the a c i d w i l l always have t h i s b l u i s h c o l o u r s i n c e a l i t t l e copper i s always l e f t i n s o l u t i o n , f o r without i t the a c i d w i l l n ot b i t e p r o p e r l y . When e t c h i n g w i t h aqua f o r t i s , n i t r i c d i o x i d e , a noxious gas, i s produced. T h i s appears f i r s t as a l i n e of s m a l l bubbles which form around the e t c h i n g s u r f a c e and w i l l r e t a r d the a c t i o n o f the a c i d i f not brushed away; Blake r e f e r s t o thsm m e t a p h o r i c a l l y as "Eggs of un n a t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n " i n The Book of Ahania (3:10, E 84). In h i s h e l p f u l book W i l l i a m B l a k e: The A r t i s t , Ruthven Todd es t i m a t e s t h a t " a c c o r d i n g t o the temperature o f the room i n which the b i t i n g was b e i n g done, i t would take from about s i x 9 t o e i g h t hours"' to e t c h a • s i n g l e p l a t e : — " t h e l a b o u r s of e t e r n i t y . " Although the p l a t e would not r e q u i r e c o n s t a n t a t t e n t i o n , the bubbles would have t o be brushed away every few minutes and a c c o r d i n g t o John Wright's experiments and examination of The Songs of Innocence and of Experience e l e c t r o t y p e s and the America fragment, Blake a p p a r e n t l y r e -moved the p l a t e from the bath p e r i o d i c a l l y and touched up the r e s i s t , so t h a t someone had to be on hand a t a l l times.^ Before the p l a t e was i n k e d and p r i n t e d , the a c i d r e s i s t was removed from the p l a t e and Blake would o c c a s i o n a l l y r e f i n e the work of the a c i d with an e n g r a v i n g t o o l . (This t o u c h i n g up i s most e v i d e n t on some of The Songs of Innocence p l a t e s . ) ^ In Blake's p o e t r y , the etched c o p p e r p l a t e i s o f t e n c a l l e d the book of i r o n , or a l t e r n a t i v e l y , i n the landscape c r e a t e d by Blake's metaphoric images, the r e c e s s e d areas b i t t e n i n by the a c i d are c a l l e d furrows or v a l l e y s , w h i l e the s u r f a c e of the r e l i e f p l a t e becomes a h i l l or c l i f f . These s u r f a c e s of the c o p p e r p l a t e were then inked i n an i n g e n i o u s manner. R o l l e r s f o r i n k i n g were not i n use u n t i l the N i n e t e e n t h Century, and the depth o f b i t i n g was not g r e a t enough t o a l l o w the i n k t o be a p p l i e d by the u s u a l method of a dauber or p r i n t e r ' 3 b a l l w i t hout smearing the r e c e s s e d s u r f a c e s . Blake a p p a r e n t l y s o l v e d the problem by a p p l y i n g a t h i n c o a t of i n k t o a blank p l a t e , p l a c i n g the r e l i e f p l a t e on top, then p a s s i n g them through a press a d j u s t e d to reduce the p r e s s u r e . The p l a t e s were then 10 separated, w i t h the r e l i e f p l a t e being c l e a n l y i nked and the a c t o f s e p a r a t i o n producing the r e t i c u l a t e d s u r f a c e charac-t e r i s t i c of Blake's inked l i n e s . A f t e r i n k i n g , Blake was ready to p u l l an i m p r e s s i o n and the p l a t e was l a i d i n the bed of the p l a t e p r e s s . Although most of Blake's i l l u m i n a t e d books are p r i n t e d from r e l i e f p l a t e s , Blake d i d the a c t u a l p r i n t i n g w i t h a r o l l i n g p r e s s or p l a t e p r e s s which i s designed f o r i n t a g l i o , not r e l i e f , p l a t e s . ^ The e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e i s the p r e s s u r e e x e r t e d on the p l a t e , s i n c e a r e l i e f i m pression taken from the s u r f a c e of the p l a t e r e q u i r e s very l i t t l e p ressure, w h i l e a g r e a t d e a l of p r e s s u r e i s r e q u i r e d t o p r i n t an i n t a g l i o p l a t e s i n c e the paper must be f o r c e d i n t o the f i s s u r e s i n the s u r f a c e of the copper. Two main elements c h a r a c t e r i z e a r o l l i n g p r e s s : a f l a t metal bed on which paper and p l a t e are l a i d , and two l a r g e h o r i z o n t a l r o l l e r s between which the p l a t e bed runs when an i m p r e s s i o n i s b e i n g p u l l e d . The o p e r a t i o n i s t h e r e f o r e very s i m i l a r t o a common household mangle. In Blake's metaphoric landscape, the process of p r i n t i n g i s o f t e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a l o u d rumble of r o l l i n g thunder as b l a c k winds of p e r t u r b a t i o n (the p r i n t ) sud-denly sweep over a p a l e d e s e r t (the page). The p r i n t e d page i s then separated by p u l l i n g i t away from i t s m i r r o r image on the c o p p e r p l a t e . Blake g e n e r a l l y p r i n t e d monochromes,- and at t h i s stage the paper would c o n t a i n only the t e x t and the o u t l i n e of the d e s i g n . In the penultimate stage of the process of p r o d u c t i o n , Blake " f l e s h e d out" the 11 d e s i g n and t e x t by h a n d - p a i n t i n g the page w i t h w a t e r c o l o u r s , sometimes heightened w i t h g o l d washes. Blake's metaphoric d e s c r i p t i o n of the l a t e r stages i n the p r o d u c t i o n of an i l l u -minated book i s o f t e n embedded i n an account of a human body g r a d u a l l y t a k i n g shape as s t a r k and l i n e a r human bones and nerves ( p r i n t and o u t l i n e o f design) are g r a d u a l l y f i l l e d out and brought t o l i f e as l i v i n g and c o l o u r f u l f l e s h grows over them. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , i n Blake's landscape imagery, the p a i n t i n g of a page i s sometimes d e s c r i b e d as i n t e n s e and c o l o u r f u l flames sweeping through and b r i n g i n g l i f e t o a p a l e d e s e r t . F i n a l l y , as the c r e a t i v e f i r e s s ubsided and the book achieved i t s f i n a l p h y s i c a l form, Blake o c c a s i o n a l l y had h i s w i f e complete i t s p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n by b i n d i n g the pages by h a n d . ^ CHAPTER I I THE BOOK OF URIZEN Although the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g emerge q u i t e e a r l y i n Blake's p o e t i c c a r e e r , the f i r s t f u l l meta-p h o r i c a l treatment of the process of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g which i n c l u d e s a l l the stages o f p r o d u c t i o n occurs i n The Book of  U r i z e n . We s h a l l see t h a t i n the poems b e f o r e U r i z e n , the metaphors g e n e r a l l y oocur i n d i s c r e t e , o f t e n i s o l a t e d u n i t s of the poem such as a "Memorable Fancy" or a preludium, and t r e a t o n l y i n d i v i d u a l stages of the process of p r o d u c t i o n , or at b e s t , o n l y incomplete combinations of them. I t i s not u n t i l the c e n t r a l poetry of The Book of U r i z e n , The Book of Ahania, and, t o a l e s s e r e x t e n t , The Book of Los t h a t f u l l y developed treatments of the metaphors occur. Yet i n s p i t e o f the f a c t t h a t i t c o n t a i n s the f i r s t f u l l y - d e v e l o p e d p r e s e n t a t i o n of the metaphors, there i s a problem i n d i s c u s s i n g the metaphors i n U r i z e n , and i t i s a problem t h a t the s t r u c t u r e and n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y of the poem w i l l e n f o r c e on any i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h a t i n v o l v e s a c a u s a l l y - l i n k e d sequence of e v e n t s , such as a p r i n t i n g p r o c e s s . The Book of U r i z e n t r a n s m i t s Blake's v i s i o n of the F a l l — i t i s the Genesis of h i s proposed " B i b l e o f H e l l . " But f o r Blake, the F a l l was not a unique p r i m o r d i a l i n c i d e n t . I t i s a t once a process and a c o n d i t i o n as pr e s e n t i n the b i r t h of one man today as i n the b i r t h of the u n i v e r s e eons ago. I t i s , 13 i f you w i l l , Blake's v i s i o n of the a r c h e t y p a l F a l l , or the " i d e a " of the F a l l , t h a t i s presented i n U r i z e n , and the poem's s o - c a l l e d n a r r a t i v e simply recounts the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of t h i s f a l l as seen from a v a r i e t y of p e r s p e c t i v e s . The r e v o l t of U r i z e n , h i s b i n d i n g by Los, the s e p a r a t i o n of Enitharmon, and the b i r t h of Ore are not f o u r d i f f e r e n t n a r r a t i v e s , but are a c t u a l l y a s e r i e s o f modulations of the same e v e n t . 1 These f o u r v e r s i o n s of the F a l l are l i k e f o u r sheets of a c o l o u r key, each i m p r i n t e d w i t h one c o l o u r . Each sheet i s i n t e r e s t i n g when viewed alone, but onl y when a l l are c a r e f u l l y overlapped and viewed s i m u l t a n e o u s l y does the s p i r i t of Blake's v i s i o n of the F a l l — a n d i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s — e m e r g e . Bound by the format of the p r i n t e d page, Blake found i t necessary t o weave the f o u r accounts of the F a l l i n t o a coherent n a r r a t i v e sequence, thus making the s u b j e c t of the poem resemble four s e p a r a t e events. But he l e f t s t y l i s t i c c l u e s t o i n d i c a t e t h a t the four are r e a l l y one. The r e a l u n i t y of The Book o f  U r i z e n l i e s i n i t s metaphoric s t r u c t u r e and the abundance of s t y l i s t i c and thematic echoes t h a t l i n k the major e p i s o d e s . Most no t a b l e among these are two r e c u r r i n g elements of the poem: the t e a r i n g a p a r t o f e t e r n a l s t h a t i s pr e s e n t i n each of the f o u r accounts of the F a l l , and the repeated image of the red, b e a t i n g globe or h e a r t t h a t punctuates the f i r s t t h r e e v e r s i o n s . I t i s t h i s type of s t r i k i n g repeated imagery t h a t p r o v i d e s the r e f e r e n c e p o i n t s or c o - o r d i n a t e s w i t h which we can l i n e up the v a r i o u s sheets of the c o l o u r key and s i m u l t a n e o u s l y view the f o u r 14 v e r s i o n s o f the F a l l w i t h something a p p r o a c h i n g B l a k e a n f o u r - . f o l d v i s i o n . Viewed t h i s way, i t i s easy t o see the v a r i a t i o n s t h a t each m o d u l a t i o n p l a y s on the c e n t r a l theme. In Chapter s I - I I I B l a k e s e t s fox-th the b a s i c image o f the F a l l : the d i s r u p t i o n o f the' p r i m a l u n i t y and the c r e a t i o n o f the p h y s i c a l w o r l d by U r i z e n , w h i c h , seen from another p e r s p e c t i v e i s the m a n i f e s -t a t i o n o f an o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y caused by the d i s r u p t i o n o f the human psyche when the r a t i o n a l f a c u l t y g a i n s dominance. In Chapter IV (a & b) the s t r u g g l e s o f U r i z e n are seen from y e t another p e r s p e c t i v e . Los appears and b i n d s U r i z e n , add ing the concept o f d u a l i t y , of p o l a r o p p o s i t e s o r B l a k e a n c o n t r a r i e s , t o the theme o f the F a l l . A l t h o u g h the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f new c h a r a c t e r s and i n c i d e n t s g i v e s the i m p r e s s i o n o f a n a r r a t i v e p r o g r e s s i o n w i t h i n the poem, Los has been l a t e n t l y p r e s e n t throughout a l l o f U r i z e n * s a c t i v i t y and h i s b i n d i n g o f U r i z e n i s the same " F a l l " as d e s c r i b e d i n C h a p t e r I I I . In Chapter V the s e p a r a t i o n o f Eni tharmon p a r a l l e l s the s e p a r a t i o n s d e p i c t e d i n the e a r l i e r two v e r s i o n s , and B l a k e pursues the concept o f d u a l i t y by i n t r o d u c i n g the added d imens ion o f s e x u a l i t y . The f i n a l v e r s i o n o f the F a l l , the b i r t h and b i n d i n g o f Ore i n Chap-t e r s VI and V I I , i s a l s o a m o d u l a t i o n o f the b a s i c account des-c r i b e d i n the f i r s t three c h a p t e r s . O r e ' s b i r t h p a r a l l e l s the c r e a t i o n o f the u n i v e r s e by U r i z e n , f o r j u s t as U r i z e n c r e a t e s a u n i v e r s e o f " b e a s t , b i r d , f i s h , s e r p e n t £ e lement " (U3 :16 , E 69 ) , En i tharmon b r i n g s f o r t h "Many forms o f f i s h , b i r d & b e a s t (U19:34, E 7 8 ) . 1 The p a r a l l e l s t r u c t u r e and abundant shared imagery o f these passages supersedes t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p as a n a r r a t i v e sequence . Thus when any n a r r a t i v e sequence t h a t demands a l i n e a r e x t e n s i o n i s woven i n t o t h i s f o u r f o l d v i s i o n o f the F a l l , i t w i l l encounter problems u n l e s s i t observes the l i m i t a t i o n s . imposed on i t by the n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y o f the poem. Tha t i s , s i n c e the f o u r v e r s i o n s o f the F a l l are n o t , i n f a c t , c a u s a l l y l i n k e d e p i s o d e s , bu t r e a l l y r e n d i t i o n s o f the same e v e n t , we can expec t t h a t B l a k e w i l l a v o i d i n t r o d u c i n g a n a r r a t i v e on any l e v e l o f the poem t h a t would t r a n s c e n d the b o u n d a r i e s o f any one v e r s i o n , s i n c e t h i s would e n f o r c e a n a r r a t i v e where he does no t want one. However, i f any n a r r a t i v e e lement o f the poem, such as a m e t a p h o r i c a l account o f the p r i n t i n g p r o c e s s , i s t o be p r e s e n t throughout the e n t i r e poem, y e t cannot ex tend i t s n a r r a t i v e beyond the b o u n d a r i e s o f any one v e r s i o n , we can expect a r e p e t i t i o n o f e s s e n t i a l l y the same n a r r a t i v e sequence a g a i n and a g a i n and a g a i n . T h i s i s i n f a c t e x a c t l y what o c c u r s i n U r i z e n . There i s i n a d d i t i o n another s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e which governs the h a n d l i n g o f the metaphors i n The Book o f U r i z e n ; the poem embodies an image o f the F a l l w i t h i n i t s own s t r u c t u r a l development . I t i s c l e a r t h a t B l a k e p r e s e n t s h i s b a s i c account o f the F a l l i n U r i z e n * s s t r u g g l e s of C h a p t e r s I - I I I . T h i s f i r s t a c c o u n t , i n a sense , embodies the o t h e r t h r e e i n p o t e n t i a l form w i t h i n the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the a r c h e t y p a l a c t i o n p r e s e n t e d i n i t . 16 But i n the same sense t h a t the f i r s t account of the F a l l em-b o d ies the o t h e r t h r e e , w i t h i n t h a t f i r s t v e r s i o n i t s e l f , Chapters I I and I I I are b a s i c a l l y e l a b o r a t i o n s of the o r i g i n a l account s e t f o r t h i n Chapter I. At the b e g i n n i n g of Chapter I I , we are back t o the same p o i n t i n time at which the poem began, and i n t h i s c hapter, Blake i s simply e x p l o r i n g d i f f e r e n t aspects and a d i f f e r e n t v i s i o n o f the i n i t i a l account of Chapter I. The compact language and a r c h e t y p a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t a c t i o n t h a t begins The Book of U r i z e n thus f u n c t i o n s as a p r i m o r d i a l mass which explodes i n t o the u n i v e r s e of a poem t h a t rehearses and repeats i n ever-expanding and e.labor;-.ting episodes the image of the p r i m a l F a l l t h a t brought i t i n t o b e i n g . I t i s w i t h i n t h i s s t r u c t u r a l c o n t e x t and w i t h t h i s a n t i c i p a t i o n of densely com-pac t e d meaning expanding i n t o r e p e t i t i o n s and e l a b o r a t i o n s of the p r i m a l a c t i o n t h a t Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g must be understood. The Book of U r i z e n opens wi t h the a p p a r i t i o n of a "shadow of h o r r o r , " "an a b s t r a c t e d . . . d a r k power," t h a t has o s t e n s i b l y "form'd [an] abominable v o i d " [ i t a l i c s mine] : Lo, a shadow o f h o r r o r i s r i s e n In E t e r n i t y . ...what Demon Hath form'd t h i s abominable v o i d T h i s s o u l - s h u d d ' r i n g vacuum?—Some s a i d " I t i s U r i z e n " , But unknown, a b s t r a c t e d Brooding s e c r e t , the dark power h i d . ( U 3 : l - 7 , E 69) I t i s c l e a r from the i n t e n t i o n a l ambiguity of the antecedent of " i t " i n l i n e 6 t h a t both c r e a t o r and c r e a t i o n are p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the a p p e l l a t i o n " U r i z e n . " T h i s i s Blake's d r a m a t i z a t i o n of the f a c t t h a t the f u n c t i o n and i d e n t i t y of the p e r s p e c t i v e 17 which U r i z e n r e p r e s e n t s i s i n s e p a r a b l y interwoven w i t h the e q u a l l y U r i z e n i c o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y t h a t i t c r e a t e s : i t i s e q u a l l y t r u e t o say t h a t "he became what he beheld" (M3:29, E 96) as t o say t h a t "the Eye a l t e r i n g a l t e r s a l l " ("The Mental T r a v e l l e r , " 1.62, E 476). I t i s important to note t h a t Blake i d e n t i f i e s both the c r e a t i v e E t e r n a l and h i s c r e a t i o n as " U r i z e n " because i n the metaphors of the c r e a t i v e process t h a t f o l l o w i n Chapters I to I I I , " U r i z e n , " i s both Blake the c r a f t s -man who b r i n g s the poem i n t o p h y s i c a l form and the dark v o i d of the c o p p e r p l a t e on which he i s working. A f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the t y p i c a l v o c a b u l a r y of Blake's h a n d l i n g of the process of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g r e v e a l s t h a t the dark, a b s t r a c t shadow which appears a t the s t a r t of Chapter I i s the p l a t e , and the poem t h e r e f o r e begins a t the i n i t i a l stage of the process of p r o d u c t i o n w i t h the appearance of a copper-p l a t e b e f o r e the a r t i s t W i l l i a m B l a k e . A c l o s e r e a d i n g of the dense passage of verse t h a t f o l l o w s w i l l show t h a t i n t h i s account, as elsewhere, Blake c o n f l a t e s the d i s t i n c t s t y l e s of i n t a g l i o engraving and r e l i e f e t c h i n g , and Blake as i n t a g l i o engraver bends over the dark v o i d of the c o p p e r p l a t e t o d i v i d e and measure i t s s u r f a c e w i t h h i s e n g r a v i n g t o o l s , j u s t as U r i z e n bends over the v o i d t o l i m i t i t s expanse w i t h the compasses as 4 p i c t u r e d i n the f r o n t i s p i e c e t o Europe ( f i g u r e 1): Times on times he d i v i d e d , & measur'd Space by space i n h i s n i n e f o l d darkness Unseen, unknown! (U3:8-10, E 69) 18 The d i v i s i o n and measurement of the c o p p e r p l a t e b e f o r e the a c t u a l " c u t t i n g i n " can a l s o be taken to r e p r e s e n t the p r e -p a r a t i o n of a p l a t e i n the process of r e p r o d u c t i v e e n g r a v i n g i n which Blake would sometimes "square" the p l a t e w i t h a s e r i e s of p a r a l l e l h o r i z o n t a l and v e r t i c a l l i n e s i n o r d e r t o accu-r a t e l y t r a n s f e r the design t o be reproduced on i t . 5 In the very condensed h a n d l i n g of the metaphors which c h a r a c t e r i z e s Chapter I, the account of the process of p r o d u c t i o n next suddenly leaps from the p r e p a r a t i o n of the p l a t e t o an account of a page being p r i n t e d from a p l a t e t h a t has a l r e a d y been etched: ... changes appeard In h i s d e s o l a t e mountains r i f t e d f u r i o u s By the b l a c k winds of p e r t u r b a t i o n (U3:10-12, E 69) The " d e s o l a t e mountains" which are " r i f t e d f u r i o u s " i n t h i s s e c t i o n of the poem r e p r e s e n t sheets of paper, f o r "mountains" i s used s e v e r a l times i n The Book of U r i z e n as a metaphor f o r the s t a c k s of paper t h a t surrounded Blake i n h i s workshop, e i t h e r i n the form of f r e s h , unbroken bundles or of newly p r i n t e d s h e e t s . The term " d e s o l a t e mountains" r e i n f o r c e s the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s i n c e i n Blake's v o c a b u l a r y , the page i s r e -presented through any number of forms t h a t are white, p a l e , or blank. Given t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , "the b l a c k winds of p e t u r -b a t i o n " t h a t r i f t the d e s o l a t e mountains i s c l e a r l y a metaphor f o r i n k , and the e n t i r e sequence i s t h e r e f o r e a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the p r i n t i n g of a p l a t e i n Blake's p r o c e s s of p r o d u c t i o n . On the l e v e l of the s u r f a c e n a r r a t i v e , U r i z e n c o n t i n u e s 19 h i s b a t t l e t o g i v e form t o h i s u n i v e r s e i n verse 3, wh i l e on t h i s m e t a p h o r i c a l l e v e l we move on t o the next step i n the process o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g : the p a i n t i n g of the p l a t e s . T h i s i n t e n s e l y c r e a t i v e aspect o f the p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n of the books i s d e s c r i b e d here as i t u s u a l l y i s , as an i n t e n s e s t r u g g l e or c o n f l i c t i n which B l a k e / U r i z e n b a t t l e s w i t h the elements t o g i v e b i r t h t o images of l i v i n g p h y s i c a l forms: For he s t r o v e i n b a t t l e s d i r e In unseen c o n f l i c t i o n s w i t h shapes Bred from h i s for s a k e n w i l d e r n e s s , Of b e a s t , b i r d , f i s h , s e r p e n t & element Combustion, b l a s t , vapour and c l o u d . (U3:13-17, E 69) With t h i s z o o l o g i c a l p o p u l a t i o n now i n h a b i t i n g t h i s newly -formed world, B l a k e / U f i z e n 1 s c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s are e s s e n t i a l l y completed, and t h i s b r i e f and condensed m e t a p h o r i c a l account of the p r o c e s s o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g ends.''7 N e v e r t h e l e s s , i n keeping w i t h the p a t t e r n of r e p e t i t i o n and e l a b o r a t i o n which i s a product of the n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y of the e n t i r e poem, Chapter I c o n t a i n s y e t another account of the process o f p r o d u c t i o n . Although i t i s s h o r t e r than the e a r l i e r account, i t has much g r e a t e r m e t a p h o r i c a l d e n s i t y and d i s p l a y s the vocab u l a r y , c o n f l a t e d images, and paradigmatic t r a n s i t i o n s t y p i c a l of Blake's p r e s e n t a t i o n of the metaphors of book r e p r o d u c t i o n : H i s c o l d h o r r o r s s i l e n t , dark U r i z e n Prepar'd: h i s ten thousands of thunders Rang'd i n gloom*d a r r a y s t r e t c h out across The dread world, & the r o l l i n g of wheels As o f s w e l l i n g seas, sound i n h i s clouds In h i s h i l l s of s t o r ' d snows, i n h i s mountains 20 Of h a i l & i c e ; v o i c e s of t e r r o r , Are heard, l i k e thunders of autumn, When the c l o u d b l a z e s over the h a r v e s t s (U3:2 7-35, E 70) F i r s t of a l l , I would note what I have c a l l e d the p a r a -digmatic t r a n s i t i o n s t h a t Blake t y p i c a l l y uses i n h i s h a n d l i n g of the metaphors. T h i s account opens w i t h the sense of a pause; the elements of p r o d u c t i o n are pres e n t e d f o r us t o i n s p e c t b e f o r e they proceed t o do b a t t l e i n the m e t a p h o r i c a l l a n d s c a p e / b a t t l e -f i e l d of Blake's workshop. U r i z e n i s "Prepar'd," h i s ten thousands of thunders are ready and "Rang'd i n gloom'd a r r a y , " but as y e t there i s no a c t i v i t y — o n l y a pause and the promise of a c t i o n u n t i l l i n e 30 when the wheels of the p r i n t i n g press d i s p e l the momentary calm and r o l l i n t o motion. A s i m i l a r p a t t e r n t h a t Blake repeats again and again i s a c o r r e s p o n d i n g movement from i n i t i a l s i l e n c e t o the sound of human c r i e s or a r t i c u l a t e speech. Dark U r i z e n (the p l a t e ) i s not o n l y p h y s i c a l l y s t i l l a t the opening of the passage, he i s s i l e n t . H i s ten thousands of thunders (which I take t o be the l i n e s of the text) are ranged and s t r e t c h e d out across the world t h a t we saw c r e a t e d e a r l i e r , but as y e t , they are not a u d i t o r y . They are pr e s e n t e d as a v i s u a l image and are not meant t o be h e a r d — i t i s as i f they are s t i l l i n a s t a t e of p o t e n t i a l i t y . The s i l e n c e i s not broken u n t i l the wheels of the p l a t e press r o l l l i k e thunder and swel-l i n g seas. I t i s onl y a f t e r t h i s a c t i v i t y , a f t e r the l i n e s of t e x t have been t r a n s f e r r e d t o the paper r i g h t s i d e around t h a t human v o i c e s are "heard" i n the mountains of h a i l and i c e . 21 Another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c p a t t e r n which i s p r e s e n t here arid which Blake repeats elsewhere i s the c o n f u s i o n of the order o f the stages of p r o d u c t i o n . In.the union of v i s u a l and a u d i t o r y images which c l o s e s t h i s account of the p r o c e s s o f p r o d u c t i o n , Blake a l l u d e s t o both the p r i n t i n g of a page near the end of the p r i n t i n g process and to the e t c h i n g of a c o p p e r p l a t e near the b e g i n n i n g . C l e a r l y the e n t i r e m e t a p h o r i c a l passage r e -p r e s e n t s the p r i n t i n g p r o c e s s , and the " v o i c e s of t e r r o r " which are heard i n the mountains and h i l l s o f i c e and snow r e p r e s e n t the newly p r i n t e d t e x t on s t a c k s of white paper. The i d e n t i -f i c a t i o n of t h i s passage as a metaphoric r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the p r i n t i n g p rocess i s supported by the h a r v e s t imagery developed i n i t : the v o i c e s are l i k e n e d t o "thunders of autumn,/ When the c l o u d b l a z e s over the h a r v e s t s " (U3:34&35, E 70) [ i t a l i c s mine] . T h i s a s s o c i a t i o n of the p r i n t i n g p rocess w i t h h a r v e s t imagery runs throughout Blake's p o e t r y and f i n d s i t s f u l f i l m e n t i n the l a t e r M i l t o n i n which the union of paper and i n k metamorphoses i n t o the union of wheat and grapes/ bread and wine i n the apoca-l y p t i c "Great Harvest and V i n t a g e " a t the end of the poem. Thus the imagery of the passage s e t s i t f i r m l y w i t h i n Blake's t y p i c a l h a n d l i n g of the h a r v e s t of h i s e t e r n a l forms a t the moment of p r i n t i n g them. But these are thunders of autumn, and t h e r e i s a c l o u d b l a z i n g over the h a r v e s t . As I w i l l go on t o show, the image of the thunderstorm, of the f l a s h of l i g h t n i n g i n dark c l o u d s , i s used r e p e a t e d l y i n Blake's landscape of the c r e a t i v e process t o r e p r e s e n t not only the moment of Apocalypse as i n M i l t o n , but 22 a l s o the e t c h i n g of a p l a t e : the f i e r y a c t i o n of the a c i d b e i n g r e p r e s e n t e d by a f i e r y f l a s h o f l i g h t n i n g and the p l a t e b e i n g r e p r e s e n t e d a l t e r n a t i v e l y by a dark c l o u d or a l a r g e c l i f f which the l i g h t n i n g s t r i k e s . ^ Thus, the o r d e r of the stages of p r o d u c t i o n i s confused i n t h i s passage f o r j u s t as we reach the end of t h i s account, the images unexpectedly c a s t us back to the begi n n i n g of the process o f p r o d u c t i o n . (This p a t t e r n i n f a c t p a r a l l e l s Blake's own experi e n c e o f e t c h i n g and p r i n t i n g which moved him c o n t i n u a l l y from engraving t a b l e t o a c i d bath t o p r i n t i n g press and back again as p l a t e a f t e r p l a t e was f i r s t etched and then t r i a l - p r o o f e d i n an e n d l e s s c y c l e o f a c t i v i t y . ) T h i s c o n f u s i o n or s h i f t i n g o f the proper sequence of the stages o f p r o d u c t i o n i s a c t u a l l y b e t t e r understood as the con-f l a t i o n o f d i s t i n c t stages i n the p r o c e s s o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g , and i n f a c t proves to be one of the hallmar k s o f t h i s l e v e l o f Blake's p o e t r y . ^ T h i s c o n f l a t i o n i s a f u n c t i o n of the condensing and o v e r l a p p i n g tendency o f the n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y of the poem and i t i s not u n t i l the p r i m o r d i a l mass of Chapter I explodes i n t o the r e s t of the poem t h a t t h i s d e n s e l y compacted group of metaphors i s u n r a v e l l e d and the stages o f p r o d u c t i o n become more i n d i v i d u a l l y d i s t i n c t and more f u l l y developed. However, once we a p p r e c i a t e i t s p o s i t i o n as an i n t e g r a l p a r t of Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors, and once we are f a m i l i a r w i t h the t y p i c a l voca-b u l a r y and imagery a s s o c i a t e d w i t h these metaphors, the r e c o g -n i t i o n of t h i s p a t t e r n becomes an a i d i n unscrambling some of the more d i f f i c u l t metaphoric passages. 23 Chapter I ends, then, w i t h the imagery p o i n t i n g the reader back t o the b e g i n n i n g of the c y c l e of p r o d u c t i o n , and i n f u l f i l m e n t of t h e n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y i n v o l v i n g r epeated and i n c r e a s i n g l y e l a b o r a t e r e n d i t i o n s o f the p r i m a l F a l l , the b e g i n n i n g of Chapter I I does i n f a c t move us back i n time t o the i n i t i a l moments of Chapter I . However, s i n c e the poem i s g r a v i t a t i n g towards a more h i s t o r i c ( i . e . temporal and genera-t i v e ) v i s i o n of the F a l l , t h i s account i s l e s s a b s t r a c t from the o u t s e t and p r o j e c t s a much c l e a r e r sense of a p h y s i c a l l o c a l e as a stage f o r i t s events. In terms of these metaphors, t h i s r e s u l t s i n a more extended and e l a b o r a t e account of the process of p r o d u c t i o n t h a t i s t h e r e f o r e more coherent and more e a s i l y r e c o g n i z e d . In a d d i t i o n , Blake takes the o p p o r t u n i t y of expanding on s e v e r a l themes t h a t he w i l l develop i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h h i s metaphors. One of these i s h i s c o n s i s t e n t i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the process of p r o d u c t i o n w i t h the Apocalypse. For reasons t h a t we w i l l e x p l o r e i n d e t a i l l a t e r , Blake v a r i o u s l y i d e n t i f i e s e i t h e r the e t c h i n g of the p l a t e or the i m p r e s s i n g of the paper by the p l a t e w i t h the moment of Apocalypse s i n c e these a c t i o n s both l e a d t o and are metaphors of the improvement of the s p i r i t u a l p e r c e p t i o n of the reader t h a t e f f e c t i v e l y consumes the s u r f a c e appearance of o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y f o r t h a t p e r c e i v e r — h e n c e the "end of the world." And hence the "sound of the trumpet" a t the s t a r t of t h i s m e t a p h o r i c a l account of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g t h a t on the s u r f a c e n a r r a t i v e p a r a d o x i c a l l y announces the c r e a t i o n 24 o f the m a t e r i a l w o r l d by U r i z e n , the c r e a t i o n o f o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y by the p o i n t o f view t h a t U r i z e n r e p r e s e n t s : E a r t h was n o t : nor g l o b e s o f a t t r a c t i o n • • • • • Death was n o t , but e t e r n a l l i f e sprung The sound o f a trumpet the heavens Awoke & v a s t c l o u d s o f b l o o d r o l l ' d Round the dim rocks o f U r i z e n . . . (U3:36-42, E 70) We e n t e r t h i s account a t the moment o f the i n k i n g o f a p l a t e . The " r o c k s o f U r i z e n , " o f c o u r s e , r e p r e s e n t the c o p p e r p l a t e . (We w i l l l a t e r see t h i s craggy group o f images grow t o i n c l u d e caves , c l i f f s , and the s i d e s o f c l i f f s o r " s t e e p s . " ) " B l o o d " j o i n s w i n e , mud, and e s s e n t i a l l y any l i q u i d t h a t f lows over the " r o c k s " t h a t w i l l answer f o r i n k . T h e r e f o r e the " v a s t c l o u d s o f b l o o d [that r o l l ] / Round the dim r o c k s o f U r i z e n " r e p r e s e n t s the i n k i n g o f a p l a t e i n a n t i c i p a t i o n o f the p r i n t i n g o f a page t h a t o c c u r s i n the f o l l o w i n g v e r s e . 1 ! A t the s t a r t o f v e r s e 3, once a g a i n the trumpet b l a s t s and words suddenly appear on the b l a n k shee t s o f p a p e r : S h r i l l the t rumpet : & myr i ad s o f E t e r n i t y , Muster around the b l e a k d e s a r t s Now f i l l ' d w i t h c l o u d s , darknes s & waters Tha t r o l l ' d p e r p l e x ' d l a b r i n g & u t t e r ' d Words a r t i c u l a t e , b u r s t i n g i n thunder s Tha t r o l l ' d on the tops o f h i s mountains (U3:44-45 , E 70) In t h i s tumultuous c o n f u s i o n o f sound and a c t i o n , t h e r e i s the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a s s o c i a t i o n o f the work ings o f the r o l l i n g p r e s s w i t h the rumble o f r o l l i n g thunder and the same movement towards human words t h a t suddenly sound i n a f a m i l i a r m e t a p h o r i c a l l a n d -scape o f dark and stormy c l o u d s r o l l i n g t h r o u g h a b l e a k expanse 25 of white and formless l a n d . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c c o n f l a t i o n o f d i s t i n c t stages o f p r o d u c t i o n i s a l s o p r e s e n t s i n c e no d i s -t i n c t i o n i s made between the i n k i n g p r o c e s s and the process of p r i n t i n g a p l a t e : i n v e r s e 2 the p l a t e i s i n k e d and im-mediately afterwards i n ve r s e 3 we d i s c o v e r t h a t "the blea k d e s a r t s " have a l r e a d y been " f i l l ' d w i t h c l o u d s , darkness and waters." I t i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same p a t t e r n , the same l a n d -scape, and the same event as i n Chapter I , t o l d — t h i s time w i t h g r e a t e r coherence and a g r e a t e r sense o f p h y s i c a l r e a l i t y . T h i s account opens w i t h the e e r i e s i l e n c e t h a t precedes c r e a t i o n and although i t i s punctuated by the s h r i l l b l a s t o f the trumpet, i t adheres t o the pa r a d i g m a t i c t r a n s i t i o n from s i l e n c e through the r o l l i n g o f thunder and i n t o a r t i c u l a t e human u t t e r a n c e . But now, f o r the f i r s t time i n the poem, we are allowed t o hear the content of t h a t speech; the p r i m o r d i a l mass has expanded s u f f i c i e n t l y t o p r e s e n t i n d e t a i l what p r e -v i o u s l y was o n l y mentioned i n p a s s i n g . I t i s U r i z e n ' s v o i c e we hear, and as he speaks he i n t e r r u p t s the n a r r a t i v e l i n e of the poem and takes us back i n time i n t o the depths of p r e - e x i s t e n c e t o r e l a t e h i s e a r l i e s t c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s . He t e l l s us of h i s i n i t i a l b a t t l e w i t h the elements t h a t u l t i m a t e l y l e d t o the slow formation o f the u n i v e r s e t h a t we have been o b s e r v i n g i n the poem: F i r s t I fought w i t h the f i r e ; consum'd Inwards, i n t o a deep world w i t h i n : A v o i d immense, w i l d dark & deep, Where n o t h i n g was; Natures wide womb^.S (U4:14-17, E 70) 26 Again, Blake i s i n t e n t i o n a l l y obscure, f o r the antecedent o f the " I " t h a t f i g h t s w i t h the f i r e i s both U r i z e n as Blake who, at a very e a r l y stage must work wit h a c i d as he produces h i s books, and U r i z e n as the c o p p e r p l a t e i t s e l f which must do b a t t l e w i t h the f i e r y a c i d or be completely consumed. U r i z e n ' s b a t t l e i s , then, the e t c h i n g of the c o p p e r p l a t e which i s recounted i n r e t r o s p e c t because, a c c o r d i n g t o the f i c t i o n of the poem, U r i z e n was not y e t a r t i c u l a t e and c o u l d not t e l l us of these events u n t i l a f t e r the dark waters b u r s t i n t o a r t i c u l a t e thunder over the d e s e r t s and h i l l s of snow.^ The i n t e r e s t i n g aspect o f t h i s account i s t h a t , i n a t y p i c a l Blakean i n v e r s i o n of the i n n e r w o r l d and the o u t e r , the movement i n t o the p l a t e as i t i s consumed by the a c i d becomes a movement i n t o a v a s t expanse: "a deep w o r l d w i t h i n : / A v o i d im-mense..." (U4:15-16, E 7 0 ) . T h i s " v o i d " t h a t i s reached i n the process of e t c h i n g r e c u r s again and again i n v i r t u a l l y every m e t a p h o r i c a l account of the e t c h i n g p r o c e s s . P r o p e r l y speaking, the c o p p e r p l a t e i t s e l f i s not the v o i d and n e i t h e r i s the a c i d bath. The v o i d seems to be a metaphor f o r , s p e c i f i c a l l y ^ the i n t e r i o r of the c o p p e r p l a t e , the i n f i n i t e spaces w i t h i n i t t h a t are reached thx*ough the consuming a c t i o n of the a c i d . - ^ In terms of the appearance of the p r i n t e d page, t h i s v o i d can be under-stood as the white formless spaces t h a t open i n t o i n f i n i t y between the f i n i t e and d e f i n i n g l i n e s p r i n t e d from the s u r f a c e of the c o p p e r p l a t e . Such an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h i s r e c u r r i n g metaphor i s supported i n the c o n t i n u a t i o n of our almost 27 microscopic voyage int o the elemental world of an etching copperplate as Urizen, probably with the help of an acid r e s i s t , i s saved from the void, repels the vast waves of acid, and r i s e s on a wide world of s o l i d obstruction ( i . e . the surface of the copperplate): And s e l f balanc'd stretch'd o'er the void I alone, even II the winds merciless Bound... [an a l l u s i o n to "the black winds of perturbation 1' of Chapter I?] ...strong I r e p e l l ' d The vast waves, & arose on the waters A wide world of s o l i d obstruction (U4:18-23, E 71) Urizen's account of the etching process ends here, and looking back at the l a s t stanza of Chapter I, we notice another pattern of p a r a l l e l development; i n f a c t , Chapter I, verse 6 adumbrates Chapter II i n l i t t l e . Verse 6 moves through an account of the p r i n t i n g process and ends with a reference to the etching of a plate, and Chapter I I , following the same pattern of development, recounts the i d e n t i c a l processes of production, although the metaphorical landscape has been reworked completely. At t h i s point, the metaphorical depths of the poem r i s e to the surface as Blake/Urizen addresses the reader from his P r i n t i n g House i n H e l l and states quite openly: Here alone I i n books formd of metals Have written the secrets of wisdom The secrets of dark contemplation By fightings and c o n f l i c t s dire (U4:24-27, E 71) After t h i s deceptively obvious revelation of his "secrets of wisdom," Blake/Urizen continues his retrospective account of the stages of production that preceded the p r i n t i n g of the plate 28 that opened the chapter: Lo! I unfold my darkness: and on This rock, place with strong hand the Book Of eternal brass, written in my solitude. (U4:31-33, E 71) This passage, which is at the end of Urizen*s description of his earliest creative activity, recounts the last act before an impression is pulled: the laying of the f u l l y etched copper-plate ("the Book/ Of eternal brass") on the bed of the plate press (represented here as a rock). 1^ Thus, by the end of Chapter II Urizen*s retrospective account of his earliest creative act i v i t i e s has brought us to the point at which the chapter began and we are ready to resume the narrative of pro-duction that had been interrupted by his speech. Urizen had begun to speak just at the point when the plate had been inked and sent through the press; at that point the text came into being and provided Urizen with a medium for recounting his i n i t i a l creative activity. Once his speech has ended, the narrative returns to the point of interruption and describes Blake/Urizen at the other end of the plate press l i f t i n g up the copperplate that had been inked and sent through the press at the start of Chapter II:. The voice ended, they saw his pale visage Emerge from the darkness ;^ -5 his hand On the rock of eternity unclasping The Book of brass (U4:41-44, E 71) In typical Blakean fashion, this passage operates in several ways at once. It is_ a description of Blake/Urizen as craftsman l i f t i n g the copperplate from the bed of the plate press, but i t 29 i s a l s o a d e s c r i p t i o n of U r i z e n as a p a l e , f r e s h l y p r i n t e d page of The Book of U r i z e n emerging i n t o view as i t i s l i f t e d o f f of the dark c o p p e r p l a t e b e f o r e the p l a t e i s removed from the p r e s s . But t h i s i s not the p r i n t i n g c f j u s t any page, f o r the above l i n e i s the t e x t u a l r e f e r e n t f o r the d e s i g n on the f a c i n g page (see f i g u r e 2 ) . 1 ^ Thus we r e a l i z e t h a t the "pale v i s a g e / [Emerging] from the darkness; h i s hand . . . u n c l a s p i n g / The Book of b r a s s " i s a d e s c r i p t i o n of U r i z e n ' s f a c e on p l a t e 5 as i t i s l i f t e d o f f of the copper, and i t has been t h i s p l a t e t h a t we have f o l l o w e d through the e t c h i n g , i n k i n g , and p r i n t i n g s t a g e s . (Urizen's face here i s p a l e because inked only and not y e t coloured.) Furthermore, as a p i c t o r i a l r e i n f o r c e m e n t of the metaphors we have been d i s c u s s i n g , the p o s i t i o n of U r i z e n ' s book and the echo of i t s pages by the columns of Blake's t e x t s u r e l y asks us to i d e n t i f y U r i z e n ' s book t h a t i s b e i n g c r e a t e d i n the poem w i t h The Book of U r i z e n t h a t c o n t a i n s the s t o r y of t h a t c r e a t i o n . T h i s type of c l o s e i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between the events i n the t e x t and the de s i g n on the page r e v e a l s Blake's very s e l f - c o n s c i o u s h a n d l i n g of t h i s theme, i n which the book i n the reader's hand i s f r e q u e n t l y presented as the product of the metaphoric p r i n t i n g process recounted i n the t e x t . Indeed, i t i s a g e n e r a l t r u t h , although not a hard-bound r u l e , t h a t Blake u s u a l l y d e s c r i b e s i n the metaphors the s p e c i f i c techniques o f p r o d u c t i o n t h a t were used i n producing the p a r t i c u l a r poem t h a t t r a n s m i t s those metaphors. " By the end of the f i r s t verse of Chapter I I I , then, the 30 p r i n t e d page has emerged from the p r e s s , been separated from the p l a t e , and i s now ready f o r the next stage i n the process of p r o d u c t i o n . At t h i s p o i n t , the tone of the poem s h i f t s d r a m a t i c a l l y as, i n "Rage, f u r y , [and] i n t e n s e i n d i g n a t i o n . . . c a t a r a c t s of f i r e b l o o d & g a l l [and] whirlwinds of sulphurous smoke" (U4:45-47, E 71) sweep over the s t a r k landscape of the poem. On the s u r f a c e n a r r a t i v e , t h i s i s the s t a r t of U r i z e n * s tumultuous c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y which g i v e s f i n a l form t o the landscape of h i s newly-created world. On the metaphoric l e v e l o f book p r o d u c t i o n t h a t we have been e x p l o r i n g , l o g i c demands t h a t t h i s sudden b u r s t of c o l o u r i n t o the metaphoric landscape r e p r e s e n t s the next stage i n the process of p r o d u c t i o n : the p a i n t i n g of the p l a t e s . And indeed, the f u r y and i n t e n s e i n -d i g n a t i o n which dominate t h i s passage can be seen as an e f f e c t i v e d r a m a t i z a t i o n of the tremendous upsurge of c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y as B l a k e / U r i z e n b r i n g s h i s e t e r n a l forms t o l i f e and f i n a l c r e a t i o n by adding c o l o u r and tone t o the p r i n t e d page: ...Rage s i e z ' d the s t r o n g Rage, f u r y , i n t e n s e i n d i g n a t i o n In c a t a r a c t s of f i r e b l o o d & g a l l In w h i r l w i n d s of sulphurous smoke: And enormous forms of energy; • • • • • In l i v i n g c r e a t i o n s appear'd In the flames of e t e r n a l f u r y . (U4:44-5:2, E 71) Again, ten l i n e s l a t e r , flames and b l o o d pour through U r i z e n * s s t a r k landscape of dark d e s e r t s (paper now darkened by ink) as another page i s p a i n t e d : The r o a r i n g f i r e s ran o'er the heav'ns In w h i r l w i n d s & c a t a r a c t s of b l o o d And o'er the dark d e s a r t s of U r i z e n F i r e s pour t h r o ' the v o i d on a l l s i d e s On U r i z e n s s e l f - b e g o t t e n armies. (U5:12-16, E 72)17 U r i z e n ' s s e l f - b e g o t t e n armies (the m u l t i t u d e of impressions which can be p u l l e d from a s i n g l e c o p p e r p l a t e , i . e . U r i z e n ) , are thus brought to l i f e by the c o l o u r f u l , p ouring f l a m e s / p a i n t , and, taken i n i t s e l f , t h i s r e a d i n g produces a demonstrably co-herent e x t e n s i o n of the process of p r o d u c t i o n which we have f o l l o w e d from the o r i g i n a l e t c h i n g of the p l a t e . There i s , n e v e r t h e l e s s , the m a n i f e s t problem t h a t Blake has a p p a r e n t l y s h i f t e d the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l value of one of h i s metaphors: flames elsewhere c o n s i s t e n t l y r e p r e s e n t the e t c h i n g a c i d , whereas here the r o a r i n g f i r e s r e p r e s e n t the i n t e n s e l y c r e a t i v e a c t of p a i n t i n g a p r i n t e d page. But by i d e n t i f y i n g flames as a c i d , i t a l s o makes sense to say t h a t " l i v i n g c r e a t i o n s appear'd/ In the flames of e t e r n a l f u r y " (U5:l&2, E 71) because, j u s t as the designs on the page are g i v e n depth and l i f e by the a c t i o n of the p a i n t / f l a m e s , the d e s i g n emerges and i s l i t e r a l l y g i v e n depth on the c o p p e r p l a t e by the a c t i o n of the a c i d / f l a m e s . In o t h e r words, a c i d i s t o c o p p e r p l a t e as p a i n t i s t o page and here, as almost everywhere i n Blake's p o e t r y , i t i s a mistake t o demand an e x c l u s i v e r e a d i n g of a passage, f o r elements of both processes of p r o d u c t i o n are i n f a c t p r e s e n t i n t h i s s e c t i o n o f v e r s e . A n d the combination i s not a c c i d e n t a l or i n s p i r e d simply by the n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y of the poem, f o r Blake c o n s i s -t e n t l y i d e n t i f i e s the e t c h i n g of a p l a t e and the p a i n t i n g of a page; these are h i s most f r e q u e n t l y c o n f l a t e d stages of p r o d u c t i o n , 32 a f a c t which p o i n t s t o an important element of Blake's a r t i s t i c v i s i o n — t h e e s s e n t i a l u n i t y of conception w i t h which he r e -garded both c o p p e r p l a t e and p r i n t e d page. 1^ Consequently, much of the imagery and vocabulary of v e r s e s 4 and 5 demands t h a t we see a d e s c r i p t i o n of the e t c h i n g of a copper-p l a t e as w e l l as the p a i n t i n g of a p r i n t e d p l a t e : And o'er the dark d e s a r t s of U r i z e n F i r e s pour t h r o ' the v o i d on a l l s i d e s On U r i z e n s s e l f - b e g o t t e n armies. But no l i g h t from the f i r e s , a l l was darkness In the flames of E t e r n a l f u r y (U5:12-18, E 72) Although a l l modern commentators assume out of hand t h a t Blake etched h i s p l a t e s i n an a c i d bath, t h e r e i s i n f a c t s t r o n g evidence t o suggest t h a t Blake edged the p l a t e s w i t h a w a l l of wax and poured the a c i d onto the copper.^° T h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s coupled w i t h the presence of another mysterious " v o i d , " which occurs i n almost every o t h e r account of the e t c h i n g p r o c e s s . Furthermore, as the f i r e s and v o i d combine t o c r e a t e a metaphoric account o f the e t c h i n g of a p l a t e , U r i z e n ' s armies suddenly appear. As we s h a l l see, the l i n e s of t e x t cn the p l a t e are f r e q u e n t l y a l l u d e d t o as U r i z e n ' s armies or thunderous w a r r i o r s , o f t e n complete w i t h c h a r i o t s , e lephants, banners, and even c a s t l e s as i n The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l p l a t e 26, t h i s l a t t e r conglomeration of images r e p r e s e n t i n g the d e s i g n as opposed t o the more regimented and l i n e a r f i l e s of t e x t . (Cf. U r i z e n ' s "ten thousands of thunders/ Rang'd i n gloom'd a r r a y " and s t r e t c h e d out as f o r b a t t l e i n Chapter I.) S i g n i f i c a n t l y , 33 U r i z e n ' s armies most f r e q u e n t l y march through Blake's f i g u r a t i v e landscape a t j u s t the p o i n t when the p l a t e i s exposed t o the a c i d and the "thunderous w a r r i o r s " begin t o be etched i n t o i t s s u r f a c e and thus "appear" t o our view. But perhaps the most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c r e f e r e n c e to e t c h i n g a c i d i n t h i s passage l i e s i n Blake's a d a p t a t i o n of M i l t o n ' s dark flames. 3lake o b v i o u s l y enjoyed the symbolic p o t e n t i a l of the p a r a d o x i c a l l y c l e a r and watery, y e t consuming and h e a t - g e n e r a t i n g a c i d , and h i s most prominent metaphor f o r the a c i d i s l i q u i d rlame t h a t produces heat but no l i g h t . B lake goes on i n v e r s e 6 to make the c o n f l a t i o n of p r o -cesses y e t more e x p l i c i t : In f i e r c e anguish & quenchless flames To the d e s a r t s and rocks He ran r a g i n g To h i d e , but He c o u l d not: combining He dug mountains & h i l l s i n v a s t s t r e n g t h He p i l e d them i n i n c e s s a n t labour (U5:19-23, E 72) [ i t a l i c s mine] Thus, i n the f u r y of c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y B l a k e / U r i z e n a p p l i e s the polysemous flames to both p r i n t e d page and c o p p e r p l a t e . As a c i d , the quenchless flames a t t a c k the r o c k / c o p p e r p l a t e and by r i f t i n g i t s s u r f a c e c r e a t e the h i l l s and v a l l e y s of the r e l i e f p l a t e landscape t h a t w i l l become more f a m i l i a r as we examine other poems. As p a i n t , the same, quenchless flames are a p p l i e d t o the desarts/pages, b r i n g i n g the designs t o l i f e and the book nearer t o completion. As page a f t e r page i s p a i n t e d , they are p i l e d by B l a k e / U r i z e n back i n t o the mountains and h i l l s t h a t now c o n s t i t u t e the completed book. As we reach the end of t h i s extended account of the process 34 o f p r o d u c t i o n , the f i r e s of U r i z e n ' s c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y g r a d u a l l y subside u n t i l he i s l e f t "hoary, and age-broke, and aged,/ In d e s p a i r and the shadows of death" (U5:26&27, E 72) U r i z e n as poem undergoes a s i m i l a r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n as the " E t e r n a l Form" o f the poem t h a t once e x i s t e d only i n Blake's i m a g i n a t i o n begins to p e t r i f y i n t o i t s f i n a l p h y s i c a l form as the l i m i t of i t s " f a l l " i n t o m a t e r i a l i t y i s reached. T h i s p o i n t i s analogous t o the f i n a l a c t i n the p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n of a book, the e n c l o s i n g o f the pages by a hard cover, a p p r o p r i a t e l y d e s c r i b e d by Blake as the p e t r i f a c t i o n of a r o c k - l i k e s h e l l or r o o f around the newly-created world of Urizen. And a r o o f , v a s t p e t r i f i c around, On a l l s i d e s He fram'd: l i k e a womb; Where thousands of r i v e r s . . . ...pour down the mountains t o c o o l The e t e r n a l f i r e s b e a t i n g without l i k e a b l a c k globe • • • * • The v a s t world of U r i z e n appear*d (U5:28-37, E 7 2) The w o r l d of U r i z e n which U r i z e n has c r e a t e d , which i s a l s o The  Book of U r i z e n which Blake has c r e a t e d , thus appears i n f i n i s h e d form and t h i s account of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g which began at the s t a r t of Chapter I I now ends. T h i s i n i t i a l p a t t e r n of the F a l l recounted i n Chapter I - I I I i s r e h e a r s e d and r e p e a t e d i n v a r y i n g forms i n the remaining chapters o f The Book of U r i z e n . But as the poem expands outward from the p r i m o r d i a l mass w i t h which i t began, the i n i t i a l c r e a t i o n myth i s obscured and almost submerged by the d e t a i l s of the v a r i a -t i o n s t h a t are superimposed upon i t . So, too, the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g which so dominated the opening cha p t e r s are 35 e s s e n t i a l l y l o s t i n the r e s t of the poem, although the b a s i c imagery and g e n e r a l p a t t e r n s of Blake's process of p r o d u c t i o n are s t i l l d i s c e r n i b l e as the u n d e r l y i n g i n f o r m i n g p r i n c i p l e s of much of the remaining " n a r r a t i v e . " In the f i r s t reworking of the p r i m a l F a l l sequence from another p e r s p e c t i v e , Los appears and the concept of d u a l i t y , o f d i s t i n c t s u b j e c t and o b j e c t , p r e c i p i t a t e s i n t o the poem. T h i s s o l v e s the m e t h o d o l o g i c a l problem Blake had f a c e d i n weaving the account of a c r e a t i o n i n t o the i n t e n s e l y i n t r o s p e c t i v e sub-j e c t i v i t y o f the opening c h a p t e r s . " U r i z e n " i s no longer r e q u i r e d t o r e p r e s e n t both c r e a t o r and c r e a t u r e , and, a c c o r -d i n g l y , when Los appears i n the poem he subsumes under h i s i d e n t i t y Blake's r o l e as c r e a t i v e a r t i s t , l e a v i n g U r i z e n f r e e t o r e p r e s e n t o n l y The Book of U r i z e n i n i t s v a r i o u s stages of p h y s i c a l e v o l u t i o n . Thus, when Los appears, U r i z e n ' s r e c e n t c r e a t i o n o f a world a p a r t suddenly becomes the r e n d i n g of U r i z e n away from Los and Los i s now the c r e a t o r who g i v e s form t o the "obscure separation."21 As the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of Blake the poet, Los i s the " E t e r n a l Prophet"; as the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f Blake the craftsman, he i s a Vulcan f i g u r e who g i v e s form t o U r i z e n by b i n d i n g him w i t h " f e t t e r s o f i r o n " and "sodors o f b r a s s " j u s t as Blake g i v e s form t o U r i z e n by b i n d i n g i t s i m a g i n a t i v e form i n t o the co p p e r p l a t e and, u l t i m a t e l y , leaves of paper. The b i n d i n g o f U r i z e n which f o l l o w s the appearance of Los at the end of Chapter I I I i s the same event, the same f a l l i n t o m a t e r i a l i t y t h a t i s recounted i n Chapters I - I I I . As a l e s s 36 d i s t i n c t m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the metaphors o f p r o d u c t i o n , the b i n d i n g o f U r i z e n i s super imposed on the g e n e r a l p a t t e r n o f the p r o g r e s s i v e s tages o f the e t c h i n g o f a c o p p e r p l a t e . 2 2 Whereas i n the opening c h a p t e r s , the p r o c e s s o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g was m e t a p h o r i c a l l y p r e s e n t e d t h r o u g h imagery o f th e c r e a t i o n o f the m a t e r i a l u n i v e r s e , h e r e , as i n some l a t e r poems we w i l l examine, the metaphors are r e a l i z e d i n an account o f the f o r m a t i o n o f a human body. A l t h o u g h the f o r m a t i o n o f U r i z e n ' s image on a c o p p e r p l a t e i n C h a p t e r IV(b) can be under s tood i n terms o f r e l i e f e t c h i n g , i t i s more e f f e c t i v e i f seen as an e x t e n s i o n o f the metaphors o f i n t a g l i o e t c h i n g p r e s e n t a t the s t a r t o f Chapter I . S i g n i -f i c a n t l y , i n v e r s e s 2 and 3 we are t o l d t h a t as U r i z e n ' s b i n d i n g b e g i n s , he i s obscured by a " s u r g e i n g / S u l p h u r e o u s l i q u i d " (U10: 13&14, E 74) w h i c h s e t t l e s i n t o a s u l p h u r o u s , foaming l a k e . T h i s i s the man-made l a k e o f a c i d which c o v e r s the p l a t e d u r i n g the e t c h i n g p r o c e s s . When an i n t a g l i o d e s i g n i s e t c h e d , the most p r o m i n e n t , d a r k e s t , and h e a v i e s t l i n e s s t a r t b i t i n g f i r s t and the d e t a i l o f the d e s i g n i s then g r a d u a l l y f i l l e d out as the f i n e r l i n e s o f the p l a t e b e g i n t o b i t e . T h i s p a t t e r n can be compared t o the e a r l y emergence o f U r i z e n ' s s p i n e and r i b s which are l a t e r " f l e s h e d out " by the a d d i t i o n o f o r g a n s , l i m b s , and f l e s h i n the cour se o f C h a p t e r I V . ^ 3 T h u s , a l t h o u g h i t f u n c t i o n s now p r i m a r i l y as an o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r che n a r r a t i v e , the presence o f B l a k e ' s t e c h n i q u e s o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g can s t i l l be r e c o g n i z e d as an i m p o r t a n t e lement i n t h i s l a t e r p a r t o f the poem. 37 As The Book of U r i z e n continues t o move f u r t h e r from i t s mythic source and c l o s e r t o the l i n e a r e x t e n s i o n of h i s t o r y w i t h which i t ends, these echoes o f Blake's technique become more s p o r a d i c . They do emerge once agai n , however, a t the c r u c i a l p o i n t o f the next v e r s i o n of the F a l l i n Chapter V. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t i n Blake's treatment o f them, the p h y s i c a l aspects of book r e p r o d u c t i o n become informed w i t h s e x u a l symbolism. In the p r i n t i n g of a page, the p l a t e i s seen as the a c t i v e male p r i n c i p l e who fecundates the p a s s i v e female paper as they momentarily become one i n the consummation of the c r e a t i v e p rocess t h a t .takes p l a c e i n the dark and mysterious bed o f the p l a t e p r e s s . Again, these i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s are more f u l l y e x p l o r e d i n other poems, but the r e c u r r e n t image of the white female page at the c l i m a c t i c moment of s e p a r a t i o n from the p l a t e does f i g u r e i m p o r t a n t l y i n Blake's p r e s e n t a t i o n o f Enitharmon's s e p a r a t i o n from Los: A female form t r e m b l i n g and pale Waves b e f o r e h i s deathy face A l l E t e r n i t y shudderd a t s i g h t Of the f i r s t female now separate P a l e as a cl o u d o f snow Waving b e f o r e the face of Los (U18:7-12, E 77) The imagery and h a n d l i n g of the metaphors i s t y p i c a l o f Blake's other accounts of the process of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g . Although I am not s u g g e s t i n g t h a t t h i s passage i s p a r t of a coherent account of book r e p r o d u c t i o n , i t i s t r u e t h a t the elements of Blake's p r i n t i n g techniques have s t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e d Blake i n h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h i s event. In f a c t , the p a t t e r n s o f 38 i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g form p a r t of the f o u n d a t i o n on which the l a t e r events of The Book of U r i z e n are s e t . A study of The Book of U r i z e n i n terms of the metaphors o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g i s p a r t i c u l a r l y r e v e a l i n g because t h a t poem c o n t a i n s most of the vocabulary, imagery, and p a r a d i g m a t i c t r a n s i t i o n s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s aspect of Blake's work. S i n c e Blake i s q u i t e c o n s i s t e n t i n h i s h a n d l i n g of t h i s l e v e l of h i s p o e t r y , the t r i c k of r e a d i n g the metaphors i s l a r g e l y a matter o f i d e n t i f y i n g the repeated vocabulary and imagery, and r e c o g -n i z i n g r e c u r r e n t p a t t e r n s such as the t y p i c a l c o n f l a t i o n and r e -o r d e r i n g of the stages of p r o d u c t i o n and the repeated movement from s i l e n c e t o speech and from pause t o a c t i v i t y . An awareness o f these elements of the p o e t r y s e t s the f o u n d a t i o n of the next chapter as we t r a c e the development of Blake's use of these metaphors from h i s e a r l i e r p o e t r y up t o the mature p e r i o d of The Book o f U r i z e n . CHAPTER I I I THE POETRY BEFORE URIZEN One advantage o f r e c o g n i z i n g the v o c a b u l a r y and r h e t o r i c a l p a t t e r n s which B l a k e t y p i c a l l y uses when h a n d l i n g the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g i s t h a t w i t h t h i s b a s i c f a m i l i a r i t y , one can then p r o c e e d t o i d e n t i f y and i n t e r p r e t the metaphors i n passages where they might o t h e r w i s e remain u n r e c o g n i z e d because not f u l l y d e v e l o p e d . T h i s a b i l i t y i s e s p e c i a l l y u s e f u l when examining the p o e t r y o f two w i d e l y s e p a r a t e d s tages i n B l a k e ' s p o e t i c c a r e e r . On the one hand , i n the p o e t r y produced around 1792-93, the p re sence o f these metaphors i s j u s t b e g i n n i n g t o s u r f a c e as an e lement i n B l a k e ' s p o e t r y . 1 From our vantage p o i n t and w i t h our educa ted awareness o f th e form t h a t th e metaphors w i l l u l t i m a t e l y t a k e , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o l ook back a t t h i s p o e t r y , d e t e c t the metaphors i n embryonic form, and i n e f f e c t watch as B l ake f i r s t r e c o g n i z e s and then c o n s c i o u s l y d e v e l o p s th e meta-p h o r i c p o t e n t i a l emerging o r g a n i c a l l y from out o f h i s a r t i s t i c e x p e r i e n c e . On the o t h e r h a n d , i n the l a t e r p o e t r y produced a f t e r 180 4, these metaphors l o s e t h e i r d i s t i n c t i d e n t i t y and s i n k back i n t o the s u b s t r a t a o f B l a k e ' : " p o e t r y . In o t h e r words , B l a k e f u l l y d e v e l o p s the metaphors i n h i s m i d d l e y e a r s , and a f t e r t h a t p o i n t , the metaphors become fused w i t h the f a b r i c o f h i s thought and myth , and cease to a s s e r t themselves as d i s t i n c t i v e e lements o f the p o e t r y . Once a g a i n , our knowledge o f B l a k e ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c h a n d l i n g o f the metaphors w i l l h e l p us t o r e c o g n i z e t h e i r p re sence and i n f l u e n c e i n the p o e t r y even when they are no 40 l o n g e r p r e s e n t e d i n the c o n t e x t o f an ex tended , c o h e r e n t n a r r a -t i v e o f the p r o c e s s o f book r e p r o d u c t i o n . Of c o u r s e , t h i s p r o g r e s s i o n o f B l a k e ' s use o f the metaphors o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g i s not d i v o r c e d from the o t h e r e lements o f h i s v e r s e . In f a c t , the metaphors were p r o f o u n d l y a f f e c t e d by and even r e f l e c t w i t h i n t h e i r own form the c o n c u r r e n t e x p e r i -menta t ion and development which B l a k e was p u r s u i n g i n o t h e r a spec t s o f h i s a r t and p o e t r y . Thus the development o f h i s use o f the metaphors can be viewed w i t h i n a framework o f a r t i s t i c e v o l u t i o n t h a t i n c l u d e s as i t s o t h e r two components h i s d e v e -l o p i n g myth and h i s t e c h n i c a l e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n . The i n i t i a l development o f the metaphors spans the y e a r s from 1790/91 t o 1793 and e a r l y 179 4, a p e r i o d which i n c l u d e s The Songs o f E x p e -r i e n c e , The M a r r i a g e o f Heaven and H e l l / A m e r i c a , and E u r o p e . In t h i s r e l a t i v e l y e a r l y s tage o f h i s p o e t i c c a r e e r , B l a k e was e v i d e n t a l l y q u i t e s a t i s f i e d t o l i m i t h i s book r e p r o d u c t i o n t o the t e c h n i q u e s which he had r e c e n t l y p e r f e c t e d and t h e r e i s l i t t l e e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n . 2 Meanwhile B l a k e ' s myth was a c t i v e l y e v o l v i n g and c h a n g i n g , and the metaphors o f the p roce s s o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g were a l s o g o i n g through a c o r r e s p o n d i n g e v o l u t i o n and were , i n e f f e c t , emerging from out o f h i s p h y s i c a l t e c h n i q u e s . In the c r u c i a l y e a r s o f 179 4-9 5, B l a k e ' s myth had begun t o s t a -b i l i z e , and perhaps even s o l i d i f y , i n the mature work o f The Book o f U r i z e n , The Book o f A h a n i a , and The Book o f L o s . A t t h i s p o i n t , the metaphors of h i s p r o c e s s o f p r o d u c t i o n had a l s o f u l l y emerged and s t a b i l i z e d , and y e t were s t i l l f l e x i b l e enough t o 41 encompass and r e f l e c t the i n t e n s e t e c h n i c a l e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n which Blake was p u r s u i n g i n these y e a r s . 3 (The " a r r i v a l " of the metaphors at t h i s p o i n t i n h i s p o e t i c c a r e e r may a l s o be a r e f l e c t i o n of the f a c t t h a t Blake's metaphors of the c r e a t i v e process seem t o work b e t t e r w i t h i n a p u r e l y mythic r a t h e r than a p a r t l y h i s t o r i c c o n t e x t , f o r the metaphors are more prominent and more f u l l y i n t e g r a t e d i n the U r i z e n - Ahania - Book of Los sequence than i n the more h i s t o r i c a l " c o n t i n e n t " poems o f America, Europe, and The Song of Los.) Nine or ten years l a t e r when Blake began to produce h i s next i l l u m i n a t e d poem, M i l t o n , the c o n f i g u r a t i o n had changed, again: Blake's myth was o b v i o u s l y f u l l y mature and he had r e t u r n e d to the o r i g i n a l method of r e l i e f e t c h i n g , but a t t h i s p o i n t h i s i n t e r e s t i n and use of the meta-phors changes and they d i s s o l v e as d i s t i n c t e n t i t i e s and are completely a s s i m i l a t e d i n t o what has become the f o u n d a t i o n o f h i s thought. T h i s e v o l v i n g d i a l o g u e between myth, metaphor, and t e c h n i c a l e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n serves t o remind us of the fundamental u n i t y of Blake's a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n . I t i s important t o note t h a t these metaphors emerge d i r e c t l y out of Blake's a r t i s t i c e x p e r i e n c e , and even a t t h e i r i n c e p t i o n i n an e a r l y poem l i k e "The Tyger," both metaphors and the a c t u a l techniques t h a t they embody are e n t i r e l y compatable w i t h the fundamentals.of B l a k e ' s thought. Although an e-irly work, "The Tyger" i s c l e a r l y a g r e a t poem which e a s i l y o u t s t r i p s i t s companion poems of The Songs of  Innocence and of Experience as w e l l as most of the s h o r t poems 4 2 of the E n g l i s h language. And t h i s i s l a r g e l y because of the g r e a t power bound w i t h i n the frame of a l i t t l e l y r i c , a power which i s generated because the poem i s the d i s t i l l a t i o n of a much g r e a t e r c o n c e p t i o n i n t o a s m a l l space. U n l i k e any of the other Songs, a c o r r e c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of "The Tyger" r e q u i r e s a grasp of the l a r g e r m y t h o l o g i c a l world Blake has c r e a t e d , and t h i s i s my most important concern i n d i s c u s s i n g "The Tyger" here: t o see the ways i n which the l a r g e o u t l i n e s of B l a k e ' s thought are m a n i f e s t w i t h i n the s i x stanzas of t h i s poem. We are p r i m a r i l y i n t e r e s t e d i n "The Tyger" as an e a r l y example of Blake's p e r v a d i n g concern w i t h the nature of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s and, s p e c i f i c a l l y , as an e a r l y example of the p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h a t d i s c u s s i o n through the medium of the metaphors of the phy-s i c a l a c t of c r e a t i o n . Even a c u r s o r y r e a d i n g o f "The Tyger" r e v e a l s t h a t some-t h i n g or someone i s being c r e a t e d i n the course of the poem. A more a t t e n t i v e r e a d i n g w i l l r e v e a l t h a t i t i s the t i g e r i t s e l f , the s u b j e c t and namesake of the poem, which comes i n t o b e i n g as the poem p r o g r e s s e s . There has been much s p e c u l a t i o n on the t r u e nature of the b e a s t : whether he i s i n h e r e n t l y good or i n h e r e n t l y e v i l ; a c r e a t i o n of a d e v i l , a U r i z e n i c God, o r a true God. But i t seems to me t h a t t h i s i s , i f not an unnecessary q u e s t i o n , a t l e a s t a m i s d i r e c t e d one f o r Blake s u p p l i e s abundant c l u e s as t o the nature of the t i g e r of the poem. He i s a fearsome, f e r o c i o u s , a w e - i n s p i r i n g animal which belongs i n the f o r e s t s o f the n i g h t . 43 Morton P a l e y ' s account of the t i g e r as a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the sublime wrath o f the Godhead i s apt, but I would balk a t any attempt t o m i t i g a t e and c r e a t e a v i s i o n of the t i g e r as a p r e -dominantly good or p o s i t i v e f i g u r e because d e r i v e d from the e n e r g e t i c c r e a t i o n o f an i m a g i n a t i v e God.'* The t i g e r i s essen-t i a l l y beyond good and e v i l and must remain an u n q u a l i f i e d and p r i m o r d i a l l y fearsome and f e r o c i o u s f i g u r e untouched by b a s e r matter i f i t i s t o f u l f i l the i m a g i n a t i v e r o l e Blake s e t f o r i t . At l e a s t on the s u r f a c e l e v e l , i t i s the i d e n t i t y o f the c r e a t o r , the one t h a t can a c t u a l l y m a n i f e s t and c o n t r o l the fearsome energy o f the t i g e r , t h a t i s brought i n t o q u e s t i o n : Tyger Tyger, b u r n i n g b r i g h t , In the f o r e s t s of the night? What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy f e a r f u l symmetry? ("The Tyger," 11.1-4, E 24) But u l t i m a t e l y , t h i s q u e s t i o n i s a r h e t o r i c a l one because, as Blake s c h o l a r s are becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y aware, Blake h i m s e l f i s the c r e a t o r t h a t i s f i g u r e d i n the poem. "The Tyger" i s a r e f l e x i v e comment on i t s own c r e a t i o n , and at l e a s t on one l e v e l the speaker knows v e r y w e l l t h a t he had c r e a t e d "The Tyger" and th a t he who had made "The Tyger" had a l s o made "The Lamb" a few years e a r l i e r . But r e s o l v i n g the q u e s t i o n i n t h i s way does not reduce i t s power because the impact and focus o f the q u e s t i o n remains a f t e r Blake h i m s e l f i s i d e n t i f i e d as the c r e a t o r . The r e a l q u e s t i o n posed by "The Tyger" i s focused not on c r e a t u r e or c r e a t o r , but on the nature of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s 4 4 i t s e l f . Any t r u e a r t i s t attempts t o capture and m a n i f e s t many forms of i m a g i n a t i v e energy, a l l o f which are i n f a c t f a c e t s of h i s own b e i n g . He may s t r i v e t o c r e a t e a benign lamb or he may g i v e form t o the t e r r i f i c t i g e r , but i f h i s o b j e c t i s t o frame the v i o l e n t and f e r o c i o u s energy o f the u n i v e r s e , as c r e a t o r he w i l l take s a t i s f a c t i o n and joy i n the degree t o which he s u c c e s s f u l l y captures a t e r r i f y i n g form. T h i s i s one aspect of the p a r a d o x i c a l and d i s t u r b i n g l y amoral c r e a t i v e process t h a t Blake e x p l o r e s i n "The Tyger," and indeed, the powerful and com-p e l l i n g energy o f the c r e a t i v e process which allows Blake t o b i n d the t e r r i f i c form of the t i g e r f i n a l l y p a r t i c i p a t e s i n the fearsome and a w e - i n s p i r i n g elemental nature o f i t s product, f o r i n s t a n z a 4 when the speaker asks "what dread grasp,/ Dare i t s deadly t e r r o r s c l a s p , " [ i t a l i c s mine] he i s r e f e r r i n g d i r e c t l y t o the deadly t e r r o r s of the hammer and a n v i l , t o o l s o f the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , and o n l y s e c o n d a r i l y t o the t i g e r . I f Blake i s d e s c r i b i n g the c r e a t i o n of "The Tyger" as poem as w e l l as the t i g e r as animal, then the c r e a t i o n myth p r e s e n t e d i n the poem can be seen as a p r e c u r s o r of the more s u s t a i n e d and e l a b o r a t e accounts o f the process o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g which f o l l o w as h i s myth matures. Many of the elements a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Blake's h a n d l i n g o f the metaphors are p r e s e n t : t h e r e i s the emphasis on f i r e as an important element of c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y ; the c r e a t o r of the t i g e r o b v i o u s l y a n t i c i p a t e s Blake's Los f i g u r e ; and the a c t u a l l o c a l e of the c r e a t i o n , the smithy, i s c l u t t e r e d w i t h the t o o l s t h a t Blake/Los t y p i c a l l y uses t o shape h i s copper-45 p l a t e / h a r d s t e e l : hammer, a n v i l , f i r e , and f o r g e . But more i m p o r t a n t l y , the poem can be i d e n t i f i e d with Blake's l a t e r accounts of the c r e a t i v e process because i t p r e s e n t s a n a r r a -t i v e of p r o g r e s s i v e c r e a t i o n which e n t a i l s a movement from f i e r c e , untamed elemental energy to energy bound. T h i s i s the other aspect of the p a r a d o x i c a l nature of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s t h a t i s e x p l o r e d i n "The Tyger." I t i s i m p l i c i t i n the a c t i v i t y d e s c r i b e d i n The Book of U r i z e n , and i s the c e n t r a l problem of a l l a r t i s t i c a c t i v i t y : i n Blake's eyes, the process of " c r e a t i n g " a work of a r t i s r e a l l y the process of g i v i n g p h y s i c a l form t o something which a l r e a d y e x i s t s as an e t e r n a l form i n the i m a g i -n a t i o n , f o r the "world of Imagination i s the World of E t e r n i t y . . ..[and] There E x i s t i n t h a t E t e r n a l World the Permanent R e a l i t i e s of Every Thing which we see r e f l e c t e d i n t h i s Vegetable G l a s s of Nature" (VLJ, E 545) . P a r t of the a r t i s t ' s r o l e i s t o embody t h a t e t e r n a l form i n p h y s i c a l substance. T h i s i s , i n the imagery o f the l a t e r M i l t o n , the p u t t i n g on of the c l o t h e s of g e n e r a t i o n , but t h i s i s a l s o t o f r e e z e the i m a g i n a t i v e form i n t o the s t a t i c bonds of space and t i m e — a n d t h i s i s an e s s e n t i a l l y U r i z e n i c a c t i v i t y . There i s a c l o s e p a r a l l e l between the f r e e , p r i m a l energy t h a t i s g i v e n form i n the poem and the c r e a t i v e energy i t s e l f t h a t e f f e c t s t h i s f o r m a t i o n : one i s the f i r e b u r n i n g i n the t i g e r ' s eyes, and the other i s the f i r e which the c r e a t o r s e i z e s to g i v e form t o h i s c r e a t i o n . Both i n v o l v e "deadly t e r r o r s " and both are, by i m p l i c a t i o n , p o r t i o n s of e t e r n i t y too g r e a t f o r the 46 eyes o f man. I t i s the a r t i s t ' s h e r o i c and y e t s a t a n i c job to f i g h t f i r e w i t h f i r e and f r e e z e these p o r t i o n s of e t e r n i t y i n t o p e r c e p t i b l e form. As a f u l f i l m e n t of the theme of the b i n d i n g of e t e r n a l energy i n t o f i x e d form, "The Tyger" d i s p l a y s a g e n e r a l movement from pure and e s s e n t i a l l y f ormless energy t h a t i s g r a d u a l l y r e s t r i c t e d and p a c i f i e d as i t i s bound i n t o p h y s i c a l form. T h i s i s the p a t t e r n of movement which the t i g e r i n the poem undergoes, and i t i s a p a t t e r n which Blake's con-c e p t i o n of "The Tyger" m i r r o r s as i t " f a l l s " i n t o the p h y s i c a l , o b j e c t i f i e d poem on p r i n t e d page. In s t a n z a 1, the p r i m a l energy t h a t i s t o be shaped i n t o the t i g e r and the i m a g i n a t i v e c o n c e p t i o n t h a t i s t o be shaped i n t o "The Tyger" are both f o r m l e s s : they are pure l i g h t , pure energy b u r n i n g i n an e l e m e n t a l s t a t e . As the b l a c k s m i t h / p o e t performs the p a r a d o x i c a l act of c r e a t i o n , the energy begins t o p r o g r e s s i v e l y f r e e z e i n t o a p h y s i c a l form: what was once pure energy which e x i s t e d independent of the t a i n t of m a t e r i a l i t y becomes, i n s t a n z a 2, a l i g h t which i s emanating out of two p h y s i c a l eyes. In s t a n z a 3, the c r e a t o r s e i z e s f i r e , hammer, and tongs and t w i s t s the formless energy i n t o the shape of a c o n f i n i n g p h y s i c a l h e a r t which then s t a r t s t o beat. In the next s t a n z a , a p h y s i c a l b r a i n i s f a s h i o n e d t o e n c l o s e the o n c e - f r e e energy, and i n the condensation of the poem's syntax, the t i g e r seems t o emerge from i t s p h y s i c a l c r e a t i o n complete w i t h hands and f e e t . By the end o f s t a n z a 4, the f u r y of. c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y has 47 peaked and we can assume t h a t the t i g e r as animal and as poem has been formed. Although t h i s p r o g r e s s i v e emergence of the t i g e r i n t o p h y s i c a l form i s not designed as a m e t a p h o r i c a l r e -p r e s e n t a t i o n o f Blake's e n t i r e process o f p r o d u c t i o n , i t i s c l e a r from the image of a b l a c k s m i t h a p p l y i n g . f i r e to metals and ham-mering, them i n t o form t h a t the stage of Blake's process a l l u d e d to i s the e t c h i n g of a c o p p e r p l a t e . Thus the c r e a t i o n of the t i g e r on one l e v e l adumbrates the e t c h i n g o f one of Blake's c o p p e r p l a t e s and the emergence of the image of the t i g e r on ano-t h e r , metaphoric l e v e l . In s t a n z a 5, the c r u c i a l s t a n z a of the poem, Blake p r e -sents an i m p l i c i t comment on the c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y t h a t has bound the O r c i c f f r e e energy o f s t a n z a 1 i n t o p h y s i c a l form. The image i s t h a t of Blake g a z i n g down a t the c o p p e r p l a t e i n t o which he has j u s t f r o z e n the e t e r n a l form of the t i g e r : When the s t a r s threw down t h e i r spears And water'd heaven with t h e i r t e a r s : Did he s m i l e h i s work t o see? ("The Tyger," 11.17-19, E 25) The " s t a r s " of l i n e 17 which throw down both spears ( s h a f t s o f l i g h t which are l i n e s of s i g h t ) and t e a r s are a n a t u r a l metaphor f o r eyes, i n t h i s case the eyes of the c r e a t o r Blake as he looks a t h i s c r e a t i o n and sees what he has done. The i m p l i c a t i o n s of the image are c l e a r f o r " ' s t a r s ' i n Blake's symbolism are always a s s o c i a t e d wxth U r i z e n and m a t e r i a l i s m . " T h i s passage thus a n t i c i p a t e s the unexpected i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Blake as c r e a t i v e a r t i s t w i t h Ux'izen the demon of m a t e r i a l i t y t h a t i s i m p l i c i t i n h i s h a n d l i n g of the metaphors i n The Book of U r i z e n . ^ The 48 c r e a t i o n of the t i g e r may be a sublime c r e a t i v e a c t i n which a Promethean f i g u r e dares to capture a p o r t i o n of the d i v i n e f i r e f o r m o r t a l eyes, but i n the process o f t r a n s i t i o n from flame to p h y s i c a l form, the t i g e r i s tamed. Thus Blake as a member o f the d e v i l ' s p a r t y c e r t a i n l y may have smi l e d a t h i s "capture" of a t e r r i f i c form of energy i n s t a n z a 1 and 2 , but h i s response must be q u i t e d i f f e r e n t and the q u e s t i o n more com-p l e x when he views the u l t i m a t e emergence of the bound energy as the v e r i t a b l e s t u f f e d animal perched l i k e a show dog beneath the t e x t . Here, as i n many e t h e r v.ietaphorical accounts of the c r e a -t i v e p r o c e s s ( U r i z e n , p l a t e 5 f o r example), the d e s i g n f u n c t i o n s as the v i s u a l f u l f i l m e n t or product of the n a r r a t i v e of produc-t i o n t h a t i s presented i n the t e x t . Thus the tame c a t which appears t o the eyes of man as the image on the p l a t e i s the f i n a l stage of the p r o g r e s s i v e b i n d i n g of the e t e r n a l form of energy t h a t i s recounted i n the poem. The d e s i g n t h a t i s the product of Blake's c r a f t s m a n s h i p i s the l i m i t of the t i g e r ' s f a l l and i s t h e r e f o r e o n l y a domesticated shadow of what was once bur n i n g too b r i g h t l y f o r the eyes of man. Thus I would see "The Tyger" not as an examination of the t i g e r , and not p r i m a r i l y as an examination of the c r e a t o r , but most t r u l y as an examination of the mysterious c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s i n which both c r e a t o r and t i g e r can meet i n the f e a r f u l symmetry of joy and f e a r . As a d i s c u s s i o n of the p a r a d o x i c a l nature of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , "The Tyger" r e p r e s e n t s the s t a r t of a l o n g 49 and c o n t i n u i n g concern of Blake's p o e t r y t h a t i s g e n e r a l l y presented through the v e h i c l e of h i s metaphors of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s . As an embodiment of those metaphors, the poem c l e a r l y r e p r e s e n t s an e a r l y stage i n Blake's development. The p a r a -d i g m a t i c movement i s p r e s e n t , but t h e r e i s l i t t l e sense of a n a r r a t i v e of p r o d u c t i o n r e a l i z e d , i n metaphor. Some of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c v o c a b u l a r y and s e t t i n g i s p r e s e n t , but i t i s sketchy and not p a r t of a developed, step by s t e p sequence. Although the p a r a l l e l s between the c r e a t i o n of the t i g e r and the c r e a t i o n o f the i l l u m i n a t e d p l a t e of "The Tyger" are s t r o n g enough f o r us to say t h a t they are d e l i b e r a t e , they are. not f u l l y developed. I t i s as though at t h i s p o i n t Blake had r e -cognized h i s own techniques of p r o d u c t i o n to be an a v a i l a b l e and e f f e c t i v e i n s t a n c e of the c r e a t i v e p rocess t h a t c o u l d be used t o dramatize some of h i s d i s c u s s i o n s o f a e s t h e t i c s and the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , but he had not y e t r e a l i z e d the depth t o which he c o u l d pursue the analogy. As y e t the metaphors are s t i l l more p o t e n t i a l than a c t u a l , s t i l l emerging from out o f Blake's a r t i s t i c e x p e r i e n c e , but the e s s e n t i a l v i s i o n a r y l e a p has been made, and i n the next few years Blake develops the vocabulary and s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e s which allow him to t u r n these metaphors i n t o one o f the g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e s of h i s work. The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l i s a c r u c i a l work i n p l o t t i n g the development of Blake's use of the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g . In the course of t h i s s i n g l e work, begun i n 1790 and probably completed ( c e r t a i n l y f i r s t published) i n 50 1793, the metaphors d e v e l o p from an untapped p o t e n t i a l i t y t h a t p r e d a t e s "The T y g e r " t o f u l l y - d e v e l o p e d e lements o f the p o e t r y t h a t bear an i n c r e a s i n g l y heavy p o r t i o n o f the p o e t i c b u r d e n . When the poem was f i r s t begun i n 1790, B l ake had o n l y v e r y r e -c e n t l y d e v e l o p e d and mastered h i s d i f f i c u l t t e c h n i q u e o f r e l i e f e t c h i n g (the f i r s t t r u e i l l u m i n a t e d books had been p r i n t e d the yea r b e f o r e ) , and i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h i s newly d e v e l o p e d t e c h n i q u e had no t y e t found t h e i r permanent p l a c e i n the v o c a b u l a r y o f h i s p o e t i c v i s i o n . But by' the t ime "The Song o f L i b e r t y " had been completed and e t c h e d i n 179 3, Blake; had been w o r k i n g w i t h the p r o c e s s o f r e l i e f e t c h i n g f o r f i v e y e a r s , i t s r a m i f i c a t i o n s were f u l l y i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o h i s growing myth , and he had begun t o handle the metaphors o f i l l u -minated p r i n t i n g i n a manner c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f h i s l a t e r w o r k . ^ The M a r r i a g e i s a c r u c i a l work i n t h i s r e g a r d not o n l y because the development o f the metaphors can be t r a c e d i n i t , but a l s o s i m p l y because the metaphors o f t e n emerge onto the s u r f a c e o f The M a r r i a g e , such as i n the t h i r d "Memorable F a n c y , " which beg in s p o i n t e d l y : "I was i n a P r i n t i n g house i n H e l l & saw the method i n which knowledge i s t r a n s m i t t e d . . . " (MHH 15, E 3 9 ) . In a d d i t i o n , B l a k e p o i n t s the way t o these m e t a p h o r i c a l t r e a t -ments o f h i s work w i t h e x p l i c i t r e f e r e n c e s t o h i s p r i n t i n g t e c h -n i q u e , as when he announces t o the r e a d e r t h a t he w i l l " [expunge] the n o t i o n t h a t man has a body d i s t i n c t from h i s s o u l . . . b y p r i n t i n g i n the i n f e r n a l method, by c o r r o s i v e s , which i n H e l l are s a l u t a r y and m e d i c i n a l . . . " (MHH 14, E 3 8 ) . As a r e s u l t o f 51 t h i s o v e r t h a n d l i n g of the metaphors i n The Marriage, they are more a c c e s s i b l e than i n most other works, and Blake s c h o l a r s have been q u i c k t o r e c o g n i z e and e x p l i c a t e the metaphors i n s e v e r a l s e c t i o n s of The Marriage.8 The f i r s t emergence of the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g i n The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l occurs i n the f i r s t "Memo-r a b l e Fancy," b e g i n n i n g "As I was walking among the f i r e s of h e l l . . . " (MHH 6, E 35). Here, as throughout The Mar r i a g e , the i n v e r t e d s a t i r i c p e r s p e c t i v e o f the poem a s s i g n s the c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g to the realm of the d e v i l s . In doing so, Blake develops and e x p l o i t s the a c i d - a s - f i r e meta-phor i m p l i c i t i n "The Tyger" and the process of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g ~ - e s p e c i a l l y the e t c h i n g stage—becomes the f i e r y a c t i -v i t y o f the d e v i l / a r t i s t as he burns i n H e l l t o h i s e t e r n a l d e l i g h t . T h i s "Memorable Fancy," which immediately precedes the "Proverbs o f H e l l , " conforms t o one of Blake's t y p i c a l methods of h a n d l i n g the metaphors i n t h a t i t serves as a preludium or i n t r o d u c t i o n t h a t recounts the p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n of the pas-sage t h a t i t precedes. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , Blake a g a i n develops " f i r e " i n t o a polysemous symbol and i n t r o d u c e s a p a r a l l e l s i m i -l a r t o t h a t i n "The Tyger" i n t h a t both the i m a g i n a t i v e realm i n which the e t e r n a l forms of h i s poetry e x i s t and the t e c h n i c a l process by which they emerge onto the p h y s i c a l plane are i d e n t i -f i e d w i t h f i r e . That i s , the f i r e s o f H e l l i n which the d e v i l Blake i s wa l k i n g a t the be g i n n i n g of the passage r e p r e s e n t the 52 f i r e s of h i s i m a g i n a t i o n from which he must r e t u r n t o the m a t e r i a l w o r l d , "the abyss of t h e f i v e senses," and work w i t h a d i f f e r e n t s e t of " c o r r o d i n g f i r e s " i n the e t c h i n g process i f he i s t o t r a n s m i t h i s knowledge f o r the b e n e f i t of man. Indeed, we are t o l d t h a t i t i s , s p e c i f i c a l l y , the "Proverbs of H e l l " which Blake as d e v i l has been c o l l e c t i n g i n h i s i n f e r n a l walk, and as he comes home t o the " r e a l world" he q p a r a d o x i c a l l y d i s c o v e r s h i m s e l f e t c h i n g them on a c o p p e r p l a t e . When I came home; on the abyss of the f i v e senses, where a f l a t s i d e d steep frowns over the p r e s e n t w o r l d . I saw a mighty D e v i l f o l d e d i n b l a c k c l o u d s , h o v e r i n g on the s i d e s o f the rock, w i t h c o r r o d i n g f i r e s he wrote the f o l l o w i n g sentence now p e r c i e v e d by the minds of men, & r e a d by them on e a r t h . How do you know but e v ' r y B i r d t h a t cuts the a i r y way, Is an immense w o r l d of d e l i g h t , c l o s ' d by your senses f i v e ? (MHH 6&7, E 35) Erdman c o r r e c t l y notes t h a t "the f l a t s i d e d steep t w h i c h ] frowns over the p r e s e n t world" i s the s u r f a c e o f the c o p p e r p l a t e :-s i t appears t o the r e t u r n i n g d e v i l , and goes on t o add t h a t " [ t h e ] D e v i l Blake sees i n i t s clouds i s h i m s e l f a t work on the p r i n t i n g s u r f a c e or ' s i d e s of the rock.'"10 S i n c e the d e v i l i s w r i t i n g a sentence i n c o r r o d i n g f i r e s , the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with Blake i s f a i r l y easy. The r e a l v a l u e of Erdman's comments here l i e s i n h i s o b s e r v a t i o n o f the d e s i g n , f o r he p o i n t s out t h a t the b o l t o f l i g h t n i n g which d a r t s from c l o u d s t o c l i f f a t the bottom of the p l a t e ( f i g . 3 ) is? a c t u a l l y i n s c r i b i n g the word "How"—the f i r s t word o f the sentence on p l a t e 7 b e g i n n i n g "How do you know...." T h i s d e s i g n i s i n f a c t the g r a p h i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the r e c u r r i n g 53 l i g h t n i n g metaphor of the e t c h i n g process t h a t we have a l r e a d y met i n U r i z e n (3:35, E 70), and thus we can see the d e s i g n on Blake's p l a t e f u n c t i o n i n g again as the v i s u a l analogue of the process of p r o d u c t i o n recounted i n the t e x t . E i g h t pages f u r t h e r on i n The Marriage occurs another m e t a p h o r i c a l account of Blake's p r i n t i n g p r o c e s s : the "Memo-r a b l e Fancy" b e g i n n i n g "I was i n a P r i n t i n g house i n H e l l . . . " (MHH 15, E 39). Erdman has a l r e a d y o f f e r e d a s u b s t a n t i a l l y c o r r e c t e x p l i c a t i o n of t h i s passage as an account of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g , 1 1 so r a t h e r than r e p e a t m a t e r i a l a l r e a d y a v a i l a b l e , I w i l l very b r i e f l y summarize h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s , expanding on them where necessary, and i n the p r o c e s s . t e s t t h i s independent i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n f o r correspondences w i t h what I have suggested i s Blake's t y p i c a l use of the metaphors as they emerge i n o t h e r poems. The cave which appears i n the f i r s t chamber, o r stage of the process of p r o d u c t i o n , i s , of course, a modulation of the craggy r o c k - c l i f f metaphors of the p l a t e w i t h which we are a l r e a d y f a m i l i a r , the t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l cave as opposed t o the " f l a t s i d e d steep" more p o i n t e d l y r e p r e s e n t i n g the added depth of an etched c o p p e r p l a t e . Erdman i d e n t i f i e s the Dragon-Man " c l e a r i n g away the r u b b i s h from a caves mouth" (MHH 15, E 39) as an engraver, and sees the "number of Dragons" t h a t are 1? " h o l l o w i n g the cave", as the v a r i o u s engraving t o o l s . S i n c e t h i s account goes on to d e s c r i b e the e t c h i n g of the "cave," Blake has e i t h e r c o n f l a t e d the d i s t i n c t p r o c e s s e s of i n t a g l i o 54 and r e l i e f p r i n t i n g as i n Chapter I o f U r i z e n , or a t l e a s t r e o r d e r e d the stages o f h i s r e l i e f technique as he does i n U r i z e n , s i n c e r e l i e f p l a t e s were o c c a s i o n a l l y touched up w i t h a g r a v e r o n l y a f t e r h a v ing been etched. In the second chamber, the imagery a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the v i p e r f o l d i n g round the rock r e i n f o r c e s the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of paper and p l a t e i n Blake's v i s i o n t h a t i s i m p l i c i t i n Blake's h a n d l i n g o f the "quenchless flames" t h a t run over the " d e s a r t s " and "rocks" i n Chapter I I I o f U r i z e n . Erdman notes t h a t "Metony-mously the f l a t sheet of paper upon which these i n s c r i p t i o n s and adornments and i n f i n i t i e s are. reproduced by i m p r e s s i o n i s a l s o t h a t cave; we r e f e r v a r i o u s l y t o copper or paper as a p l a t e . Erdman a l s o notes t h a t the v i p e r "adorning Lthe cave] w i t h g o l d s i l v e r and p r e c i o u s stones" (MHH 15, E 39) i s a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the p a i n t i n g p r o c e s s . I t i s , more s p e c i f i c a l l y , Blake's r e n d i t i o n of h i s p h a l l i c p a i n t b r u s h adorning the page w i t h c o l o u r , but, as we s h a l l see i n America, the snake as a modu-l a t i o n of the f i e r y Ore i s a l s o a metaphor of the consuming a c i d . T h e r e f o r e we have another v e r s i o n of the p a r a l l e l i n d i -c a t i n g t h a t a c i d i s to p l a t e as p a i n t i s t o paper, t h i s time developed through the p h a l l i c symbol of the snake. 1'* With an overview of Erdman's commentary t o g e t h e r w i t h what I have added here, we can see t h a t i n f a c t the same a c t i v i t y i s t a k i n g p l a c e i n the second, t h i r d , and f o u r t h chambers o f the " P r i n t i n g house": V i p e r , E a g l e , and L i o n are a l l f u n c t i o n i n g as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the f i e r y , consuming a c i d t h a t causes the 55 i l l u m i n a t i o n s t o appear i n the c l i f f - r o c k - c o p p e r p l a t e . (Even the f i r s t chamber can be i n c l u d e d i n t h i s g r ouping s i n c e the dragons h o l l o w i n g the cave are an easy modulation o f t he v i p e r s f o l d i n g round i t . ) T h i s i s one of the s i m p l e s t and c l e a r e s t examples of a fundamental tendency t h a t runs throughout Blake's p o e t r y . L i k e any g r e a t poet, Blake has the a b i l i t y t o c r e a t e a f u l l y r e a l i z e d image or scene w i t h a v e r y s m a l l expenditure of words, such as i n each o f the "chambers" of the p r i n t i n g house. But i n the f l u i d i t y of Blake's a r t i s t i c v i s i o n , the imaginary l a n d s c a p e — i . e . the s u r f a c e textuore o f the poem and the i m a g i n a t i v e c o n s t r u c t i t p r e s e n t s — m a y s h i f t r a d i c a l l y w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f a new element or a new p o i n t of view, although the same event or process i s s t i l l b e i n g d e s c r i b e d . B l a k e ' s b o l d d r a m a t i z a t i o n of t h i s p r i n c i p l e i s the s h i f t from the f i e r y abyss t o the p l e a s a n t bank t h a t takes p l a c e i n the f o u r t h "Memorable Fancy" when. Blake's companion Angel and h i s metaphysics are f r i g h t e n e d out of the " p i c t u r e " by the v i s i o n of L e v i a t h a n . But the same p r i n c i p l e operates throughout Blake's p o e t r y and i n a m e t a p h o r i c a l account of the i n k i n g p r o c e s s , what was once a v i s i o n of a mudslide r o l l i n g over mountains and v a l l e y s can suddenly t u r n i n t o a snake s t a i n i n g a rock w i t h i t s b l o o d when the i d e a of a p h a l l i c i n k i n g dauber i s i n t r o d u c e d i n t o the a c c o u n t . ^ In the "Memorable Fancy" i n q u e s t i o n , then, an i n -formed r e a d i n g w i l l see the f i r s t three or f o u r chambers as the same event, and we must look t o the d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t s , i m p l i c a -56 t i o n s , and m e t a p h o r i c a l c o n f l a t i o n s of the process o f pro-d u c t i o n t h a t Blake i s d e v e l o p i n g i n each i n order to account f o r the modulation of V i p e r - E a g l e - L i o n and c a v e - p a l a c e - c l i f f . T h i s o f f e r s us another way of l o o k i n g at the n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y of U r i z e n and i s always an important p r i n c i p l e t o keep i n mind when attempting t o understand Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors. Indeed, i t i s b a s i c t o an understanding of B l a k e . ' M o r r i s Eav.es, i n h i s r e a d i n g of the f o u r t h "Memorable Fancy" i n which Blake and an Angel show one another t h e i r e t e r -n a l l o t s , o f f e r s the only f u l l y - d e v e l o p e d r e a d i n g of Blake's metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g to have been p u b l i s h e d . Eaves c o r r e c t l y i n t e r p r e t s the f i e r y abyss over which Blake and the Angel hang as a v i s i o n of an e t c h i n g bath, and he goes on t o e x p l a i n many of the d e t a i l s of the passage as r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of Blake's a c t u a l techniques. As a v e r i f i c a t i o n of my obser-v a t i o n s of Blake's t y p i c a l h a n d l i n g of the metaphors, perh-.ps Eaves's most important o b s e r v a t i o n i s the pronounced c o n f l a t i o n t h a t he sees i n the processes of p r o d u c t i o n presented i n t h i s s e c t i o n of the poem. He notes t h a t i n the " a r t i s t i c a l l e g o r y , " the b l a c k tempest t h a t erupts on p l a t e 18 " r e p r e s e n t s two stages of the e t c h i n g process combined d r a m a t i c a l l y but i l l o g i c a l l y i n t o one"1** a n d goes on t o i n t e r p r e t the r e s u l t i n g emergence of L e v i a t h a n as " [ r e p r e s e n t i n g ] a l l t h a t happens i n the process of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g a f t e r the p l a t e i s taken from i t s a c i d bath...[and the] processes of i n k i n g , p r i n t i n g , and c o l o r i n g are not shown i n a stage-by-stage p r o c e s s . " 1 9 I n 7 a d d i t i o n , i 57 when he observes t h a t "the major c o n t r i b u t i o n of L e v i a t h a n to the abyss i s c o l o r , " 2 0 Eaves i s p o i n t i n g out another i n s t a n c e of Blake's c u r i o u s union of e t c h i n g and p a i n t i n g , f o r t h i s c o l o u r f u l , p h a l l i c s e r p e n t which emerges from the a c i d bath as a f i e r y c r e s t w i t h two globes of crimson f i r e i s a l s o c l e a r l y another m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the s e r p e n t i n e genius o f the a c i d t h a t we have met w i t h b e f o r e . The emergence of L e v i a t h a n from the f i e r y abyss i s the p a i n t i n g p r o c e s s ; i t i s a r e p r e -s e n t a t i o n o f the genius of the a c i d ; but, as Eaves r e c o g n i z e s and i n g e n i o u s l y e x p l a i n s (pp. 109-10) , i t is_ a l s o a d r a m a t i -z a t i o n of p l a t e 20 emerging from out of the a c i d bath. Thus the reader d i s c o v e r s t h a t i t i s p l a t e 20 t h a t he has f o l l o w e d through the e t c h i n g process, and once again the d e s i g n on a p l a t e doubles as the analogue or v i s u a l f u l f i l m e n t of the n a r -r a t i v e of p r o d u c t i o n t h a t i s presented i n the t e x t . 2 1 By now Blake's c h a r a c t e r i s t i c h a n d l i n g of the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g has been c l e a r l y e s t a b l i s h e d , and I would l i k e t o look a t some o f the ways t h a t the metaphors f u n c t i o n as the f u l f i l m e n t or d r a m a t i z a t i o n of some, of the i d e a s b a s i c t o Blake's a r t . T h i s i s i n f a c t tantamount to l o o k i n g a t how B l a k e ' a c t u a l techniques of p r o d u c t i o n f i t i n t o h i s myth and a r t i s t i c v i s i o n . For one t h i n g , i t has long been r e c o g n i z e d t h a t Blake c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d h i s work w i t h c o r r o s i v e a c i d s and metal p l a t e s w i t h t h a t of the a l c h e m i s t and h i s "Great Work," and a c l o s e examination of Blake's use o f the metaphors w i l l s t r e n g t h e n t h i s 22 o b s e r v a t i o n . 53 The b a s i c importance of alchemy i n shaping Blake's v i s i o n of the processes and purpose of both h i s a c t u a l p h y s i c a l t e c h -niques and h i s metaphoric r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of them cannot be o v e r e s t i m a t e d , e s p e c i a l l y i n the e a r l y , f o r m a t i v e work of The Marriage.2 3 i n f a c t , Blake i n c l u d e s mention of P a r a c e l s u s , the preeminent f i g u r e i n alchemy, on p l a t e 22 of The Marriage i t s e l f where he s t a t e s t h a t "Any man of mechanical t a l e n t s may from the w r i t i n g s of P a r a c e l s u s or Jacob Behman, produce ten thousand volumes of equal value w i t h Swede::borg's" (MHH 22, E 42). And more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , i n a l e t t e r t o John Flaxman about e i g h t y e a r s l a t e r Blake mentions P a r a c e l s u s i n a b r i e f poem t h a t i n -c l u d e s only h i s most important i n f l u e n c e s : Now my l o t i n the Heavens i s t h i s , M i l t o n l o v ' d me i n c h i l d h o o d & shew'd me h i s f a c e . E z r a came w i t h I s a i a h the Prophet, but Shakespeare i n r i p e r years gave me h i s hand; P a r a c e l s u s & Behmen appear'd t o me, t e r r o r s appear'd i n the Heavens above And i n H e l l beneath, & a mighty & awful change t h r e a t -ened the E a r t h . The American V7ar began... (To John Flaxman, September 12, 1800, E 680) I f P a r a c e l s u s d i d i n f l u e n c e B lake s t r o n g l y , t h a t i n f l u e n c e found i t s c l e a r e s t e x p r e s s i o n i n Blake's v i s i o n and use of the p h y s i c a l d e t a i l s of h i s process of p r o d u c t i o n . The a c t i o n of Blake's " m e d i c i n a l " c o r r o s i v e s which melt away the apparent s u r f a c e of the c o p p e r p l a t e t o r e v e a l the i n -f i n i t e which was h i d i s , of course, analogous to the p u r i f y i n g f i r e o f the a l c h e m i s t which melts the base metal so t h a t i t s dross may be removed and the "hidden" g o l d revealed.24 Indeed, 59 the b a l a n c e d dance i n Blake's technique o f p r o d u c t i o n between the a c i d / f i r e which consumes and the water which washes the a c i d away and stops the e t c h i n g process can be seen as a r e -f l e c t i o n o f the elemental c o n t r a r i e s t h a t g i v e r i s e t o a l l p r o g r e s s i o n i n the a l c h e m i c a l p r o c e s s : " . . . f i r e , o f which sulphur i s the principle...Q a n d ] water, of which mercury i s the p r i n c i p l e . . . c o m p o s e the famous Hermetic androgyne, the two f o l d p r i n c i p l e o f a l l metals."25 i t i s through the i n t e r -a c t i o n of these two p r i n c i p l e s and t h e i r v a r i o u s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s as male and female, a c t i v e and p a s s i v e , hot and c o l d t h a t the a l c h e m i s t p r o g r e s s e s i n h i s "vJreat Work" from l e a d t o g o l d . In P a r a c e l s u s ' words, "... alchemy i s no t h i n g but the a r t which makes the impure i n t o the pxire through f i r e . . . . a n d Vulcan i s i t s a r t i s t . " 2 * ' Thus i t i s i n the f i e r y f o r g e of Vulcan's smithy t h a t the a l c h e m i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n from pure t o impure, dross t o g o l d , p h y s i c a l t o s p i r i t u a l takes p l a c e . Again, the p a r a l l e l s w i t h Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors are obvious: Vulcan's f o r g e i s L o s 1 s f o r g e i s Blake's a c i d bath, and as the metaphors are pursued the p a r a l l e l s are r e i n f o r c e d . The f i r s t a c t i o n which takes p l a c e i n the a l c h e m i s t ' s c r u c i b l e i s essen-t i a l l y one of r e g r e s s i o n : the a c t i o n of f i r e and the a d d i t i o n of o ther c a t a l y s t s f i r s t breaks down the impure metal i n t o i t s elemental form b e f o r e i t s component p a r t s are b u i l t back up i n order t o produce g o l d . T h i s r e t u r n t o prima m a t e r i a , t o " s t i l l u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d p r i m a l s u b s t a n c e " 2 ^ i n the a l c h e m i s t ' s f o r g e i s analogous t o the a c t i v i t y which takes p l a c e i n Blake's 60 e t c h i n g b a t h and accounts f o r the freq u e n t a l l u s i o n s t o an e t c h i n g p l a t e as an elemental v o i d , the e q u i v a l e n t o f the a l -chemical m a t r i x , the "P r i m a l womb, p r i m a l mother, the s t i l l f o r mless r e c e p t a c l e of f o r m . " 2 8 Although the a f f i n i t y o f alchemy w i t h h i s own tec h n i q u e s was always b e f o r e Blake's eyes, perhaps nowhere are the l i n e s of analogy more c l e a r l y drawn than i n the p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d passage of U r i z e n , Chapter I I . In t h i s passage, the e t c h i n g of a c o p p e r p l a t e i s d e s c r i b e d as a r e t u r n to the a l c h e m i c a l prima m a t e r i a i n the a l c h e m i s t ' s c r u c i b l e , which i s the c r e a t i o n of "The p h i l o s o p h e r ' s egg...an a r t i f i c i a l r e p l i c a o f the womb of n a t u r e . " 2 9 And i n t h i s r e t u r n t o elemental chaos which i s a l s o the f i g u r a t i v e e t c h i n g o f a c o p p e r p l a t e , U r i z e n b a t t l e s with and overcomes the fou r primary elements of P a r a c e l s u s ' w o r l d view as the e t c h i n g o f the p l a t e p r o g r e s s e s : F i r s t I fought w i t h the f i r e ; consum'd [ f i r e ] Inwards, i n t o a deep world w i t h i n : A v o i d immense, w i l d dark & deep, Where n o t h i n g was; Natures wide womb<".> And s e l f b alanc'd s t r e t c h ' d o'er the v o i d I a l o n e , even I! the winds m e r c i l e s s [ a i r ] Bound; but condensing, i n t o r r e n t s They f a l l & f a l l ; s t r o n g I r e p e l l ' d The v a s t waves,& arose on the waters [water] A wide world o f s o l i d o b s t r u c t i o n [earth] (U4:14-23, E 70-71) There are s e v e r a l other ways i n which Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors make h i s techniques f i g u r a t i v e l y analogous w i t h alchemy, such as the f a c t t h a t the symbolic systems of both processes p r e s e n t f i r e as a p a r a d o x i c a l l y l i q u i d element i n the form o f water,30 but i t i s a l s o wise t o remember the simple f a c t 61 t h a t the two processes are l i t e r a l l y analogous i n s e v e r a l ways: f o r example, aqua f o r t i s i s used i n both p r o c e s s e s , and the e t c h i n g o f a c o p p e r p l a t e simply i s a chemical r e a c t i o n which causes a s o l i d metal t o d i s s o l v e and change i t s p h y s i c a l pro-p e r t i e s . But Blake's development of the a n a l o g i e s between alchemy and h i s own process o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g do not stop at the s i m i l a r i t y of p h y s i c a l techniques or even at the s i m i -l a r i t y o f t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e symbolic and metaphoric v o c a b u l a r i e s . B l a k e , i n f a c t , pursues the a n a l o g i e s t o a-much deeper p o i n t t h a t i d e n t i f i e s the u l t i m a t e g o a l o f alchemy wi t h h i s own purpose i n producing h i s i l l u m i n a t e d books. The t r u e g o a l o f alchemy i s not t o t u r n l e a d i n t o g o l d — t h a t i s o n l y i t s o s t e n s i b l e purpose, the symbolic garment and e x t e r n a l r e f l e c t i o n of i t s t r u e g o a l , which i s the i n n e r , s p i r i t u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the a l c h e m i s t . In the a l c h e m i c a l p r o c e s s , the a l c h e m i s t ' s psyche i s f i r s t broken d o w n — i n e f f e c t melted and d i s s o l v e d i n the p u r i f y i n g flames of h i s f o r g e , t o be l a t e r r egenerated and s l o w l y r e b u i l t i n t o a p e r f e c t , harmonious, "golden" form f r e e of the t a i n t of the f a l l e n world. Blake's c o r r e s p o n d i n g technique i s s i m i l a r l y ambitious f o r the u l t i m a t e aim of h i s e t c h i n g process i s not simply the form a t i o n o f i l l u m i n a t e d books, but i s the c l e a n s i n g of man's p e r c e p t i o n so t h a t the i n f i n i t e may be r e v e a l e d . In the same way t h a t the d e s t r u c t i v e f i r e s of the a l c h e m i s t ' s f o r g e are u l t i m a t e l y p o s i t i v e , Blake claims t h a t h i s d i s s o l v i n g c o r -r o s i v e s are i n f a c t " s a l u t a r y and m e d i c i n a l " i n t h a t they c l e a n s e 6 2 the p e r c e p t i o n s and melt apparent s u r f a c e s away i n order t o d i s p l a y the i n f i n i t e which was h i d . These o b s e r v a t i o n s have been made s e v e r a l times b e f o r e , as when Morton Pal e y notes t h a t "the i m a g i n a t i v e a c t i v i t y of the poet-prophet i n r a i s i n g the p e r c e p t i o n s of mankind i s , meta-p h o r i c a l l y , the Great Work of t u r n i n g base metals i n t o gold."31 But what has not been s u f f i c i e n t l y a p p r e c i a t e d b e f o r e i s the l i t e r a l s p i r i t i n which Blake a p p l i e d the analogy and the important p l a c e t h a t Blake's a c t u a l t e c h n i q u e s — a n d h i s meta-p h o r i c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of t h e m — h o l d i n the development and coherence of h i s thought. P l a t e 14 i s c e r t a i n l y Uhe most important p l a t e i n The Marriage i n t h i s r e g a r d , and i t i s impor-t a n t enough t o quote i n f u l l : The a n c i e n t t r a d i t i o n t h a t the world w i l l be consumed i n f i r e a t the end of s i x thousand years i s t r u e , as I have heard from H e l l . For the cherub w i t h h i s f l a m i n g sword i s hereby commanded t o leave h i s guard a t t r e e of l i f e , and when he does, the whole c r e a t i o n w i l l be consumed, and appear i n f i n i t e , and h o l y whereas i t now appears f i n i t e & c o r r u p t . T h i s w i l l come t o pass by an improvement of s e n s u a l enjoyment. But f i r s t the n o t i o n t h a t man has a body d i s t i n c t from h i s s o u l , i s to be expunged; t h i s I s h a l l do, by p r i n t i n g i n the i n f e r n a l method, by c o r r o s i v e s , which i n H e l l are s a l u t a r y and m e d i c i n a l , m e l t i n g apparent s u r f a c e s away, and d i s p l a y i n g the i n f i n i t e which was h i d . I f the doors of p e r c e p t i o n were c l e a n s e d every t h i n g would appear t o man as i t i s , i n f i n i t e . For man has c l o s e d h i m s e l f up, t i l l he sees a l l t h i n g s t h r o ' narrow chinks of h i s cavern. (MHH 14, E 38-39) In Bla k e ' s hands, then, the e t c h i n g of a p l a t e becomes analogous to the f r e e i n g of the p e r c e p t i o n s i n man, but i t i s much more 63 than simple analogy. I t i s e s s e n t i a l t o remember t h a t Blake saw the fundamental purpose of h i s a r t as the improvement o f the s p i r i t u a l p e r c e p t i o n o f the r e a d e r . I t f o l l o w s , then, t h a t the p r o c e s s e s o f producing t h a t a r t are l i t e r a l l y as w e l l as s y m b o l i c a l l y the agents of a p o t e n t i a l s p i r i t u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , and Blake's analogy of h i s f i e r y a c i d w i t h the p u r i f y i n g f o r g e of the a l c h e m i s t does more than h i g h l i g h t an i n t e r e s t i n g p a r a l l e l , f o r the c l e a n s i n g of p e r c e p t i o n i s l i t e r a l l y the u l t i m a t e aim of both, I t i s but a s h o r t jump from here t o another of Blake's fundamental i d e a s t h a t i s a l s o f r e q u e n t l y expressed through analogy w i t h h i s techniques of p r o d u c t i o n , and t h i s i s the i d e a of the Apocalypse. For Blake, the Apocalypse i s not simply, or p r i m a r i l y , the c l i m a c t i c event t h a t w i l l end the world a t a d i s -c r e t e , f u t u r e p o i n t i n time, j u s t as the F a l l was not a d i s t i n c t p r i m o r d i a l i n c i d e n t . Although i n t h i s e a r l y poem Blake a l s o p r e s e n t s the t r a d i t i o n a l view t h a t "the world w i l l be consumed i n f i r e a t the end of s i x thousand y e a r s , " the subsequent pas-sages of p l a t e 14 p r o v i d e the l i n k s to h i s r a d i c a l view of the t r u e Apocalypse as an i n d i v i d u a l apocalypse e f f e c t e d through a r t and through the improvement of the s p i r i t u a l p e r c e p t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l — a n event t h a t may occur a t any g i v e n moment: "whenever any I n d i v i d u a l R e j e c t s E r r o r & Embraces T r u t h a L a s t Judgement passes upon t h a t I n d i v i d u a l " (VLJ, E 551). I t i s the apparent c a u s a l l i n k t h a t i s important i n s e e i n g how Blake e x p l o i t s the metaphors here; the improvement of s p i r i t u a l 64 p e r c e p t i o n causes the Jipocalypse f o r when Blake says t h a t " I f the doors of p e r c e p t i o n were cle a n s e d every t h i n g would appear t o man as i t i s , i n f i n i t e " he i s o b v i o u s l y speaking of h i s v i s i o n of the Apocalypse: " . . . C r e a t i o n w i l l be Burned Up & then & not t i l l then T r u t h or E t e r n i t y w i l l appear I t i s Burnt up the Moment Men cease to behold i t " (VLJ, E 555). But f o r a l l i n -t e n t s and purposes the improvement of s p i r i t u a l p e r c e p t i o n is_ the Apocalypse; a p o i n t t h a t i s brought home by h i s use o f the same imagery f o r both, o b v i o u s l y i n the use of the f i r e imagery, but a l s o i n the rock imagery s i n c e the rock whose s u r f a c e the flames as a c i d d i s s o l v e i s a l s o the Stone of N i g h t , emblem of the Newtonian u n i v e r s e , t h a t the flames as God's judgement d i s -s o l v e i n the Apocalypse. By i d e n t i f y i n g the p l a t e w i t h the rock — t h e l i m i t o f o p a c i t y beyond which the F a l l cannot g o — B l a k e a l s o i n h e r e n t l y a s s o c i a t e s w i t h i t the p e r c e p t i o n t h a t would apprehend the rock as a s o l i d , p h y s i c a l form, and the l i b e r a t i n g a c i d / f l a m e s t h a t expand the narrow " c h i n k s " i n the cavern ( i . e . both copper-p l a t e and human s k u l l ) h e r a l d the d i s s o l u t i o n of both the stone and the l i m i t e d p e r c e p t i o n t h a t accepts i t as " r e a l . " (Blake's f i g u r a t i v e l y f i e r y e t c h i n g process which "[melts] apparent s u r -faces away... d i s p l a y i n g the i n f i n i t e which was h i d " i s a p a r t i -c u l a r l y apt v e h i c l e f o r p r e s e n t i n g the consummation of C r e a t i o n i n l i t e r a l flames a t the Apocalypse, but we must remember t h a t s i n c e i t i s the e n t i r e f i n i s h e d product as i l l u m i n a t e d book t h a t e f f e c t s the improvement of s p i r i t u a l p e r c e p t i o n i n the r e a d e r , any one of i t s stages of p r o d u c t i o n can p a r t i c i p a t e i n the 65 a p o c a l y p t i c imagery, as the p r i n t i n g process-trumpets a s s o c i a t i o n 32 o f U r i z e n Chapter I I reminds us.) We can f o l l o w Blake's use of the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g through y e t another a p p l i c a t i o n of the a p o c a l y p t i c theme by r e a d i n g them as the v e h i c l e through which the Apoca-ly p s e i n i t s s p e c i f i c a l l y p o l i t i c a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n i s p r e s e n t e d i n "A Song of L i b e r t y . " In t h i s l a t e a d d i t i o n t o The Marriage,33 the metaphors are not as c l e a r l y d e f i n e d as i n some of the o t h e r passages of the poem—they seem to be l e s s the deeper s u b j e c t o f the passage than simply something which p r o v i d e s the n a r -r a t i v e p a t t e r n through which the p o l i t i c a l a l l e g o r y i s p r e s e n t e d — b u t many of the p a t t e r n s i n which they are developed suggest a s t y l e more i n keeping w i t h Blake's mature use o f the metaphors than w i t h the e a r l i e r poems we have been d i s c u s s i n g . In terms o f the metaphors, then, "A Song of L i b e r t y " can be seen as somewhat of an e a r l y d i v i d i n g p o i n t between the e a r l i e r work and the minor p r o p h e c i e s , as the presence of the p r e c u r s o r s of Ore and U r i z e n , and the s t r o n g a f f i n i t i e s w i t h America would suggest.34 Northrop Frye reminds us t h a t " R e v o l u t i o n i s the s i g n of a p o c a l y p t i c y e a r n i n g s . . . a c o n v u l s i v e lunge forward of the ima-g i n a t i o n " 35 a n d i f we extend the p a r a l l e l e s t a b l i s h e d on p l a t e 14 o f The Marriage, a c o n n e c t i o n i s e a s i l y seen between the f i e r y Ore, the s p i r i t o f r e v o l u t i o n , who c leans away dross on the p o l i t i c a l p l a n e , and the c o r r o s i v e a c i d of the process of p r o -d u c t i o n which c l e a n s the c o n c e a l i n g s u r f a c e of the c o p p e r p l a t e 66 to r e v e a l the i n f i n i t e . The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a c i d w i t h Ore i 3 made e x p l i c i t i n h i s f i r s t t r u e appearance i n the Preludium °f America, but t h i s nameless "new born t e r r o r " of "A Song of L i b e r t y " f u n c t i o n s as e s s e n t i a l l y the same e n t i t y . His foe i n t h i s b a t t l e f i e l d v a r i a t i o n of Blake's metaphoric landscape imagery i s , o f course, s p e c i f i c a l l y the c o p p e r p l a t e , but as a d r a m a t i z a t i o n of the elements of c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y , i t i s p e r -haps more e f f e c t i v e t o v i s u a l i z e the c o n f r o n t a t i o n i n more g e n e r a l terms: thf* y o u t h f u l , f i e r y , c r e a t i v e Ore p r i n c i p l e i n c o n f l i c t w i t h the aging, c o l d , and r e p r e s s i v e p r i n c i p l e e l s e -where i d e n t i f i e d as U r i z e n . Seen from t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , the metaphors are more coherent because, as i n The Book of U r i z e n , Blake again emphasizes the n e g a t i v e aspect of the c r e a t i v e process as the f r e e z i n g of " E t e r n a l Forms," and as i n U r i z e n , the "grey brow'd" "gloomy k i n g " can be i d e n t i f i e d as both the a r t i s t Blake and the p l a t e on whicn he i s working. Once these i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s are e s t a b l i s h e d , the n a r r a t i v e of the process of p r o d u c t i o n , i n t h i s case the e t c h i n g of a p l a t e , becomes q u i t e c l e a r . There i s , i f not the sense of a pronounced pause, c e r t a i n l y a b r i e f v e r s i o n of the f a m i l i a r f o r m a l i z e d i n t r o d u c t i o n of the s t a t i c opponents b e f o r e the a c t i o n s t a r t s : "the new born f i r e s tood b e f o r e the s t a r r y k i n g ! " (MHH 2 5 , v e r s e 8, E 4 3 ) . T h i s i s the a c i d " s t a n d i n g " i n f r o n t of both the p l a t e and Blake, j u s t b e f o r e the a r t i s t as s t a r r y k i n g begins the b a t t l e of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s . B l a k e / U r i z e n grasps both s h i e l d (metaphor f o r the c o p p e r p l a t e i n Ahania, Chapter I) and a c i d , and pours the a c i d onto the p l a t e : ...unbuckled was the s h i e l d , f o r t h went the hand of j e a l o u s y among the f l a m i n g h a i r , and h u r l ' d the new born wonder t h r o ' the s t a r r y n i g h t . The f i r e , the f i r e , i s f a l l i n g l (MHH 25&26, verse 10&11, E 43) The moment of e t c h i n g the p l a t e i s expanded i n t o a p o c a l y p t i c s i g n i f i c a n c e as i t i s on p l a t e 14 of The Marriage, and a f t e r t h a t b r i e f i n t e r r u p t i o n , the n a r r a t i v e of the e t c h i n g p r o c e s s i s c o n t i n u e d w i t h a d e s c r i p t i o n of the a c i d a c t u a l l y coming i n t o c o n t a c t w i t h . t h e p l a t e and the d e s i g n and t e x t appearing on i t s s u r f a c e as the lengthy e t c h i n g process extends i n t o the n i g h t : Wak'd from h i s e t e r n a l s l e e p , the hoary element r o a r i n g f l e d away: Down rushd b e a t i n g h i s wings i n v a i n the j e a l o u s k i n g ; h i s grey brow'd c o u n c e l l o r s , thunderous w a r r i o r s , c u r l ' d v e t e r a n s [the t e x t ] , among helms, and s h i e l d s , and c h a r i o t s (,) h o r s e s , e l e p h a n t s : banners, c a s t l e s , s l i n g s and r o c k s , F a l l i n g , r u s h i n g , r u i n i n g ! b u r i e d i n the r u i n s , on Urthona's dens. A l l n i g h t beneath the r u i n s , then t h e i r s u l l e n flames faded emerge round the gloomy k i n g , (MHH 26, v e r s e s 14-17, E 43) As w e l l as b e i n g the A t l a n t i c ocean on one l e v e l , "the hoary element [which] r o a r i n g f l e d away" i s an image of the dramatic chemical r e a c t i o n which occurs as the a c i d h i t s the s u r f a c e of the c o p p e r p l a t e , immediately heats up i n the ensuing r e a c t i o n , and begins to evaporate, forming a white foam t h a t i s pushed i n f r o n t of the f l o w i n g a c i d . As soon as the a c i d begins t o e t c h the d e s i g n and t e x t i n t o the c o p p e r p l a t e , the gloomy k i n g and h i s armies l i t e r a l l y " f a l l " i n t o v e g e t a t i v e e x i s t e n c e as 68 they take shape on the s u r f a c e of the c o p p e r p l a t e . Thus the s t a r r y k i n g who began t h i s account very much the a c t i v e B l a k e / U r i z e n undergoes a t r a n s i t i o n t h a t makes him end as the e t c h i n g c o p p e r p l a t e covered by the once a c t i v e copper s a l t s i n the a c i d / flames which g r a d u a l l y fade, i . e . l o s e t h e i r c o r r o s i v e p r o p e r t y the longer the p l a t e i s etched. Blake's unmistakable d e s c r i p t i o n o f p o u r i n g the a c i d i n t h i s account i s n o t a b l e because, as I have mentioned e a r l i e r , modern commentators have u n i v e r s a l l y assumed that Blake etched h i s p l a t e s e x c l u s i v e l y i n an a c i d bath. However t h i s and o t h e r s i m i l a r metaphoric r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of f a l l i n g and p o u r i n g a c i d / flames suggest a combination of e t c h i n g methods. Blake un-doubtedly d i d use an a c i d bath, but I would argue t h a t he a l s o w a l l e d the p l a t e s (common beeswax i s used t o d a y ) a n d etched i n d i v i d u a l p l a t e s i n t h i s way. T h i s i s the most economical method of e t c h i n g , which would have appealed t o Blake, and would most commonly have been used f o r l a r g e r p l a t e s . Of course, t h i s technique would leave a heavy border around the o u t s i d e edge o f the p l a t e and i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t G. E. B e n t l e y notes t h a t i n America, which was p r i n t e d on the l a r g e s t s i z e of c o p p e r p l a t e Blake used f o r h i s i l l u m i n a t e d books,"[Blake] wiped the i n k o f f the heavy borders so t h a t o n l y the i n t e g r a l d e s ign shows; these borders are v i s i b l e o n l y i n c o p i e s p r i n t e d a f t e r h i s death, e.g. copy P watermarked 1832, f i v e y e ars a f t e r Blake died."37 Although i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t a border may have been r e t a i n e d t o p r o v i d e s t a b i l i t y i n i n k i n g or 69 p r i n t i n g , I would argue t h a t America possesses a border t h a t Blake i n v a r i a b l y wiped away but d i d not remove because i t was the p o r t i o n under the beeswax e d g i n g . 3 8 I n t e r e s t i n g l y , the method o f e t c h i n g suggested by the metaphors i s c o r r o b o r a t e d by an obscure and perhaps u n r e l i a b l e book on woodcutting pub-l i s h e d twelve years a f t e r Blake's death: "When the substance i n which the drawing i s made becomes s e t . . . t h e p l a t e i s s u r -rounded w i t h a w a l l , as i t i s t e c h n i c a l l y termed, and aqua-f o r t i s b e i n g poured upon i t , a l l the unprotected p a r t s are corroded, and the drawing l e f t i n r e l i e f . T h i s was the method g e n e r a l l y adopted by W i l l i a m Blake, an a r t i s t of g r e a t but e c c e n t r i c g e n i u s . . . . " 3 9 .. At any r a t e , as "A Song o f L i b e r t y " continues towards daybreak and i t s a p o c a l y p t i c climax, i t leaves behind the n a r -r a t i v e o f the e t c h i n g of a p l a t e which was, a f t e r a l l , more p a r t of the s t r u c t u r a l p a t t e r n than the r e a l s u b j e c t of the passage. But t h i s i n no way denies the importance of the meta-phors i n "A Song of L i b e r t y , " f o r they emerge here, as throughout The Marriage, as one of the most important u n i f y i n g elements of the poem t h a t not only p r o v i d e important s t r u c t u r a l elements but a l s o p r o v i d e the v e h i c l e through which Blake l i n k s and deve-lops some of h i s most important thematic concerns. America: A Prophecy i s e s s e n t i a l l y contemporary w i t h The  Marriage of Heaven and H e l l , and i n f a c t d i s p l a y s a s i m i l a r development of the metaphors as p r e s e n t i n the e a r l i e r poem i n t h a t they are most c l e a r l y and s u c c e s s f u l l y developed i n the 70 p o r t i o n o f the poem w r i t t e n l a s t and added l a t e , i n t h i s case, the P r e l u d i u m . ^ The poem proper f u n c t i o n s along much the same l i n e s as "A Song of L i b e r t y " and p a r t i c i p a t e s i n the same g e n e r a l a n a l o g i e s t h a t i d e n t i f i e d the e t c h i n g of a p l a t e w i t h the Apoca-lypse i n The Marriage. But i f the a p o c a l y p t i c " f i r e s o f Ore" t h a t consume C r e a t i o n i n a g e n e r a l c o n f l a g r a t i o n , and f r e e man's senses by consuming the " f i v e gates" and m e l t i n g t h e i r b o l t s and hinges at the end of the poem are i n any but the most d i s t a n t way analogous t o Blake's e t c h i n g p r o c e s s , the l i n e s o f analogy have receded so f a r i n t o the t e x t u r e of the poem as to be almost i n d i s t i n c t . In f a c t , t h e r e i s no coherent development of the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g i n the poem proper, a l t h o u g h the g e n e r a l o u t l i n e s o f b a t t l e w i t h f i r e f a l l i n g from the sky are c l e a r l y p r e s e n t . I t appears, then, t h a t the metaphors are e s s e n t i a l l y u n r e a l i z e d i n the body of America, as i n some of the e a r l i e r p o e t r y , and the very c l e a r development of the metaphors i n the l a t e r Preludium argues again f o r us t o e n v i s i o n a d i s c r e t e p o i n t i n time, probably i n 1793, when Blake " r e a l i z e d " h i s mature development of the metaphors and went back t o rework a l r e a d y w r i t t e n passages by r e v i s i n g and adding s e c t i o n s which d i s p l a y a more coherent, c o n t r o l l e d , and s e l f - c o n s c i o u s h a n d l i n g o f these metaphors. As a f u l l y - r e a l i z e d metaphoric treatment of the process of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g , the Preludium i s c o n s i s t e n t throughout w i t h what we have r e c o g n i z e d as the t y p i c a l v o c a b u l a r y , imagery, and p a r a d i g m a t i c t r a n s i t i o n s t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e Blake's h a n d l i n g o f the metaphors. The account begins w i t h a f o r m a l i z e d pause as the elements o f the process o f p r o d u c t i o n , i n t h i s case s p e c i f i c a l l y the e t c h i n g p r o c e s s , are presented t o each o t h e r and t o the reader: The shadowy daughter of Urthona stood b e f o r e red Ore. • • • • ' • • * « His food she brought i n i r o n b a s k e t s , h i s d r i n k i n cups of i r o n ; Crown'd w i t h a helmet & dark h a i r the nameless female stood; (A 1:1-4, E 50) Ore, of course, r e p r e s e n t s the f i e r y p r i n c i p l e of the a c i d , and the raetalic and w a r - l i k e woman who stands b e f o r e him (she i s armed, i s crowned w i t h a metal helmet, has an i r o n tongue C l.9], and c a r r i e s i r o n u t e n s i l s ) i s the p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of Blake's c o p p e r p l a t e which, once etched, i s a l s o c a l l e d the book of i r o n . She i s h e r s e l f the food she b r i n g s to Ore as the devouring, s e x u a l a t t a c k t h a t f o l l o w s makes c l e a r . And, although she i s i d e n t i f i e d as the daughter o f Urthona, e t e r n a l aspect of Los, she i s m e t a p h o r i c a l l y f i r s t c o u s i n t o U r i z e n , the shadowy, nameless., dark female m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the unknown, a b s t r a c t e d , dark shadow o f h o r r o r t h a t emerges b e f o r e the e t c h e r Blake a t the b e g i n n i n g of The Book of Urizen.^1 But most s i g n i f i c a n t l y , at the opening o f the Preludium she i s s i l e n t , and she w i l l remain s i l e n t u n t i l the a c i d embraces her i n the a c i d bath and makes her a r t i c u l a t e by e t c h i n g words i n t o her naked form: . . . s i l e n t she stood as n i g h t ; • For never from her i r o n tongue c o u l d v o i c e or sound a r i s e ; But dumb t i l l t h a t dread day when Ore assay'd h i s f i e r c e embrace. (A 1:8-10, E 51) Ore, though bound, i s a l r e a d y a r t i c u l a t e and t e l l s us o f 72 h i s c o r r o s i v e power i n h i s v a r i o u s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s as se r p e n t , screaming e a g l e , s t a l k i n g l i o n , and whale l a s h i n g the " r a g i n g , fathomless abyss" (a r e c u r r e n t metaphor f o r the e t c h i n g copper-p l a t e ) . 42 The image o f the chained O r c / a c i d can be seen as a p a r a d o x i c a l l y p o s i t i v e , though r e p r e s s i v e , aspect of the c r e a -t i v e p r o c e s s . The nature o f a c i d i s t o devour a l l i n d i s c r i m i -n a t e l y — "The ' r e a l ' Ore i s d e s i r e u n r e s t r a i n e d " 4 3 — a n c | through l i m i t i n g and c o n t r o l l i n g h i s f i e r c e energy w i t h a c i d r e s i s t and timed b i t i n g s , Blake/Los s u c c e s s f u l l y performs h i s f u n c t i o n as c r e a t i v e a r t i s t . A f t e r t h i s f ormal i n t r o d u c t i o n and address by the s t a t i c opponents, the c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y begins as the f i e r y , male a c i d p r i n c i p l e i s r e l e a s e d and allowed t o a t t a c k the l o i n s of the pa s s i v e female p l a t e i n a c l i m a c t i c passage t h a t d i s p l a y s s e v e r a l of Blake's t y p i c a l methods of h a n d l i n g the metaphors: S i l e n t as d e s p a i r i n g l o v e , and s t r o n g as j e a l o u s y , The h a i r y s h o u l d e r s rend the l i n k s , f r e e are the w r i s t s of f i r e ; Round the t e r r i f i c l o i n s he s i e z ' d the panting s t r u g g l i n g womb; I t j o y ' d : she put a s i d e her clouds & sm i l e d her f i r s t - b o r n s m i l e ; As when a b l a c k c l o u d shews i t s l i g h t ' n i n g s t o the s i l e n t deep. (A 2:1-5, E 50-51) T h i s womb/plate imagery i s a v a r i a t i o n of the "womb of Nature" we have a l r e a d y encountered i n Ur i z e n and P a r a c e l s u s , and the e t c h i n g - a s - l i g h t n i n g imagery of the l a s t l i n e i s perhaps the c l e a r e s t example of a metaphor t h a t we have a l r e a d y t r a c e d through both d e s i g n and t e x t . The most i n t e r e s t i n g element here i s the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f y e t another p a r a d i g m a t i c t r a n s i t i o n 73 that occurs between li n e s 3 and 4. Blake often describes the preparation and prelude to creative a c t i v i t y i n very v i o l e n t terms such as war or, i n t h i s case, rape, which suddenly revert to p o s i t i v e images when t o l d from the point of view of the "victim." Thus the violence of Ore's rape of the plate i n l i n e 3 ("Round the t e r r i f i c l oins he siez'd the panting strug-g l i n g womb") i s completely reversed i n the next l i n e with the female's unexpected accommodating response 'to his f i e r c e embrace: " I t j o y 1 d : she put aside her clouds & smiled her f i r s t - b o r n smile...."44;- But a f t e r a l l , "Opposition i s true Friendship" (MHH 20, E 41) and to an imaginative, eye these are the delights of the f i r e s of H e l l as they are celebrated by Blake and the d e v i l s i n The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l . ^ In f u l f i l m e n t of Blake's paradigmatic t r a n s i t i o n from s i l e n c e to speech, as soon as the acid begins to etch the plate words appear and the shadowy female becomes a r t i c u l a t e : "Soon as she saw the t e r r i b l e boy then burst the v i r g i n cry" (A 2:6, E 51). In d i c t i o n highly reminiscent of the d i r e c o n f l i c t i o n s and rendings of Urizen, the shadowy female recounts how her American plains ( l i t e r a l l y the plates of America) are rent i n furrows by the lig h t n i n g / a c i d as a Whale/Leviathan/serpent/acid drinks her soul away i n the South-sea of the acid bath. What i s taking form i n t h i s creative a c t i v i t y i s , of course, a plate from the poem America, or, more co r r e c t l y , the plates of America as seen c o l -l e c t i v e l y etched i n one mythic, archetypal action. The Pre-ludium, although written l a s t , a f t e r the metaphors had j e l l e d , 74 f u n c t i o n s as an account of the c r e a t i o n of the poem America, j u s t as The Book of U r i z e n i s i t s e l f what i s t a k i n g shape i n the course of t h a t poem. In terms of the metaphors, then, Ore's rape of the shadowy female, l i t e r a l l y causes her to g i v e b i r t h t o the poem th a t f o l l o w s s i n c e t h a t process i s , s p e c i f i c a l l y , the e t c h i n g of the p l a t e s of A merica. 4^ T h i s tendency of the metaphors t o r e p r e s e n t the p h y s i c a l c r e a t i o n of the poem t h a t f o l l o w s can be t r a c e d , though i n very i n d i s t i n c t form, ?.n the Preludium t o Europe. Dennis Douglas' b r i e f a r t i c l e "Blake*s *Europe': A Note on the Preludium," opens w i t h a c l e a r summary o f the theme of t h i s p r e f a t o r y passage: The preludium of Blake's Europe concerns the p r o c r e a t i v e f o r c e of nature which i t t r e a t s i n terms of a myth i n -v o l v i n g two symbolic f i g u r e s , the 'nameless shadowy female*, who...produces f i e r y b e i n g s , a myriad of l i v i n g forms, and Enitharmon, who stamps ' t h i s v igorous progeny' w i t h the s e a l of m a t e r i a l form. The nameless shadowy female pleads w i t h Enitharmon not t o continue i n f l i c t i n g on her the task of p r o p a g a t i o n . She p r o t e s t s t h a t the s t a r s ' r a i n down p r o l i f i c p a i n s ' upon her, and t h a t she and her o f f s p r i n g s u f f e r anguish and torment.47 In terms of the metaphors, we can read the f i r s t symbolic f i g u r e as the p l a t e which produces a myriad of l i v i n g forms and the second as, perhaps, C a t h e r i n e Blake who i n f l i c t s the task of p r o p a g a t i o n on the p l a t e by stamping i t s "vigorous progeny" w i t h the s e a l of m a t e r i a l form. ( I t has l o n g been r e c o g n i z e d 4 8 t h a t C a t h e r i n e p l a y e d Enitharmon t o Blake's Los.) T h i s passage p i c k s up the n a r r a t i v e where i t was l e f t o f f i n the Preludium to America, w i t h the emergence of the same shadowy f e m a l e / p l a t e from out of the a c i d b a t h : "The nameless 75 shadowy female rose from out the b r e a s t of Ore...And thus her v o i c e a r o s e " (E 1:1-3, E 5 9 ) . ^ S i g n i f i c a n t l y , she i s immediately a r t i c u l a t e , s i n c e she e n t e r s the poem t h i s time as a f u l l y - e t c h e d p l a t e . And as a reworked and overworked p l a t e , she emerges from out of the a c i d bath w i t h apparent foreknowledge of the t r i a l i n the p l a t e p r e s s t h a t i s t o come, and expresses f e a r s t h a t Enitharmon w i l l r e l e a s e more O r e - l i k e sons upon her and e t c h her i d e n t i t y away completely: 0 mother Enitharmon w i l t thou b r i n g f o r t h o t h e r sons? To cause my name to v a n i s h , t h a t my p l a c e may not be found. For I am f a i n t w i t h t r a v e l ! L i k e the dark c l o u d disburdend i n the day of d i s m a l thunder. [Blake's t y p i c a l imagery f o r the p r i n t i n g process] (E 1:4-7, E 59) T h i s passage a l s o d i s p l a y s a growing theme of t h i s l e v e l of Blake's p o e t r y : the n e g a t i v e aspect of a r t i s t i c c r e a t i o n as the b i n d i n g of i m a g i n a t i v e forms i n t o m a t e r i a l form. The p l a t e c h a r a c t e r i z e s her r o l e i n the c y c l i c p r o d u c t i o n of p h y s i c a l forms as p a i n f u l , both f o r h e r s e l f and f o r her o f f s p r i n g who are ushered i n t o g e n e r a t i o n : " a l l the o v e r f l o w i n g s t a r s [Neoplatonic symbols of g e n e r a t i v e nature] r a i n down p r o l i f i c p a i n s " (E 1:15, E 59). A c c o r d i n g l y , the p l a t e asks t h a t Enitharmon "Stamp not w i t h s o l i d form t h i s v i g ' r o u s progeny of f i r e s " (E 2:8, E 60), but, of course, C a t h e r i n e does not heed and the Preludium ends w i t h the p l a t e d i s a p p e a r i n g between the r o l l e r s of the p l a t e p r e s s , g i v i n g form to more vig o r o u s progeny: "She c e a s t & r o l l d her shady c l o u d s / I n t o the s e c r e t p l a c e " (E 2:17-18, E 60). T h i s l e v e l i s c l e a r l y of secondary importance i n the P r e -ludium, but the g e n e r a l o u t l i n e s of the n a r r a t i v e and the f a c t 76 t h a t i t i s a coherent e x t e n s i o n of the metaphors developed i n the Preludium to America argue t h a t t h i s myth of the p r o -c r e a t i v e f o r c e of nature d e r i v e s a l a r g e p a r t o f i t s own p a t -t e r n of development from the p a t t e r n s of Blake's c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y . In t h a t sense, i t i s leagued w i t h the other poems we have examined i n t h i s c h a p t e r , a l l of which have pr e s e n t e d metaphoric d i s c u s s i o n s of Blake's process of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g . The g e n e r a l r i s e i n the a r t i c u l a t e n e s s and s e l f -c onsciousness w i t h which Blake handles these metaphors p o i n t s t o the f a c t t h a t they are approaching the mature development t h a t they a c h i e v e i n The. Book of U r i z e n , which we have a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d , and The Book of Ahania, which we w i l l d i s c u s s i n the next chapter. CHAPTER IV THE POETRY AFTER URIZEN The year 1795, which ends the p e r i o d t h a t saw the com-p l e t i o n o f , among oth e r works, The Songs of Innocence and of  Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and He11, and America i n 179 3 and the p u b l i c a t i o n of Europe and The Book of U r i z e n i n 1794, r e p r e s e n t s the peak of one of Blake's two g r e a t c r e a t i v e phases.^" Blake c o n t i n u e d t h i s p e r i o d of p r o l i f i c p o e t i c output i n 1795 by producing The Song of Los, The Book of Ahania, and The Book of Los, but the most s t r i k i n g element of t h i s year i s the tremendous upsurge of t e c h n i c a l and a r t i s t i c e x p e r i -mentation t h a t a p p a r e n t l y r e c h a n n e l l e d h i s e n e r g i e s away from completing or e t c h i n g any l i t e r a r y work f o r almost ten y e a r s . In o r about 179 5, Blake expanded h i s t e c h n i c a l h o r i z o n s i n s e v e r a l ways. F i r s t , he began experimenting i n e a r n e s t w i t h c o l o u r p r i n t i n g , the method o f p r o d u c t i o n used f o r the f i r s t s i x c o p i e s of U r i z e n , and f o r The Song o f Los, Ahania, and The  Book of Los as w e l l as f o r the r e i s s u e of s e v e r a l e a r l i e r works. 2 In the p r o c e s s , Blake p r o g r e s s e d from c o l o u r p r i n t i n g d e s i g n s from etched p l a t e s (Urizen) t o c o l o u r p r i n t i n g w i t h blank p l a t e s (even the l e t t e r i n g on the t i t l e page of The Song of Los i s c o l o u r p r i n t e d on a blank p l a t e ) . T h i s i n t e r e s t i n c o l o u r p r i n t i n g as p u r e l y a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n l e d to the r e p r o d u c t i o n of s e v e r a l of the designs of h i s i l l u m i n a t e d books d i v o r c e d from the t e x t * n A Large Book o f Designs and A Small Book o f Designs, and c u l -minated i n the same year w i t h the p r o d u c t i o n of h i s famous l a r g e 78 c o l o u r p r i n t s o f 179 5. J At about t h i s time Blake a l s o s t a r t e d the V a l a manuscript (Keynes dates i t from 1795, Erdman from 1796) and, as G. E. B e n t l e y suggests,^ the e l e g a n t c o p p e r p l a t e hand i n which i t was w r i t t e n i n d i c a t e s t h a t Blake was contem-p l a t i n g a c o n v e n t i o n a l i n t a g l i o r e p r o d u c t i o n of both t e x t and d e s i g n . Blake never completed t h a t p r o j e c t , but he d i d suc-ceed i n u n i t i n g i n t a g l i o t e x t w i t h c o l o u r - p r i n t e d designs i n Ahania and The Book of Los• Blake may have had s e v e r a l reasons f o r changing the s t y l e of h i s book r e p r o d u c t i o n , ^ but i t i s c l e a r t h a t a l l t h r e e of the books f i r s t p r i n t e d i n 179 5 d i s p l a y w i t h i n t h e i r form the s i g n s of Blake's r i s i n g i n t e r e s t i n t e c h n i c a l e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n . But the i n f l u e n c e of t h i s r i c h e x p erimentation i s not l i m i t e d simply t o the p h y s i c a l form of the books. Because the books are p r i n t e d d i f f e r e n t l y , d i f f e r e n t metaphors are used and i t i s necessary t o become acquainted w i t h a new v a r i e t y of techniques i n o r d e r t o s u c c e s s f u l l y i n t e r p r e t the m e t a p h o r i c a l accounts o f the p r i n t i n g process presented i n the t e x t . Primary among these a r e , p r e d i c t a b l y , the techniques i n v o l v e d i n i n t a g l i o e t c h i n g , s i n c e the t e x t of both The Book of Ahania and The Book  of Los was p r i n t e d i n the i n t a g l i o method and the metapnors, as u s u a l , tend t o recount the s p e c i f i c techniques used to produce the book t h a t c o n t a i n s them. Another c l o s e l y r e l a t e d new technique t h a t i s i n t r o d u c e d i n the metaphors of The Book of Ahania i s the t e c h n i q u e t h a t Blake c a l l e d "woodcut on copper," f i r s t used i n r e p r o d u c i n g 79 America i n 1793 and d e s c r i b e d i n h i s Notebook ca. 1794: To Woodcut on Copper Lay a Ground as f o r E t c h i n g , t r a c e &c. & i n s t e a d of E t c h i n g the b l a c k s E t c h the whites & b i t e i t i n (E 672) • . T h i s i s r e a l l y a v a r i a t i o n of a technique Blake c a l l e d "wood-cut on pewter," which he d e s c r i b e d i n more d e t a i l i n the Note-book: To Woodcut on Pewter, l a y a ground on the P l a t e & smoke i t as f o r E t c h i n g , then t r a c e your o u t l i n e < s ^ [& draw them i n w i t h a needle ]. and b e g i n n i n g with the spots o f l i g h t on each o b j e c t w i t h an o v a l p o i n t e d needle scrape o f f the ground....as a d i r e c t i o n f o r your g r a v e r then proceed to g r a v i n g . . . (E 672) In o t h e r words, t o woodcut on copper, the ground was f i r s t a p p l i e d t o the c o p p e r p l a t e and then smoked, and once hard was scraped o f f i n l i n e s w i t h an e t c h i n g needle or echoppe b e f o r e b e i n g etched. (A ground i s simply an a c i d r e s i s t e n t substance w i t h which the p l a t e i s covered. Once the ground i s hard, an a r t i s t can c o n t r o l the e t c h i n g of the p l a t e by exposing p a r t s of i t t o the a c i d simply by s c r a t c h i n g l i n e s through the ground.) The term "woodcut on copper" i s used because, although f i n e l i n e s were etched i n t o the c o p p e r p l a t e as i n i n t a g l i o p r i n t i n g , the p l a t e was a c t u a l l y p r i n t e d l i k e a woodcut, i . e . as a r e l i e f p l a t e , the t h i n r e c e s s e d l i n e s thus appearing white a g a i n s t a s o l i d dark background as i n the f r o n t i s p i e c e t o Europe and M i l t o n p l a t e 1 ( f i g s . 1 and 5). The i n i t i a l p r e p a r a t i o n f o r e t c h i n g a d e s i g n i n the "woodcut on copper" technique i s thus i d e n t i c a l w i t h the p r e p a r a t i o n of a p l a t e f o r p r i n t i n g the t e x t i n i n t a g l i o , as i n The Book of 80 Ahania: an e t c h i n g ground i s f i r s t a p p l i e d and then smoked i n each case. The only d i f f e r e n c e i s i n the i n k i n g and p r i n t i n g of the p l a t e s — o n e i s i n r e l i e f and the o t h e r i n i n t a g l i o . Ground may be added t o a p l a t e e i t h e r as a s o l i d or as a l i q u i d . B l a ke o b v i o u s l y used a l i q u i d ground f o r the t e x t and d e s i g n of h i s standard r e l i e f p l a t e s , but f o r i n t a g l i o work and e s p e c i a l l y f o r "woodcut on copper" w i t h i t s abundance of c r o s s h a t c h e d l i n e s he would have used a s o l i d ground s i n c e a l i q u i d ground "wi.1.1... tend t o crack o f f i n the a c i d e s p e c i a l l y where a number of l i n e s c r o s s each o t h e r . " 7 To l a y t h i s hard or " b a l l " ground, the c o p p e r p l a t e i s h e l d i n a hand-vice and heated u n t i l v e r y hot. When i t i s hot enough, a b a l l of ground i s dabbed onto the p l a t e , each dab b e i n g about an i n c h a p a r t . These smoking spots of ground are then smeared a c r o s s the s u r -face of the p l a t e u n t i l i t i s covered more or l e s s e v e n l y . Immediately afterwards, w h i l e the p l a t e i s s t i l l hot, the ground i s smoked to darken i t and t o ensure t h a t i t s s u r f a c e i s p e r f e c t l y smooth. A h a n d f u l o f candles are h e l d i n one hand and the p l a t e , s t i l l i n the hand-vice, i n the o t h e r . The p l a t e i s then passed s l o w l y over the edge of the flames, w i t h the grounded s i d e down, so t h a t the carbon mixes wi t h the s t i l l wet ground. "The s o o t w i l l b l e n d e n t i r e l y w i t h the ground, l e a v i n g a b r i l l i a n t b l a c k s u r f a c e which becomes d u l l b l a c k on cooling."** O c c a s i o n a l l y , b e f o r e i t i s c o o l e d and immediately a f t e r the ground has been smoked, the p l a t e i s heated as h o t as p o s s i b l e , t i l l the ground i t s e l f smokes. I t i s then l e f t t o c o o l and harden. 81 As one might expect, Blake saw a wealth of metaphoric p o t e n t i a l i n the hot, f i e r y b u s i n e s s o f l a y i n g a ground and smoking a p l a t e , and t h i s p o t e n t i a l i s r e a l i z e d i n The Book of A h a n i a — a poem i n which Blake's development of the meta-phors i s a t i t s peak. In t h i s stage of h i s c a r e e r , j u s t a f t e r U r i z e n was w r i t t e n , Blake's use of the metaphors i s d e t a i l e d and s o p h i s t i c a t e d enough t o pres e n t h i s o l d techniques c l e a r l y and t o i n c o r p o r a t e new ones, and y e t i s r e c e n t l y e volved and newly mature so t h a t the metaphors are s t i l l h o l d i n g t h e i r form f i r m b e f o r e f a d i n g back somewhat i n t o the t e x t u r e of Blake's thought as they do i n the l a t e r poems. In the very complex and dense group o f metaphors t h a t opens The Book of  Ahania, Blake's experience of working an i n f l e x i b l e and dark sheet of metal w i t h flame, e t c h i n g needle, and a c i d i s deve-loped i n t o a myth of a y o u t h f u l , f i e r y , p h a l l i c Ore f i g u r e a t t a c k i n g an aged, i n f l e x i b l e , and impotent r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the o l d o r d e r . In Chapter I, Fuzon i s c l e a r l y a s t a n d - i n f o r Ore; i n terms of the metaphors, he s p e c i f i c a l l y assumes Ore's r o l e as the s p i r i t of the f i e r y a c i d and i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the same p h a l l i c imagery, but i n a more g e n e r a l sense r e -prese n t s the e n e r g e t i c p r i n c i p l e o f f i r e i n i t s v a r i o u s mani-f e s t a t i o n s as flame, a c i d , o r beam of l i g h t . In t h i s sense Fuzon can be seen as an embodiment of the c r e a t i v e r o l e of Blake h i m s e l f f o r the spear and arrow images w i t h which he, as Ore p r i n c i p l e , i s c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d "are q u a s i - p h a l l i c symbols of the r e l e a s e of i m a g i n a t i v e power." 9 But i n t h i s 82 r e s p e c t they a l s o f u n c t i o n as the metaphoric r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of the v a r i o u s q u a s i - p h a l l i c elements of Blake's process o f p r o d u c t i o n : l i t e r a l flames, g r a v e r , echoppe, and a c i d i t s e l f ; and Fuzon's a t t a c k can t h e r e f o r e a l s o be read as a d r a m a t i z a -t i o n of Blake's l i t e r a l c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y . Fuzon's opponent i s , p r e d i c t a b l y , U r i z e n , who f u n c t i o n s as the p a s s i v e , though r e s i s t e n t medium upon which the i n f o r m i n g c r e a t i v e energy i s r e l e a s e d . In t h i s c ontext, t h a t medium would be, of course, the c o p p e r p l a t e , and we do indeed f i n d t h a t the "Disk of U r i z e n " (metonymy f o r U r i z e n h i m s e l f ) i s e f f e c t i v e l y d e s c r i b e d as a c o p p e r p l a t e , a "beaten mass" which "was f o r g ' d i n m i l l s where the w i n t e r / B e a t s i n c e s s a n t ; [for) ten w i n t e r s the d i s k / U n r e -m i t t i n g endur'd the c o l d hammer" (Ah 2:23-25, E 83). (The emphasis on the hammering i d e n t i f i e s i t as the e t c h e r ' s beaten, as opposed t o r o l l e d , copperplate.) Chapter I of Ahania embodies what i s probably the densest c o n f l a t i o n of the processes of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g i n B l a k e ' s poetry, but g i v e n the r e l a t i v e l y c l e a r metaphoric i d e n t i f i c a -t i o n of the two major opponents, i t i s p o s s i b l e t o t r a c e out coherent d e s c r i p t i o n s of l a y i n g the ground, and smoking and e t c h i n g the c o p p e r p l a t e . P i c t u r e d as a C h r i s t - l i k e w a r r i o r ( i . e . the a c t i v e aspect of the c r e a t i v e p r i n c i p l e ) , Fuzon f i r s t emerges as the f i r e p r i n c i p l e i n i t s l i t e r a l form, the f l a m i n g and smoking group of candles which c o n f r o n t the darkening copper-p l a t e e a r l y i n the process of p r o d u c t i o n : Fuzon, on a c h a r i o t iron-wing'd 83 On s p i k e d f lames r o s e ; h i s ho t v i s a g e F l a m ' d f u r i o u s ! s p a r k l e s h i s h a i r & beard • • • • • • On c l o u d s of smoke rages h i s c h a r i o t And h i s r i g h t hand burns r e d i n i t s c l o u d * * * * * * * TS\ Son o f U r i z e n s s i l e n t b u r n i n g s (Ah 2 : 1 - 9 , E 8 3 ) 1 0 In moving on t o v e r s e two, we observe a g a i n the by now almost f o r m u l a i c p a r a d i g m a t i c t r a n s i t i o n s l a s t observed i n A m e r i c a : the two opponents a re f i r s t p i c t u r e d s i m p l y c o n f r o n t i n g one a n o t h e r , then the a c t i v e p r i n c i p l e d e l i v e r s a somewhat f o r -m a l i z e d speech b e f o r e the two elements o f the c r e a t i v e p roce s s proceed t o b a t t l e . F u z o n ' s t a u n t i n g c h a l l e n g e t o U r i z e n i s f u l l o f t h e imagery we would e x p e c t t o a s s o c i a t e w i t h a c o p p e r -p l a t e , e s p e c i a l l y one t h a t has j u s t been darkened by smoking : S h a l l we w o r s h i p t h i s Demon of smoke, S a i d F u z o n , t h i s a b s t r a c t n o n - e n t i t y T h i s c l o u d y God s e a t e d on waters Now s e e n , now o b s c u r ' d . . . (Ah 2 :10-13 , E 8 3 ) 1 1 A f t e r t h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n o f the opponents and c a u s t i c speech t h a t i s i t s e l f a f i e r y f l a m e , the f i e r y , c r e a t i v e p r i n -c i p l e a t t a c k s the c o p p e r p l a t e i n what i s the s t a r t o f th e t r u e c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y o f the poem: The Globe o f wrath s h a k i n g on h i g h R o a r i n g w i t h f u r y , he threw The h o w l i n g G l o b e : b u r n i n g i t f lew L e n g t h n i n g i n t o a hungry beam. S w i f t l y O p p o s ' d t o the e x u l t i n g f l a m ' d beam The b r o a d D i s k of U r i z e n u p h e a v ' d (Ah 2 :16-21 , E 83) In t h i s c o n f l a t i o n o f v a r i o u s s t ages o f p r o d u c t i o n , F u z o n ' s a t t a c k o f U r i z e n takes the form o f a l e n g t h e n i n g f i e r y beam f o r s e v e r a l reasons t h a t can be e x p l a i n e d i f we r e t a i n a c l e a r sense 84 of what i s b e i n g d e s c r i b e d on the p h y s i c a l l e v e l o f Blake's techniques. F i r s t , Fuzon's l e n g t h e n i n g f i e r y beam a t t a c k i n g U r i z e n i s an image of the echoppe s c r a t c h i n g a l i n e through the ground and exposing the s u r f a c e of the c o p p e r p l a t e which f i g u r a t i v e l y upheaves as a s o l i d substance i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the edge of the needle. But when the f i r e p r i n c i p l e Fuzon a t t a c k s as a c i d , the same l i n e becomes q u i t e l i t e r a l l y a burning, hungry beam t h a t " [tears] through/ That beaten mass: keeping i t s d i r e c t i o n / The c o l d l o i n s of U r i z e n d i v i d i n g (Ah 2:27-29, E 83). ( I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t Fuzon's hungry beam i s d i r e c t e d a t U r i z e n ' s l o i n s j u s t as the f i e r y Ore s p e c i f i c a l l y a t t a c k s the shadowy female's l o i n s i n the Preludium t o America.) But the same f i e r y t r a c k t h a t cuts a path through the smoke/ground of the p l a t e i s a l s o a beam of l i g h t , f o r when e x e c u t i n g "woodcut on copper," Blake "[begins] w i t h the spo t s of l i g h t on each o b j e c t [and] w i t h an o v a l p o i n t e d needle [scrapes] o f f the ground" (E 672). In oth e r words, when the p l a t e i s p r i n t e d , Fuzon's " e x u l t i n g flam'd beam" w i l l appear as a white s h a f t of l i g h t a g a i n s t a dark background as do the , sun's beams on the f r o n t i s p i e c e t o Europe ( f i g . 1). T h i s d r a -m a t i z a t i o n o f Blake's techniques thus develops i n t o what i s , i f not a d e s c r i p t i o n of the d e s i g n on the p l a t e , a t l e a s t the em-bodiment of a p o r t i o n o f t h a t design s i n c e Fuzon's spear/beam e s s e n t i a l l y i s the c o l l e c t i v e d e f i n i n g l i n e s o f t h a t d e s i g n . Thus i n one blow, as i t were, we have seen the ground a p p l i e d , the de s i g n scraped i n t o i t , the p l a t e etched, and have 85 caught a glimpse o f the p r i n t e d d e s i g n . But, w i t h the e x c e p t i o n of the beam of l i g h t i n the d e s i g n , the same metaphors a c c u r a -t e l y d e s c r i b e the formation of t e x t i n i n t a g l i o p l a t e s such as those a c t u a l l y used f o r The Book of Ahania, and t h i s f i r s t s e c t i o n of the chapter can t h e r e f o r e be read as a m e t a p h o r i c a l account of the p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n of the a c t u a l book t h a t c o n t a i n s those m e t a p h o r s — a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f e a t u r e of Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors. Furthermore, Fuzon's f i e r y a t t a c k as the a c i d which d i v i d e s U r i z e n ' s c o l d l o i n s a l s o causes Ahania t o be manifested as U r i z e n ' s p a r t e d s o u l , although she remains i n a s t r a n g e l y p o t e n t i a l form, "Unseen, unbodied, unknown" (Ah 2:42, E 84). In oth e r words, the Ahania i n the n a r r a t i v e l o g i c a l l y f u n c t i o n s as the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the poem Ahania i t s e l f as d i s t i n c t from the c o p p e r p l a t e which, i n a sense, em-bodies i t . Thus "Ahania" m a n i f e s t s as soon as the p l a t e i s etched, although she remains " [hidden] ... i n s i l e n c e " (Ah 2:36, E 84) u n t i l the v o i d of the c o p p e r p l a t e i s f i l l e d w i t h i n k and stamped on paper.13 The n a r r a t i v e of t h i s l e v e l of the poem conti n u e s through-out Ahania, l e a d i n g through the p r o g r e s s i v e stages of the pro c e s s of p r o d u c t i o n to the p o i n t where the book i s f i n a l l y completed and Ahania becomes a r t i c u l a t e , d e l i v e r i n g her lament i n Chapter V. Although t h e r e i s some c o n f l a t i o n of d i s t i n c t stages of Blake's techniques o f p r o d u c t i o n , the general.development of Chapter II p i c k s up the process where the p l a t e has been etched, f o l l o w s i t through i t s i n k i n g and ends w i t h the p u l l i n g o f an 86 i m p r e s s i o n . As i s common, the metaphoric i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s s h i f t between chapters t h a t r e p r e s e n t d i f f e r e n t stages of the p r o c e s s o f p r o d u c t i o n and U r i z e n assumes Fuzon's r o l e as the r e p r e -s e n t a t i v e of Blake the a r t i s t — a r e f l e c t i o n of the f a c t t h a t w i t h the p r i n t i n g process the p l a t e s h i f t s i t s r o l e from a p a s s i v e t o an a c t i v e p r i n c i p l e which fecundates the paper. Thus Uri z e n ' s a c t i v i t y o f p r e p a r i n g a bow and p l a c i n g i n i t a rock ( f a m i l i a r metaphor f o r the copperplate) i s Blake's a c t i v i t y of a r r a n g i n g the p l a t e p r e s s and l a y i n g the p l a t e i n the bed b e f o r e p u l l i n g an i m p r e s s i o n , and i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the same em-p h a s i s on s i l e n c e t h a t we- have come t o expect i n t h i s stage of p r o d u c t i o n : Then (Urizen] a Bow b l a c k prepar'd: on t h i s Bow, A p o i s o n e d rock p l a c ' d i n s i l e n c e : • • • • • • ...the Rock Poisonous source! p l a c ' d w i t h a r t , l i f t i n g d i f f i c u l t I t s weighty b u l k : s i l e n t the rock l a y . (Ah 3:23-35, E 84-85) T h i s i s the same r o c k / c o p p e r p l a t e t h a t makes another appearance i n Chapter I I I as the "rock" which B l a k e / U r i z e n h i m s e l f i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r shaping w i t h h i s own i m a g i n a t i o n : "...he s a t on a r o c k / Barren; a rock which h i m s e l f / From redounding f a n c i e s had p e t r i f i e d " ( A h 3:56-58, E 85). B e f o r e b e i n g l a i d i n the p r e s s , the c o p p e r p l a t e / r o c k i s , o f course, i n k e d , a process t h a t was recounted i n two a l t e r n a t e v e r s i o n s a t the s t a r t of the chapter. F i r s t , the i n k i n g i s des-c r i b e d i n q u i t e a c c e s s i b l e imagery as t o r r e n t s of mud r u s h i n g down from U r i z e n ' s mountains to s e t t l e t h i c k i n the v a l l e y s of the intaglio plate, but this account modulates into a vision of a poisonous serpent which approaches and " [pushes] furious" (Ah 3:17, E 84) at Urizen: Great the conflict & great the jealousy In cold poisons: but Urizen smote him F i r s t he poison'd the rocks With'his blood Then polish'd his ribs... • • • • • • Then a Bow black prepar'd: on this Bow, A poisoned rock plac'd in silence... (Ah 3:18-24, E 84) This struggle and smearing of the rock with the blood of a snake I take to be a metaphorical account of Blake smearing the ink on the copperplate with a similarly phallic and snake-14 like dauber or printer's b a l l . The distinct parallel with intaglio techniques is continued with Urizen's polishing of the ribs, which can be read as the next step i n intaglio printing: the careful wiping of the ink around the fine, r i b - l i k e lines of the copperplate. Once the plate is inked, wiped, and laid in the press, Blake moves on to describe the printing process. In an extension of the battle imagery that has consistently been applied to this stage of production, the pulling of an impression i s dramatized as a violent act that, logically, reproduces in reverse the fli g h t of Fuzon's beam in Chapter I. As a representation of the printing process, Urizen's attack on Fuzon (who here represents the page) i s presented in imagery that i s very reminiscent of "the black winds that darken the pale, white landscape of The Book of Urizen: 88 Sudden sings the rock, swift & invisible On Fuzon flew... His beautiful visage, his tresses, That gave light to the mornings of heaven Were smitten with darkness... (Ah 3:39-43, E 85) Urizen's retaliatory attack thus at once depicts the printing process, and dramatizes the manifestation of the print as the reverse impression of the design on the copperplate. The completion of this stage of production actually occurs in the next chapter with Urizen/Blake nailing Fuzon's newly-smitten "pale... Corse" (Ah 4 :10 , E 86) [italics mine] to the Tree of Mystery just as an etcher often hangs a freshly printed 15 leaf of paper to dry. The only remaining stage of production is the fleshing out and enlivening of the corpse in the painting process that i s recounted in Chapter IV. As in The Book of  Urizen, the formation of the book is likened to the formation of a human body,1*' although in Ahania, the addition of paint is described not as quenchless f i r e s , but as clouds of pestilence swirling about the corpse. At any rate, these clouds produce living forms and the covering of the skeletal outline and text with colour and shape is presented as the gradual covering of bare bones with livi n g flesh: The clouds of disease hover'd wide • • • • • Perching around the hurtling bones Disease on disease, shape on shape, Winged screaming in blood & torment. • • • • • The shapes screaming flutter'd vain Some combin'd into muscles & glands 1 7 Some organs for craving and lust (Ah 4:22-33, E 86-87) This f i n a l emergence of li v i n g , substantial form into the poem 89 h e r a l d s i t s emergence as a completed p h y s i c a l e n t i t y , and the account of i t s p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n , which i s r e a l l y the s t o r y Of i t s v e g e t a t i o n from e t e r n a l i n t o p h y s i c a l form, ends w i t h the c o n c l u s i o n of Chapter IV. With the completion of the p h y s i c a l book i n Chapter IV, Ahania becomes a r t i c u l a t e and we. hear her extended lament throughout the next chapter. T h i s i s i n f a c t the f u l f i l m e n t of the most important g e n e r a l p a t t e r n p r e s e n t i n the poem. As i n so many o t h e r poems we have looked a t , the account o f i t s p h y s i c a l p r o d u c t i o n precedes the poem proper, although i n t h i s case, the f o r m a t i o n of the p h y s i c a l book dominates the poem completely, and what might be c a l l e d the t r u e book of A h a n i a — the lament i t s e l f — i s reduced t o a s i n g l e chapter added a t the end. T h i s t r a n s i t i o n t h a t occurs w i t h Chapter V i s a l s o i n keeping w i t h another t y p i c a l p a t t e r n t h a t we f i r s t observed i n the Preludium t o America; the dramatic s h i f t i n tone t h a t occurs w i t h the s h i f t i n p o i n t of view. The "lamenting" v o i c e of Ahania a c t u a l l y r a i s e s the poem to one of the h i g h e s t l y r i c p i t c h e s of Blake's minor p r o p h e c i e s and t h i s account of her experi e n c e of the c r e a t i v e process i s i n d i r e c t c o n t r a s t t o the always awesome and o c c a s i o n a l l y grotesque and s u r r e a l i s t i c account t h a t i s t r a n s m i t t e d t o us i n the f i r s t f o u r c h a p t e r s o f the poem. In g e n e r a l terms, Ahania's lament can be read as the g r i e f of an E t e r n a l Form a t being c a s t i n t o g e n e r a t i o n : 90 Why d i d s t thou d e s p i s e Ahania To c a s t me from thy b r i g h t presence In t o the World of Loneness (Ah 4:62-64, E 87) And t h i s sorrow i s compounded by her l o n g i n g f o r the s e x u a l b l i s s she had e x p e r i e n c e d w i t h the masculine, impregnating U r i z e n a t the moment of union between paper and p l a t e : To a r i s e t o the mountain s p o r t , To the b l i s s of e t e r n a l v a l l e y s : To embrace Ananias j o y On the b r e d t h of h i s open bosom: From my s o f t c l o u d of dew to f a l l In showers of . l i f e on h i s h a r v e s t s . (Ah 5:8-14, E 88) T h i s e x u l t i n g passage i s charged with imagery c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Blake's p r e s e n t a t i o n of the p r i n t i n g p r o c e s s , but i t s r e a l i t y as a lament over l o s t joys and i t s p o s i t i o n between an i n t e n s e l y b i t t e r i n t r o d u c t i o n and c o n c l u s i o n cannot be overlooked as an e s s e n t i a l l y n e g a t i v e comment on the nature of the process of p r o d u c t i o n i t s e l f . In f a c t , the whole o f The Book of Ahania can be seen as an e x e r c i s e i n the c r e a t i o n of a predominantly n e g a t i v e v i s i o n . T h e m a t i c a l l y , Morton Paley sees i t as "a work very important i n 18 the development of Blake's thought" which i s "The f i r s t poem i n which Blake [takes] an e n t i r e l y i r o n i c a l and p e s s i m i s t i c view of the f a t e of E n e r g y . " ^ T h i s dark thematic development i n Blake's myth which sees the energy p r i n c i p l e as the son of U r i z e n , bound to i t s f a t h e r i n a r e c u r r i n g c y c l i c p a t t e r n i s borne out by the h i g h l y " U r i z e n i c " nature of the poem as a p h y s i c a l e n t i t y . Which i s simply t o say t h a t when d e a l i n g w i t h so s e l f - c o n s c i o u s an a r t i s t as W i l l i a m Blake, one cannot i g n o r e 91 the thematic i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the s t r i k i n g l y d i f f e r e n t appearance °f ? n e Book of Ahania or The Book of Los, or simply d i s m i s s the d i f f e r e n c e s as o n l y e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n . Two of these d i f f e r e n c e s which are immediately obvious i s t h e i r s t y l e o f l e t t e r i n g and the complete l a c k o f p h y s i c a l i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between the t e x t "of the p o e t r y and the d e s i g n s , and both o f these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s r e i n f o r c e the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f these poems as e s s e n t i a l l y n e g a t i v e , o r a t l e a s t ambiguous, statements. Once the p r e f e r a t o r y m a t e r i a l , t i t l e s , and chapter headings o f both poems are passed and the poem proper b e g i n s , there i s , w i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n , no design i n e i t h e r poem u n t i l a f t e r the t e x t o f the poem comes to an end.20 T h i s complete l a c k o f even i n t e r l i n e a r designs f l i e s i n the face of one of Blake's primary aims i n the p r o d u c t i o n of h i s i l l u m i n a t e d books: the dynamic marriage of t e x t and design as an i n t e g r a t e d u n i t . Regarding the d i f f e r e n t s t y l e of l e t t e r i n g , s i n c e p h y s i c a l appearance here i s a f u n c t i o n of technique, Blake i s c o n f r o n t i n g the r e a d e r w i t h the f a c t t h a t the poems were produced i n i n t a g l i o p r i n t i n g . Robert E s s i c k has, I t h i n k c o r r e c t l y , argued t h a t Blake saw t h i s technique as i n t r i n s i c a l l y l i m i t i n g and " U r i z e n i c " ~ - i . e . c l o s e l y t i e d t o the E i g h t e e n t h Century's a s s e m b l y - l i n e commercial processes t h a t s t i f l e d t r u e a r t and degraded e t c h e r s and engravers. Again, E s s i c k i s r e f e r r i n g t o Blake's d e s i g n s , but the p o i n t can be extended t o the t e x t of Ahania and The Book  of Los because the very processes of i n t a g l i o e t c h i n g are seen as the symbolic a n t i t h e s i s o f the " t r u e " a r t of Blake's r e l i e f 92 t e c h n i q u e . T h i s p o i n t comes through q u i t e c l e a r l y i n Blake's meta-p h o r i c a l account of the e t c h i n g of i n t a g l i o p l a t e s i n The Book  of Los, which sh o u l d be compared to the demonic c e l e b r a t i o n of the e t c h i n g process as the l i b e r a t i n g and s a l u t a r y f i r e s of H e l l i n The, Marriage of Heaven and H e l l . The Book of Los i n t e r s e c t s the a c t i o n of The Book of U r i z e n w i t h the b i n d i n g of U r i z e n , but the l a t e r poem i s t o l d from Los's p e r s p e c t i v e . However, the m e t a p h o r i c a l c o n s t r u c t s of both poems are very s i m i l a r and the f i e r c e and f l a m i n g a c t i v i t y o f The Book Of Los, Chapter I i s another m e t a p h o r i c a l account of the e t c h i n g of a p l a t e . In an i d e n t i c a l p a t t e r n w i t h U r i z e n , Chapter I I , verse 5, the flames as a c i d e a t i n t o the p l a t e and emerge i n t o an abyss, Nature's wide womb: "mounting on h i g h / I n t o vacuum: i n t o n o n - e n t i t y . / Where no t h i n g was!" (BL 3:36-38, E 90). But u n l i k e the e a r l i e r poem, The Book of Los s t r o n g l y emphasizes the dominant p o s i t i o n of the c o p p e r p l a t e i n i n t a g l i o e t c h i n g , f o r the shape of the etched word i s completely d e f i n e d by the o b s t r u c t i n g metal, and i n c o n t r a s t to the p o w e r f u l l y leagued flames of The Marriage, the r i v e r s of l i q u i d flame i n i n t a g l i o e t c h i n g are i n f a c t d i v i d e d and weakened as each group of flames i s allowed t o b i t e o n l y a s i n g l e word, or even a s i n g l e l e t t e r , i n t o the p l a t e : ...the e t e r n a l f i e r c e - r a g i n g R i v e r s of wide flame; they r o l l round And round on a l l s i d e s making t h e i r way I n t o darkness and shadowy o b s c u r i t y Wide a p a r t stood the f i r e s . . . (BL 3: 39-43, E 90) At the end of t h i s account, i n s t e a d of the triumph of the a c i d / 93 flame p r i n c i p l e i n c l e a n s i n g the p e r c e p t i o n s and h e r a l d i n g the Apocalypse as i n The Marriage, the weakened flames sub-s i d e and Los ( p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of the c r e a t i v e p r i n c i p l e and r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the a r t i s t Blake) f i n d s h i m s e l f and h i s per-c e p t i o n s d e f e a t e d and bound i n by the domineering "Stone of Night": The g i g a n t i c flames trembled and h i d ... a S o l i d Ytfithout f l u c t u a t i o n , hard as adamant Bl a c k as marble of Egypt; impenetrable Bound i n the f i e r c e r a g i n g Immortal. And the seperated f i r e s f r o z e i n A v a s t s o l i d without f l u c t u a t i o n , Bound i n h i s e x p a n d i n g - c l e a r senses (BL 4:3-10, E 90) T h i s d e f e a t of the e n e r g e t i c flames by the s t o n e ~ t h e l i m i t of o p a c i t y — i s , i n p a r t , Blake's comment on the i n t a g l i o t e c h -nique;; i d e n t i f y i n g i t as an unacceptable and l i m i t i n g s u b s t i t u t e f o r h i s own r e l i e f method. But the n e g a t i v e comment on these two poems as l i m i t i n g forms t h a t u l t i m a t e l y b e t r a y t h e i r ener-g e t i c p o t e n t i a l i s a l s o the l o g i c a l e x t e n s i o n of a theme t h a t has been running throughout a l l of Blake's p o e t r y . T h i s i s the theme of the p a r a d o x i c a l nature of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , i n which Blake's books of p o e t r y themselves are seen as the product of a U r i z e n i c process t h a t b inds E t e r n a l Forms i n t o the hard bonds of v e g e t a t i v e e x i s t e n c e . As I have demonstrated, t h i s theme i s g e n e r a l l y p r o j e c t e d through the medium of the meta-phors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g . I t i s one of the c e n t r a l p o i n t s behind Blake's p r e s e n t a t i o n of the b i n d i n g of the t i g e r i n t o p h y s i c a l form, i s i m p l i c i t i n the metaphoric p a r a l l e l of h i s own 94 c r e a t i o n of The Book of U r i z e n w i t h the c r e a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l u n i v e r s e by U r i z e n , and i s e x p l i c i t i n h i s h a n d l i n g of the c r e a t i o n theme i n Ahania and The Book of Los. I t i s a l s o the c e n t r a l theme of Blake's a p p l i c a t i o n of the metaphors of i l l u -minated p r i n t i n g i n the l a t e r poem M i l t o n . Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors i n M i l t o n i s u n l i k e any-t h i n g we have seen i n the p r e v i o u s poetry, although i f any p a r a l l e l s can be drawn, i t i s most r e m i n i s c e n t of the way the metaphors f i g u r e d i n the e a r l y p o e t r y when they were j u s t emerging from out of Blake's a r t i s t i c e x p e r i e n c e and merging i n t o h i s p o e t i c v o c a b u l a r y . There i s no extended n a r r a t i v e of the process of book r e p r o d u c t i o n , and t h i s i s not simply a r e -f l e c t i o n of the g e n e r a l d i s r e g a r d of n a r r a t i v e as a u n i f y i n g element of the poem, f o r n e i t h e r are t h e r e any more than two or t h r e e i n d i s t i n c t d i s c u s s i o n s of i n d i v i d u a l stages of the pro-cess of p r o d u c t i o n . What does emerge, though, i s a s t r o n g sense of the broad o u t l i n e s of the poem being s t r u c t u r e d around the g e n e r a l p a t t e r n s of movement of the stages of Blake's p r o c e s s of p r o d u c t i o n . T h i s mature use of the metaphors i s r e l a t e d t o developments i n o t h e r aspects of h i s a r t , f o r w i t h M i l t o n , Blake r e t u r n s s o l i d l y t o h i s b a s i c r e l i e f e t c h i n g techniques and i s no longer experimenting (no c o p i e s of e i t h e r M i l t o n or Jerusalem are c o l o u r p r i n t e d ) . T h e r e f o r e t h i s metaphoric l e v e l i s not c a l l e d upon to i n c o r p o r a t e new techniques, and p a r t of the i n t e r -e s t of d e v e l o p i n g the metaphors i n t o coherent p a t t e r n s i s o b v i a t e d . And j u s t as i n M i l t o n , Blake " [is] no l o n g e r concerned 95 w i t h the mere e x p o s i t i o n of h i s myth, because i t s d i s t i n c t i v e f e a t u r e s [are] by now second nature t o h i m , " 2 2 so too, he i s no l o n g e r concerned w i t h the mere e x p o s i t i o n of h i s metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g f o r the same reason, and he seems de-c i d e d l y more i n t e r e s t e d i n u s i n g them as v e h i c l e s to develop the themes of the poem than i n f o c u s i n g the poem on the meta-phors and d e v e l o p i n g them f o r t h e i r own i n t e r e s t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e r e are a few passages i n the poem i n which the presence of the metaphors becomes q u i t e d i s t i n c t , and of the s e v e r a l accounts of M i l t o n ' s descent, one of the most important i s c l e a r l y charged w i t h the metaphors of Blake's i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g . T h i s i s the f u l l y - d e v e l o p e d account of M i l t o n ' s descent from Eden i n t o A l b i o n ' s bosom and Generation on p l a t e 15 of the poem. As Edward J . Rose has p o i n t e d out i n h i s a r t i c l e "Blake's M i l t o n : The Poet as Poem," 2 3 the f i g u r e M i l t o n who e x i s t s i n the poem i s c.lso the poem M i l t o n ; the poem i s an embodiment of the s t a t e which t h a t i n d i v i d u a l r e p r e s e n t s . But t h i s poem which appears i n the world of g e n e r a t i o n i s a c t u -a l l y a " g l o r i o u s s p i r i t u a l / V e g e t a t i o n " (M 25:60-61, E 121); i t i s o n l y a shadow of the true poem M i l t o n which e x i s t s as a s t a t e i n the e t e r n a l realm of the i m a g i n a t i o n . M i l t o n ' s descent i n t o g e n e r a t i o n is thus an image o f the descent o f the t r u e poem M i l t o n i n t o g e n e r a t i o n . I f these a n a l o g i e s are a p p l i e d i n the l i t e r a l s p i r i t which f r e q u e n t l y c h a r a c t e r i z e s Blake's symbolic r e l a t i o n s h i p s , we can see t h a t M i l t o n ' s descent i n t o g e n e r a t i o n i s l i t e r a l l y B lake's c r e a t i o n of the p h y s i c a l poem, which i s 96 why the account of M i l t o n ' s descent on p l a t e 15 i s informed w i t h Blake's metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g . Our f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h Blake's t y p i c a l h a n d l i n g of the metaphors w i l l e s t a b l i s h c l e a r l y t h a t i t i s s p e c i f i c a l l y the p r i n t i n g of a page t h a t i s r e p r e s e n t e d on t h i s p l a t e of M i l t o n , but Blake makes an important i n n o v a t i o n i n t h i s l a t e r p r e s e n t -a t i o n of the metaphors. U n l i k e i n "The Tyger" where the t i g e r b e i n g c r e a t e d f i g u r a t i v e l y is_ the p h y s i c a l poem i t s e l f , and u n l i k e i n The Book of U r i z e n i n which U r i z e n f i g u r a t i v e l y is_ the poem t h a t i s t a k i n g shape, i n M i l t o n , B lake draws a d i s t -i n c t i o n between the t r u e poem, the i d e a of M i l t o n which e x i s t s o n l y as an i m a g i n a t i v e form, and the v e g e t a t i v e M i l t o n which appears as p r i n t e d page. Thus the true M i l t o n r e t a i n s i t s i d e n -t i t y , remains i n Eden, and i s p r e s e n t at i t s own c r e a t i o n , so t o speak, f o r o n l y i t s shadow descends i n t o v e g e t a t i o n w i t h the formation of the p h y s i c a l book;; As when a man dreams, he r e f l e c t s not t h a t h i s body sleeps, E l s e he would wake; so seem'd he e n t e r i n g h i s Shadow: but With him the S p i r i t s of the Seven Angels of the Presence E n t e r i n g ; they gave him s t i l l p e r c e p t i o n s of h i s S l e e p i n g Body; Which now arose and walk'd wi t h them i n Eden... • • • • • • • They saw h i s Shadow ve g e t a t e d underneath the Couch Of death... (M 15: 1-io, E 108) T h i s i s why, as M i l t o n ' s shadow descends, he sees the paper and p l a t e as o b j e c t i f i e d forms w i t h which he fuses at the moment of the p u l l i n g of an i m p r e s s i o n . Once t h i s s l i g h t refinement i n B l a k e ' s method of p r e s e n t i n g the metaphors i s i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o our v i s i o n , the passage be-97 comes q u i t e c l e a r , f o r the o t h e r metaphors {copperplate as rock; page as p a l e form, o u t s t r e t c h e d and snowy c o l d upon the rock) are a l r e a d y f a m i l i a r t o us: F i r s t M i l t o n saw A l b i o n upon the Rock of Ages, Deadly p a l e o u t s t r e t c h d and snowy c o l d , storm coverd; « # * • • • « ...the Sea of Time & Space thunderd aloud A g a i n s t the r o c k . . . i n i t s v o r t e x M i l t o n bent down To the bosom of death, what was underneath soon seemd above. • • • • • • ' • ...so M i l t o n s shadow f e l l , P r e c i p i t a n t loud t h u n d r i n g i n t o the Sea of Time & Space. (M 15:36-46, E 109) Thus, a t the moment when the i n k below i s t r a n s f e r r e d to the paper above, the poem M i l t o n " e n t e r s " A l b i o n ' s bosom and becomes " f i x d i n t o a f r o z e n b u l k s u b j e c t t o decay & death" (M 34:54, E 134) i n the world of g e n e r a t i o n . ' From the minute p a r t i c u l a r s of t h i s type of metaphoric passage which i s very much the e x c e p t i o n i n M i l t o n (there are only a h a n d f u l i n t h i s poem of f i f t y p l a t e s ) , we can expand our v i s i o n and see the l a r g e r themes of the e n t i r e poem as p a t t e r n e d a f t e r Blake's r e p r o d u c t i v e t e c h n i q u e s . C e n t r a l to t h i s i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n i s a problem which permeates the poem as a whole on every l e v e l . T h i s i s the double p e r s p e c t i v e maintained i n M i l t o n , which forces, us t o see a s e r i e s of s e q u e n t i a l events from both a temporal p e r s p e c t i v e and from an e t e r n a l p e r s p e c t i v e i n which they are reduced to a s i n g l e moment, a " p u l s a t i o n of the a r t e r y , " the " P e r i o d [ i n which] the Poets Work i s Done" (H 29:1, E 126). From the e t e r n a l p e r s p e c t i v e of t h i s p u l s a t i o n of an a r t e r y , the e n t i r e s e q u e n t i a l c r e a t i v e process from the e t c h i n g of the copper 98 t o the p r i n t i n g and p a i n t i n g of the p l a t e s i s reduced to a s i n g l e , symbolic a c t i o n i n which a l l the p l a t e s of M i l t o n are manifested s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . In terms of the metaphors, t h i s i n s t a n t a n e o u s symbolic a c t which p a r a d o x i c a l l y takes the l e n g t h of the poem to t r a n s p i r e , i s r e p r e s e n t e d i n a c o n f l a t i o n of the two major stages of p r o d u c t i o n : the e t c h i n g of the p l a t e ( M i l t o n c a s t i n g o f f Satan) and the p r i n t i n g of the paper ( M i l t o n ' s union w i t h O l o l o n ) . On the t i t l e page of M i l t o n ( f i g . 5 ) we see the poet s t r i d i n g forward, h i s hand u p r a i s e d t o cut through the smoke o f the e r r o r s and f a l s e d o c t r i n e s which he must a n n i h i l a t e . In a t l e a s t two c o p i e s he i s s t r i d i n g i n t o f i r e ( i n C M i l t o n ' s f e e t are l i c k e d by very pronounced flames and i n D he i s completely enveloped i n f i r e ) , and i n h i s r e c e n t book devoted t o Blake's v i s i o n of M i l t o n , J . A. W i t t r e i c h , J r . i n t e r p r e t s these as flames of pur-g a t i o n . 2 ^ In o t h e r words, the d e s i g n r e p r e s e n t s M i l t o n as he goes forward t o c a s t o f f h i s S e l f h o o d , "the unregenerate ego whose 'Opacity'...screens o f f from the i s o l a t e d i n d i v i d u a l the knowledge t h a t he belongs t o a human community." 2 5 .In terms of the metaphors, t h i s a c t i s analogous t o the e t c h i n g of the p l a t e . T h i s i s why M i l t o n ' s pledge a t the end of the poem t o "wholly purge [error] away w i t h F i r e " (M 41:27, E. 141) and d e f e a t the Negation which i s "an I n c r u s t a t i o n over [his] I m m o r t a l / S p i r i t ; a S e l f h o o d , which must be put o f f & a n n i -h i l a t e d alway/ To c l e a n s e the Face of [his] S p i r i t " (M 40:35-37, E 141), i s so s t r i k i n g l y r e m i n i s c e n t of Blake's s a l u t a r y and 99 m e d i c i n a l a c i d s t h a t w i l l expunge man's f a l s e concepts and cl e a n s e h i s p e r c e p t i o n s i n The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l . Thus on p l a t e 1, M i l t o n as the a r c h e t y p a l p l a t e of the poem M i l t o n begins h i s movement towards the f i n a l Harvest and V i n -tage a t the end of the poem by s t e p p i n g i n t o the purging and c o r r o s i v e f i r e s o f the a c i d b a t h . The /"Great Harvest & Vintage of the Na t i o n s " a t the end of the poem i s the symbolic union of grapes and wheat, wine and bread, i n k and paper t h a t h e r a l d s the c r e a t i o n of M i l t o n i t s e l f . The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of h a r v e s t imagery w i t h the p r i n t i n g process runs throughout Blake's work, but a s p e c i f i c i d e n t i f i -c a t i o n of the Harvest & V i n t a g e w i t h p r i n t i n g occurs e a r l i e r i n M i l t o n where we are t o l d t h a t t h i s a c t i v i t y takes p l a c e i n Los's wine-press, i . e . Blake's p l a t e p r e s s : The Wine-press on the Rhine groans l o u d . . . Where Human Thought i s crushd beneath the i r o n hand of Power. There Los puts a l l i n t o the Press, the Opressor & the Opressed [ i . e . p l a t e and paper] Together, r i p e f o r the Harvest & V i n t a g e . . . (M 25:3-7, E 120) Two p l a t e s l a t e r , we are t o l d e x p l i c i t l y t h a t "This Wine-press . . . i s the P r i n t i n g - P r e s s / Of Los; and here he l a y s h i s words... above the m o r t a l b r a i n / As cogs are formd In a wheel t o t u r n the cogs of the adverse wheel" (M 27:8-10, E 123). T h i s Harvest and Vi n t a g e which is_ the p r i n t i n g of the p l a t e s of M i l t o n i s dramatized p i c t o r i a l l y by the very p o s i t i o n i n g of the p l a t e s of the poem. On p l a t e 1 we see M i l t o n as c o p p e r p l a t e s i m u l t a n e o u s l y s t e p p i n g i n t o the a c i d bath and toward the f i n a l 100 h a r v e s t of h i s union w i t h O l o l o n as paper. The c o u n t e r p a r t t o t h i s d e s i g n i s p l a t e 50 ( f i g . 6 ) , the f i n a l p l a t e i n the poem, where we see O l o l o n as the p a s s i v e , r e c e p t i v e paper f l a n k e d by her emblems o f wheat, arms ready t o r e c e i v e the ink/wine of the p l a t e M i l t o n as he moves toward her. Blake u n d e r l i n e s the s e x u a l symbolism i n t h i s f u l f i l m e n t of the c r e a t i v e process i n t h a t O l o l o n and her o u t s t r e t c h e d arms form th e female pudendum between the t h i g h s of the s t a l k s of wheat, the s e x u a l c o u n t e r -p a r t t o the e r e c t p h a l l u s r e p r e s e n t e d by M i l t o n on p l a t e 1. T h i s s e x u a l union of male p l a t e and female paper t h a t spans the l e n g t h o f the e n t i r e poem reproduces p i c t o r i a l l y the same g e n e r a l o u t l i n e s of Blake's c r e a t i v e process around which the events of the t e x t are s t r u c t u r e d . C l e a r l y , i n t h i s mature p e r i o d , Blake's use of the metaphors has e v o l v e d i n t o a b a s i c s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e of h i s p o e t r y , and when M i l t o n and O l o l o n up ascend from Felpham's Vale as the f i n a l f u l f i l m e n t and c r e a -t i o n of the poem M i l t o n , they are a l s o the f u l f i l m e n t of the metaphors o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g t h a t had been s l o w l y d e v e l o p i n g throughout the course of Blake's c a r e e r . These metaphors o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g are, of course, on l y one l e v e l o f Blake's p o e t r y , and i n so f a r as t h i s i s t r u e , t h i s t h e s i s o f f e r s a r a t h e r l i m i t e d p e r s p e c t i v e o f Blake's work. But i t i s not l i m i t i n g , f o r t h i s r e a d i n g o f these metaphors i n no way denies the v a r i o u s p o l i t i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e -t a t i o n s o f what i s o b v i o u s l y a very r i c h and complex p o e t i c t e x -t u r e . In r e l a t i n g the metaphors t o the l a r g e r o u t l i n e s of Blake's 101 thought, what i s i n t e r e s t i n g i n the poem M i l t o n i s t h a t even when the metaphors have l a r g e l y dropped out of Blake's work, the g e n e r a l p a t t e r n s of h i s p r o c e s s o f p r o d u c t i o n remain as an important s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e i n the poem. And t h i s t e n -dency can be observed throughout h i s p o e t i c c a r e e r i n the development of h i s i d e a s on the Apocalypse and on p e r c e p t i o n , i n the p a t t e r n s o f i n t e r a c t i o n between the Ore and U r i z e n f i g u r e s , i n the abundance o f s e p a r a t i n g forms, and, indeed, i n the con-s p i c u o u s emphasis on c o n t r a r i e s and f a v e r s c i l s throughout Blake's poetry?. So many aspects of h i s poetry, so many elements o f h i s thought are expressed i n terms o f , o r are e i t h e r d e r i v e d from o r analogous t o the b a s i c e x p e r i e n c e o f an e t c h e r and p r i n t e r t h a t t h i s process c l e a r l y e s t a b l i s h e s i t s e l f as one of the fundamental governing and o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e s of Blake's p o e t i c v i s i o n . 1 1 3. P l a t e 6 of The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l , Copy lOld tc ancient tradition that the vfoAA nil/ he ten in Jrre <rf- the end of six thmisandy^rr < ts? true. as- J luive heard Jivm Hell, hi consumed and appear in finite, andTudy whereat ct nciv appears1 finite corrupt. come tcpais by on improvement Ol .sensual enjoyment. «rC> -s^r ( > Mut first flic notion that man has a ocdv 1 tltstuict Jivm ins' Si>ul, ts tv be erptaii>ed; Utu ff the^dcers' of perception n'm cleansed-tiirytnin^ would appear to miutjisjit iH.'ln-J'or man Tra r closed Jnmscil iip ull he S<eesf oil tiling* thro 1Jiartvrt chinks; ctAi'st cavern , 4. P l a t e 14 of The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l , Copy H. 102 NOTES Chapter I : I n t r o d u c t i o n AA1though 31oom (E 889) i d e n t i f i e s the i r o n pens as d e r i v e d from Job 19:24 and Jeremiah 17:1, t h i s r e f e r e n c e a n t i c i p a t e s Blake's l a t e r v ery common metaphor of a rock f o r a c o p p e r p l a t e , and an i r o n pen i s a n a t u r a l metaphor f o r a b u r i n or graver. The passage may t h e r e f o r e p r o v i d e us w i t h an e a r l y glimmer of Blake's ambition o f u s i n g h i s c r a f t as a method of d i s s e m i n a t i n g h i s "words of t r u t h . " (This poem was almost c e r t a i n l y w r i t t e n d u r i n g the years of Blake's a p p r e n t i c e s h i p t o an engraver.). 2Erdman notes t h a t the " I n t r o d u c t i o n " i s " p o s s i b l y of l a t e composition" (E 714), which may suggest t h a t i t was w r i t t e n i n r e t r o s p e c t a f t e r the experience of producing s e v e r a l poems had impressed the importance of h i s techniques upon Blake. We . w i l l see t h a t Blake's m e t a p h o r i c a l d i s c u s s i o n of h i s p r i n t i n g techniques i s o f t e n p r e s e n t e d i n an i n t r o -d uctory passage t h a t was w r i t t e n a f t e r the poem proper. ^Robert E s s i c k , " I n t r o d u c t i o n " t o The V i s i o n a r y Hand (Los Angeles: Hennessey & I n g a l l s , 1973), p.2. For a con-v e n i e n t summary of the ways i n which Blake's technique of r e l i e f e t c h i n g embodied h i s concepts o f v i s i o n and a r t , see Robert E s s i c k , "The A r t of W i l l i a m B l a k e ' s E a r l y I l l u m i n a t e d Books," D i s s . U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a , San Diego 1969, pp.1-10. ^For a d i s c u s s i o n of Blake's n e g a t i v e a t t i t u d e towards i n t a g l i o engraving, see Robert E s s i c k , "Blake and the T r a -d i t i o n s of Reproductive Engraving," Blake S t u d i e s , 5 (1972), r p t . i n The V i s i o n a r y Hand, pp.493-525. E s s i c k sees the f i r m and simple o u t l i n e s of Blake's etched p l a t e s as a cons-c i o u s r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t the i l l u s o r y jumble of l i n e s produced by the v i s u a l syntax of commercial i n t a g l i o e ngraving. For a b r i e f h i s t o r y o f i n t a g l i o e t c h i n g and engra v i n g see Norman Eppink, 101 P r i n t s (Norman: U. of Oklahoma P r e s s , 1971), pp.57-59. ^In B lake's method of r e l i e f p r i n t i n g , the i n k i s t r a n s f e r r e d t o the paper from the r a i s e d s u r f a c e s of the c o p p e r p l a t e . In i n t a g l i o p r i n t i n g , however, furrows are c u t or etched i n t o the p l a t e , the i n k i s d e p o s i t e d i n these c u t l i n e s , and i n p r i n t i n g , the paper i s f o r c e d i n t o the furrow and r e c e i v e s the i n k . 103 Notes t o Pages 7-15 ^S. W. Hayter, New Ways of Gravure (19 49; r p t . London: Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 1966), p.33. Hayter was the t e c h n i c a l genius behind Ruthven Todd's 19 4 3 r e - d i s c o v e r y of Blake's e t c h i n g methods, and t h i s i s c e r t a i n l y the most h e l p f u l t e c h n i c a l book i n my b i b l i o g r a p h y . Ruthven Todd, W i l l i a m Blake: The A r t i s t (London: S t u d i o V i s t a , and New York: Dutton, 1971), p.21. ^See John Wright, "Toward Recovering Blake's R e l i e f -E t c h i n g P r o c e s s , " Blake N e w s l e t t e r 26 (1973), 37. The America fragment, p a r t of a c a n c e l l e d p l a t e of America: A Prophecy, i s the only one of Blake's c o p p e r p l a t e s t o have s u r v i v e d . The Songs e l e c t r o t y p e s are exact r e p r o d u c t i o n s of t en of Blake's copperplates (see G e o f f r e y Keynes, Blake S t u d i e s , 2nd ed., r e v . [1949; r p t . Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 197TT, pp.124-25). 9See Keynes, Blake S t u d i e s , p.125. ^ B l a k e was probably u s i n g the p r e s s he had r e t a i n e d from the d i s s o l u t i o n of h i s p r i n t - s e l l i n g b u s i n e s s w i t h James Parker, as G. E. B e n t l e y suggests i n Blake Records (Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1969), p.29, n.3. ^ A l e x a n d e r G i l c h r i s t , L i f e o f W i l l i a m Blake (1880; r p t . New York: Phaeton P r e s s , 1969J, 1/ 70. Chapter I I : The Book of U r i z e n "'"Northrop Frye's d i s c u s s i o n of the i m a g i n a t i v e r e c r e a t i o n of the O l d Testament Joshua i n the New Testament Jesus p r o -v i d e s i n s i g h t i n t o a t r a d i t i o n a l t y p o l o g i c a l precedent f o r Blake's c r e a t i o n of a p p a r e n t l y s e q u e n t i a l s t o r i e s t h a t are r e a l l y v a r i a t i o n s of the same i m a g i n a t i v e event; see F e a r f u l  Symmetry ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. P r e s s , 1947), p.317. See a l s o Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. P r e s s , 1957), p.315 where Frye observes t h a t "the two t e s t a -ments are not so much a l l e g o r i e s of one another as m e t a p h o r i c a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s of one another." 2 B y p a r a l l e l i n g the b i r t h of a v e g e t a t i v e man w i t h the c r e a t i o n o f the u n i v e r s e and the d i s r u p t i o n of the human psyche, Blake dramatizes i n U r i z e n one of h i s fundamental concepts: the c r e a t i o n and f a l l of a man i s the c r e a t i o n and f a l l o f the u n i v e r s e . For more on t h i s theme, see Frye, F e a r f u l Sym-metry, p. 41. 104 Notes t o Pages 17-19 J T h i s engraver's c o p p e r p l a t e i s dark because the p l a t e s are commonly "smoked" ( i . e . heated and covered w i t h a f i l m of carbon) t o darken and smooth the ground. The c o p p e r p l a t e i s a v o i d f o r s e v e r a l reasons, some of which we w i l l get t o l a t e r . F i r s t , i t i s a v o i d because a f r e s h c o p p e r p l a t e i s an expanse of unformed,, unorganized matter untouched by the hand of the c r e a t o r . I t i s a l s o t r u e t h a t b e f o r e b e i n g engraved, a p l a t e was p o l i s h e d t o a f i n e f i n i s h and l o o k i n g i n t o i t , 31ake may have imagined h i m s e l f l o o k i n g i n t o a v a s t expanse t h a t would, moreover, become i n f i n i t e and have p a l a c e s b u i l t i n i t s c l i f f s i n the e t c h i n g process (see MHH: 15). In the course of t h i s t h e s i s , i t w i l l a l s o -become c l e a r t h a t terms such as "shadow" and " a b s t r a c t e d " are a l s o commonly a p p l i e d t o the c o p p e r p l a t e f o r s i m i l a r reasons. ^In h i s a n n o t a t i o n s i n The I l l u m i n a t e d Blake (Garden C i t y : Anchor, 1974), p.156, David Erdman has a l s o noted t h a t The A n c i e n t of Days i s a comment on Blake's own en-g r a v i n g technique: "Yet we can see t h a t a r t t r a n s c e n d i n g time has f i x e d t h i s v i s i o n , t h a t beneath the s h i f t i n g c o l o r masses of the clouds an engraver w i t h t o o l s as p o i n t e d as the compasses has f i x e d t h e i r shapes w i t h i n -f i n i t e l a b o r of c r o s s - h a t c h i n g . " U r i z e n i s a l s o d i s t i n c t l y an i n t a g l i o e t c h e r on the t i t l e page of U r i z e n where he i s h o l d i n g an echoppe ( e t c h i n g needle) i n h i s r i g h t hand. ^Keynes, Blake S t u d i e s , p.146. ^"Mountains" o c c a s i o n a l l y i d e n t i f i e s the r a i s e d s u r -f a c e of the c o p p e r p l a t e (as i n Ah 3), but t h i s i s r a r e and i s always i n the context of mountains or h i l l s and v a l l e y s ( v a l l e y s r e p r e s e n t i n g the etched d e p r e s s i o n s of the p l a t e ) . ^Although a " s e l f contemplating shadow" i s a f a i r l y apt d e s c r i p t i o n of U r i z e n as a c o p p e r p l a t e t h a t i s always c o n f r o n t e d by i t s own r e v e r s e image, the a p p r o p r i a t e l y U r i z e n i c p e r s p e c t i v e of t h i s e n t i r e book produces a d e c i -dedly glum i f not b i t t e r s e l f - p o r t r a i t of the obscure and n e g l e c t e d poet/prophet performing the l a b o u r s of E t e r n i t y f o r the b e n e f i t of f u t u r i t y : "Unseen i n tormenting p a s s i o n s ; / An a c t i v i t y unknown and h o r r i b l e ; / A s e l f - c o n t e m p l a t i n g shadow,/ In enormous l a b o u r s occupied" (U 3:18-22, E 69). 165 Notes t o Pages 20-26 p The thunder of the r o l l i n g press i n o p e r a t i o n i s l i k e n e d t o the r o a r of s w e l l i n g seas because Blake's work-shop i s s i t u a t e d on the shores of the Sea of Time and Space. I t i s w i t h the r o l l i n g of the p l a t e press t h a t the e t e r n a l form of Blake's poems vegetates i n t o p h y s i c a l e x i s t e n c e , so Blake f i n d s h i m s e l f working knee deep i n b r i n e w i t h the r o a r of the waves i n h i s e a r s . See, f o r example, A 2:5 (E 51), and the bottom d e s i g n on MHH: 6 ( f i g . 3 ) d i s c u s s e d on pp.52-53. i^See pp»31 f f . and 83-84 below, and f o r independent observa-t i o n s of t h i s same phenomenon i n r e l a t i o n t o the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g , see David Erdman "A Temporary Re-p o r t on.Texts of Blake," i n W i l l i a m B l a k e : Essays For S. F o s t e r Damon (Providence: Brown Univ. P r e s s , 1969), p.413 and M o r r i s Eaves, "A Reading of Blake's Marriage of Heaven and H e l l , P l a t e s 17-20, "Blake S t u d i e s , 4 (1972) , 107. UMany of the p r e c i s e d e t a i l s of B l a k e ' s techniques remain obscure, but o c c a s i o n a l l y the metaphors of these techniques i n the p o e t r y may be u s e f u l i n i l l u m i n a t i n g them. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o .note t h a t t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the i n k i n g of a p l a t e i s i d e n t i f i e d as a r o l l i n g p r o c e s s : "... clouds of b l o o d r o l l ' d / Round the dim r o c k s . . . . " Todd has maintained t h a t B lake i n k e d h i s copper not w i t h a r o l l e r , but w i t h another i n k e d p l a t e , and notes t h a t r o l l e r s were not used i n i n k i n g u n t i l about 183 3 ("The Techniques of W i l l i a m Blake's I l l u m i n a t e d P r i n t i n g " [19 48] , i n The V i s i o -nary Hand, p.40). John Wright has c h a l l e n g e d t h i s on t e c h n i -c a l grounds and suggests t h a t the i n n o v a t i v e Blake "used a wooden r o l l e r , perhaps a l a r g e press c y l i n d e r , both t o i n k p l a t e s d i r e c t l y and t o d i s t r i b u t e the i n k on an i n k i n g p l a t e " (Blake N e w s l e t t e r , 2C [l973j , 39). The evidence here i n support of Wright's c l a i m i s s l i m , but we w i l l f i n d t h a t Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors can be remarkably p r e c i s e . l 2 T h e d e s i g n on t h i s p l a t e (U 4) shows the p l a t e as U r i z e n submerged i n the a c i d bath, surrounded by l i q u i d flames of a c i d which a l s o seem to pour down upon him. •^Blake's r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of an etched c o p p e r p l a t e as a cavern a l s o emphasizes the depth t h a t the e t c h i n g process adds to the otherwise two-dimensional s u r f a c e of the copper-p l a t e . 106 Notes to Pages 28-3 2 14 Blake seems t o have done h i s b e s t t o make t h i s passage more obscure. T h i s rock, i d e n t i f i e d i n Chapter I I I as the "rock o f e t e r n i t y " should not be confused w i t h the c o p p e r p l a t e . In a d d i t i o n , although the l o g i c a l order o f the stages o f pro-d u c t i o n c l e a r l y r e q u i r e s t h a t t h i s a c t i o n precedes the p r i n t i n g of the p l a t e a t the opening of the ch a p t e r , Blake i n t e n t i o n a l l y confuses the i s s u e by s h i f t i n g the tense i n t o the p r e s e n t , thus r e a r r a n g i n g the stages of p r o d u c t i o n . T h i s i s a f a v o u r i t e • p l o y — s e e Erdman* s a r t i c l e i n Essays f o r S_. F o s t e r Damon, p. 411. •^The mysterious and t r a n s f o r m i n g passageway between the r o l l e r s o f the p l a t e press i s o f t e n d e s c r i b e d as a dark o r s e c r e t p l a c e , as i n E 2:18, E 60. ^ A c t u a l l y Blake g i v e s us two a l t e r n a t i v e passages which may d e s c r i b e t h i s d e s i g n : U 4:31-33, E 71 and U 4:41-44, E 71. The second passage i s more l i k e l y because, speaking t e c h n i c a l l y , a t the time o f the e a r l i e r pessage, The Book of U r i z e n has not y e t been manifested as a p r i n t e d book and thus some of the p o t e n t i a l power o f Blake's metaphor would be l a c k i n g . ^ T h e s e two passages d e s c r i b i n g the p a i n t i n g of the pages are s e p a r a t e d by l i n e s which d e s c r i b e i n dr a m a t i c language the c l i m a c t i c s e p a r a t i o n or r e n d i n g of paper and p l a t e which p r e c i p i t a t e s the emergence of Ur i z e n ' s world/book on the p h y s i -c a l plane. T h i s i s the f i r s t of s e v e r a l such accounts o f s e p a r a t i n g forms i n U r i z e n , s e v e r a l of which seem t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the same g e n e r a l analogy w i t h Blake's t e c h n i q u e s . In t h i s case, the i n t e r j e c t e d n a r r a t i v e of s e p a r a t i o n suggests the a l t e r n a t i n g p u l l i n g and p a i n t i n g of the many p l a t e s t h a t make up The Book of U r i z e n . 1 8 T h e s h i f t i n the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l v a l u e o f the f i r e i s simply another example of the w e l l - r e c o g n i z e d polysemous nature of Blake's symbolism i n which a snake may be the serpen t of m a t e r i a l i s m or a modulation of the l i b e r a t i n g Ore f i g u r e , de-pending on context, or a t i g e r may symbolize the demonic or d i v i n e f o r c e s of the world, depending on our p e r s p e c t i v e . 1 9Erdman comments on the o f t e n i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e metaphoric r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of co p p e r p l a t e and .pr i n t e d p l a t e on p.411 of h i s a r t i c l e i n Essays f o r S. F o s t e r Damon. 2 ^ T h i s technique, which i s d i s c u s s e d on pp.68-69 below, h e l p s t o e x p l a i n the abundant imagery of f i r e f a l l i n g from out of the sky i n Blake's p o e t r y . Compare a l s o the d e s i g n on U 4 which shows an E t e r n a l — U r i z e n I s u s p e c t — t o r m e n t e d i n a downpour of r a i n i n g f i r e . 107 Notes t o Pages 35-39 ^ - ^ I n t e r e s t i n g l y , t h e r e i s a d i s t i n c t concomitant s h i f t i n the moral i m p l i c a t i o n s of each c r e a t i o n . U r i z e n " s e s s e n t i a l l y n e g ative c r e a t i v e a c t ( i t i s the p h y s i c a l expres-s i o n of the c a t a s t r o p h i c d i s r u p t i o n of the p r i m a l u n i t y ) modulates i n t o the more p o s i t i v e c r e a t i v e a c t of Chapter IV. Los's b i n d i n g of U r i z e n i s the same event, but now we look at i t from a d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e and see the p o s i t i v e as-pect of what remains an i n h e r e n t l y n e g a t i v e a c t i v i t y . Los's b i n d i n g of U r i z e n i s d e s i r a b l e because n e c e s s a r y ; he i s essen-t i a l l y g i v i n g form t o e r r o r so t h a t i t can be c a s t out. 2 2 , f h e d e s i g n on t h i s p l a t e (U 10) p r e s e n t s t h i s e t c h i n g of a p l a t e p i c t o r i a l l y by d r a m a t i z i n g Los as the r e p r e s e n t a -t i v e of the a c i d t h a t i s h i s t o o l "going a t the rock [ i . e . the copperplate] w i t h h i s hands, c a u s i n g gaps to open between the r o c k s " (Erdman, The I l l u m i n a t e d B l a k e , p.192). 2**This p r o g r e s s i v e f l e s h i n g out of U r i z e n ' s p h y s i c a l form i n the sulphurous l a k e of f i r e can a l s o be t r a c e d through the designs on p l a t e s 8, 11, and 12. See a l s o Erdman's comments on these designs i n The I l l u m i n a t e d Blake f o r h i s awareness t h a t Blake i s p r e s e n t i n g aspects of h i s e t c h i n g process i n the designs of The Book of U r i z e n . Chapter I I I : The Poetry Before U r i z e n •""I am t h i n k i n g here of "The Tyger" and The Marriage of  Heaven and H e l l . The chronology of these two poems, and of America: A Prophecy which I w i l l a l s o d i s c u s s i n t h i s c h a p t e r , i s a d i f f i c u l t p o i n t : the a c t u a l composition of The Marriage and America extended over s e v e r a l years and as a r e s u l t t h e r e i s c o n s i d e r a b l e o v e r l a p p i n g . M a r t i n Nurmi c i t e s 179 2, or a t the l a t e s t 1793, as the date of composition of the Notebook d r a f t s of "The Tyger" ("Blake's R e v i s i o n s o f 'The Tyger,'" PMLA 71 (1956), r p t . i n The Tyger, ed. Winston Weathers ( C o l -umbus, Ohio: M e r r i l l , 1969), p.36, and Erdman narrows t h i s f u r t h e r , s e t t i n g l a t e 1792 as the l i m i t i n g date (E 714). The composition of The Marriage extended from 1790-9 3, but s i n c e a l l of the passages I am concerned w i t h ( e x c e p t i n g p l a t e 6) are i d e n t i f i e d by Erdman as l a t e a d d i t i o n s t o the poem (E 723) , I take 179 3 t o be the o p e r a t i v e date. America was w r i t t e n 1792-94 (E 724) and s i n c e I d e a l -with the Preludium, which was composed a f t e r the r e s t of the poem was completed, I take l a t e 1793 or 1794 as i t s p e r i o d of c o m p o s i t i o n . For the passages which I d i s c u s s i n t h i s c hapter, the l i k e l y o r d e r o f composition i s t h e r e f o r e "The Tyger," The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l , and America. 108 Notes t o Pages 40-50 ^Blake does i n t r o d u c e the technique of woodcut on copper around 1793 (see E 672). 3 S e e pp.77-78. ^See Morton Paley, Energy and the- Imagination (Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1970), pp.51-52 and Hazard Adams, "'The Tyger', as an Example" from W i l l i a m B l a k e : A Reading of the  S h o r t e r Poems ( S e a t t l e : U. of Washington P r e s s , 1963), r p t . i n The "Tyger, ed. W. Weathers, pp.52-66. 5Adams, i n The Tyger, p.59. A l s o , although the t e a r s can be read as a symbol o f the c r e a t o r ' s c o n t r i t i o n , "the watering"of heaven a t t h i s p o i n t i n the c r e a t i v e p rocess a l s o suggests the washing of the c o p p e r p l a t e , which must be done immediately t o s t o p the a c t i o n of the a c i d . ^See Warren Stevenson, D i v i n e Analogy, S a l z b u r g S t u d i e s i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , No.25 ( S a l z b u r g : I n s t i t u t Fur E n g l i s c h e Sprache und L i t e r a t u r , U n i v e r s i t a t S a l z b u r g , 1972), pp.287-90 f o r a d i s c u s s i o n of the a n a l o g i e s between the c r e a t i o n myth presented i n "The Tyger" and The Book of U r i z e n , although he sees the c r e a t i o n as an unambiguous " v i c t o r y over the primor-d i a l powers of darkness." 7 I t i s p o s s i b l e t o p l o t the development of Blake's use o f the metaphors i n The Marriage t o some e x t e n t by a p p l y i n g David Erdman's d a t i n g of Blake's s t y l e of l e t t e r i n g . A c c o r -d i n g t o the d i r e c t i o n of the s e r i f on the l e t t e r "g," Erdman concludes t h a t p l a t e s 4, 7-10, 14-20, 25-27 have a l a t e r s t y l e of l e t t e r i n g than the r e s t of The Marriage (see E 723). Blake's o v e r t and metaphoric r e f e r e n c e s t o h i s e t c h i n g p r o c e s s e s occur on p l a t e s 6-7, 14-20, 25-27 (perhaps e x c l u d i n g p l a t e 16). The i n c i d e n c e of correspondence i s s t r i k i n g and may even suggest p a r t of Blake's reason f o r r e w r i t i n g the s e c t i o n s he d i d . Assuming t h a t l a t e e t c h i n g means l a t e c o m position, we can en-v i s i o n a vert-ion of The Marriage w i t h o n l y l i m i t e d r e f e r e n c e t o Blake's techniques of p r o d u c t i o n emerging around 1790-91 and b e i n g e x t e n s i v e l y reworked (perhaps a f t e r the stage of r e a l i z a t i o n r e p r e s e n t e d by the manuscript of "The Tyger" ca. 1792) t o i n c l u d e the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g t h a t so dominate the passages which were added l a t e . 109 Notes t o Pages 51-55 p In f a c t , a l l of the p u b l i s h e d s c h o l a r s h i p which d i s -cusses the metaphors of i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g i n Blake's t e x t has been l i m i t e d t o The Marriage: on pp.410-13 of Essays f o r F o s t e r Damon, David Erdman a p p l i e s B l a k e ' s a c t u a l t e c h -niques to a d i s c u s s i o n of the t h i r d "Memorable Fancy;" on pp.81-116 of Blake S t u d i e s 4 (1972), M o r r i s Eaves o f f e r s a re a d i n g of the f o u r t h "Memorable Fancy" as an a l l e g o r y o f Blake's p r i n t i n g techniques as seen from the d e v i l s ' p e r-s p e c t i v e ; and i n "Reading the I l l u m i n a t i o n s of Blake's of Heaven and H e l l " i n W i l l i a m Blake: Essays i n honour of  S i r G e o f f r e y Keynes (Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1973) , pp.162-207 Erdman pres e n t s "a r e a d i n g of the e n t i r e Marriage as a p r i n t e d and i l l u m i n a t e d account of Blake's 'method' of t r a n s - ... m i t t i n g knowledge through p r i n t and i l l u m i n a t i o n " (p.163). In a d d i t i o n to these t h r e e a r t i c l e s , Erdman's an n o t a t i o n s i n The I l l u m i n a t e d Blake d i s p l a y an awareness t h a t Blake's d r a -m a t i z a t i o n of h i s method of p r i n t i n g extends throughout h i s i l l u m i n a t e d canon. (These notes are, however, 'limited"-to the designs.) ^The i l l o g i c a l i t y of Blake " d i s c o v e r i n g h i m s e l f " e t c h i n g a c o p p e r p l a t e must simply be understood i n the c o n t e x t of the "dream l o g i c " t h a t informs the e n t i r e M a r riage. ^Erdman, i n W i l l i a m Blake: Essays f o r Keynes, p. 176. 1^See Essays f o r S. F o s t e r Damon, pp.410-13. 1 2 I b i d . , p.412. 1 3 I b i d . , p.411. ^ T h e r e i s a s p e c i a l l o g i c i n t h i s u n i o n as developed through the snake/paintbrush, s i n c e i n the common technique of " s p i t - b i t i n g , " a c i d i s a p p l i e d to s m a l l p o r t i o n s of the p l a t e by a p a i n t b r u s h . T h i s image of the v i p e r / p a i n t b r u s h t h a t s p i t s out p o i s o n / a c i d i s developed f u r t h e r i n The Book of Ahania where the e t c h i n g p l a t e i s a rock poisoned w i t h tKe b l o o d or venom of a s e r p e n t (E 84&85). 15 See the modulation of the O r c / a c i d f i g u r e i n t o e a g l e , l i o n , whale ( p i c t u r e B l a k e ' s s e r p e n t i n e L e v i a t h a n , not Moby-Dick) , and serpent proper i n the Preludium t o America, E 50 f o r another r e n d i t i o n of the same metaphor c l u s t e r . l fi See Ahania, Ch.II: 2-5 (E 84). We have a l s o n o t i c e d t h i s p r i n c i p l e dramatized i n the d i f f e r e n t metaphoric l a n d -scapes f o r the p r i n t i n g process i n U r i z e n Ch.I: 6 and Ch.II: 3 (E 70) . 110 Notes t o Pages 56-60 •"•'In a d d i t i o n , we can note m p a s s i n g t h a t t h i s account i s t y p i c a l of Blake's h a n d l i n g of the metaphors s i n c e Erdman a l s o sees Blake as p r e s e n t i n g the steps o f the process o f p r o d u c t i o n i n "scrambled sequence" and observes t h a t " t h e r e i s a c o n f l a t i o n of processes throughout the account" (Essays  f o r S. F o s t e r Damon, p.413). 1 8 E a v e s i n Blake S t u d i e s 4 (1972), 107. 1 9 I b i d . , p.108. 20 I b i d . , p.108. ^ A l t h o u g h I would d i s a g r e e w i t h some of h i s minute i d e n t i -f i c a t i o n s , I g e n e r a l l y agree w i t h Eave's e x p l i c a t i o n . Any e r r o r s he makes are g e n e r a l l y e r r o r s of ommision,.as i n h i s f a i l u r e t o note the p r i n t i n g imagery p r e s e n t on p l a t e 18 i n which the r o l l i n g of b l a c k e n i n g clouds i s f o l l o w e d immediately by the appearance of L e v i a t h a n , i . e . the p a i n t i n g of the p l a t e . The only s e r i o u s flaw of Eaves's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s h i s p e r s i s t e n t c o n f u s i o n of i n t a g l i o and r e l i e f e t c h i n g t e c h n i q u e s , as on p.107 where he would have Blake smoking a r e l i e f p l a t e , o r i n the l a s t sentence of the a r t i c l e where he d e s c r i b e s a l i n e of t e x t as etched i n t o the p l a t e as i n i n t a g l i o e t c h i n g : " L e v i a t h a n i s the genius of the a c i d i n which he swims as i t flows a t the bottom of an etched l i n e , a canyon i n the f i e r y landscape of the copper p l a t e " (p.116). 2 2 F o r e a r l i e r d i s c u s s i o n s of the p a r a l l e l between Blake ' s process and alchemy, see P a l e y , Energy and the Imagination, pp. 58-59 & 145-46, and M i l t o n O. P e r c i v a l , W i l l i a m Blake's"  C i r c l e of D e s t i n y , (1938; r p t . New York: Octagon, 1964), pp.197 f f . 23j. n s p i t e of the f a c t t h a t Bloom a s s e r t s t h a t P a r a c e l s u s ' " w r i t i n g s were probably of s m a l l i n t e r e s t t o Blake" (E 812). 2 4 p e r c i v a l sees the f i r e symbolism i n Blake as "undoubt-e d l y a l c h e m i c a l " ( W i l l i a m Blake's C i r c l e of D e s t i n y , p.214). 2 5 I b i d . , p.201. ^ P a r a c e l s u s , S e l e c t e d W r i t i n g s , ed. Jolande J a c o b i , t r a n s . Norbert Guterman (London: Routledge & Kegan P a u l , 1951), pp.217-18 2 7 I b i d . , p.330. 2 8 I b i d . , p.328. 2 9 P e r c i v a l , W i l l i a m B l a k e ' s C i r c l e of D e s t i n y , p.199. I l l Notes to Pages 60-65 3 ^ F o r f i r e as water i n alchemical symbolism, see i b i d . , p.213. 31paley, Energy and the Imagination, p.59. 3 2Blake's use of the metaphors of illuminated p r i n t i n g as vehicles for representing the Apocalypse.is also c a r r i e d over into the designs as an examination of plate 14 (fig,4) w i l l show. The design can be e f f e c t i v e l y read as a p i c t o r i a l rendering of Blake's most common c o n f l a t i o n : etching and p a i n t i n g . The dead and stony-cold male figure i s an easy representation of many of Blake's verbal images for a copper-p l a t e ; the si g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s figure being enveloped i n flames i s obvious in view of the handling of the metaphors i n the text of t h i s plate. The female figu r e outstretched above the recumbent figure would be the paper. (For v a r i a t i o n s of t h i s c e n t r a l v i s u a l rendering of plate and paper, see the "recurring images of a billowy and very much alive,female f i g u r e stretched over a recumbent, dead male figure that i s frequently associated with metal or armour, as i n the t i t l e page of America.) In the c o n f l a t i o n of the processes, then, the consuming flames of acid would double as the l i v i n g flames of paint that rage across the paper. Blake makes the same analogy with the Apocalypse as i n his text i n that, as Essick points out i n "The Art of William Blake's Early Illuminated Books," Diss. U. of C a l i f . , San Diego 1969, p.153, t h i s design i s evidently intended as an image of the Apocalypse, the p i c -t o r i a l rendering of the l i n e s "For the cherub with his flaming sword i s hereby commanded to leave his guard at tree of l i f e , and when he does, the whole creation w i l l be consumed, and appear i n f i n i t e . . . " (MHH 14, E 38), since when the design was printed separately i n A Small Book of Designs, i t was printed w i t h the caption "a Flaming Sword/ Revolving every way" (E 662), 3 3 I t has generally been assumed that t h i s portion of the poem was composed l a s t , and Erdman's dating of the l e t t e r i n g i d e n t i f i e s i t as a la t e section. 34j. n Blake: Prophet Against Empire, 2nd ed. (1954 : r p t . Princeton: Princeton Unxv. Press, 1969), p.193, Erdman sees "A Song of Liberty" as a preliminary sketch of America, and i t i s clear that the p o l i t i c a l apocalypse present i n the "Song" f i n d s i t s f u l l e s t expression i n America, which was published l a t e r i n the same year. Since the development of i t s metaphors as well as i t s symbolism tends t o prefigure that of America, i t i s he l p f u l to keep one eye on the Preludium of the l a t e r poem while reading t h i s f i n a l section of The Marriage. JL Jl 2 Notes to Pages 65-72 3 5Frye, Fearful Symmetry, p.201. 3*>Hayter, New Ways of Gravure, p. 11. 3 7William Blake, America: A Prophecy, introd, G. E. Bentley, Jr., Materials for the Study of William Blake, Volume I (Normal, I l l i n o i s : The American Blake Foundation, 1974), p.4. 3 ^ I would suggest that Blake's other books of large size that underwent posthumous printings, Europe and Jeru- salem, may also display a similarly erased heavy border, although bibliographical descriptions of sufficient detail are as yet unavailable. The American Blake Foundation's planned facsimile of Europe (which should be published later this year) may help to resolve the question. 39John Jackson, A Treatise on Wood Engraving (London: Charles Knight, 1839), p.139." ^Erdman describes the Preludium as "added after the f i r s t etched state of [America] " in The Illuminated Blake, p.139. 4 1Blake is always very careful with the sexual identi-fications of the elements of his process of production. In the etching process, i t i s most appropriate that the active acid be male (e.g. Ore) and the passive plate female (e.g. the daughter of Urthona), whereas in the printing process, the plate is active and male (e.g. Milton) and the paper passive and female (e.g. Ololon). This higher c a l l for symbolic consistency often supersedes l i t e r a l consistency and partly explains Blake's habit of shifting names and sexual roles of the elements of production at. w i l l (i.e. the plate may be male or female in the same poem, or Fuzon may be acid at one time and paper in a later stage of pro-duction) . Occasionally, Blake w i l l stick with one identi-fication through several stages, as with the male etching and printing plate of Urizen—which accounts for some of the hermaphroditic figures in Blake's poetry. ^ 2Cf. the Dragon-Viper-Eagle-Lion modulation of the acid in MHH 15, E 39. 4 3Edward J. Rose, "Good-bye to Ore and A l l That," Blake  Studies, 4 (1972), 144. Notes t o Pages 73-75 ' i i 4 T h i s t r a n s i t i o n from v i o l e n c e t o j o y and the l a u d a t o r y tone o f the shadowy f e m a l e ' s u t t e r a n c e i n c e l e b r a t i o n o f the c r e a t i v e p r i n c i p l e t h a t gave her speech and e s s e n t i a l l y brought h e r t o l i f e s h o u l d be compared t o the t r a n s i t i o n a l tone o f A h a n i a ' s speech a t the end o f The Book o_f A h a n i a where she as p a i n t e d page c e l e b r a t e s h e r c r e a t o r i n the form o f U r i z e n , the p l a t e . 4^The f i e r y embrace o f t h e e t c h i n g p r o c e s s i s p r e s e n t e d g r a p h i c a l l y on A8 and A10., w i t h Ore and U r i z e n c o n f r o n t i n g one another as the oppos ing e lements o f th e p r o c e s s o f p r o -d u c t i o n : Ore i s the a c i d and U r i z e n i s , o f c o u r s e , the p l a t e ( p l a t e 8 has a p p r o p r i a t e l y been dubbed "The Scone o f N i g h t " ) . The m i r r o r e d g e s t u r e s s u r e l y i n v i t e us t o make a compar i son (see J ane t Warner , " B l a k e ' s Use o f G e s t u r e , " i n B l a k e ' s  V i s i o n a r y Forms D r a m a t i c , e d . Dav id Erdman and John Grant • [Pr ince ton ! P r i n c e t o n U n i v . P r e s s , 197 0] , p p . 174-95), and when these c l e a r l y complementary m i r r o r - i m a g e s a re r e - a l l i g n e d , the Stone o f N i g h t i s e n g u l f e d i n the f i e r c e f lames o f the a c i d b a t h . 46rr n i s m e t a p h o r i c f u n c t i o n o f th e P r e l u d i u m p a r a l l e l s i t s r o l e on o t h e r t h e m a t i c l e v e l s as George Quasha p o i n t s o u t i n h i s d i f f i c u l t , though v a l u a b l e a r t i c l e "Ore as a F i e r y Paradigm o f P o e t i c T o r s i o n " i n B l a k e ' s V i s i o n a r y Forms D r a - m a t i c , pp .26 3-8 4. A l t h o u g h he i s n o t r e a d i n g the metaphors o f i l l u m i n a t e d p r i n t i n g , Quasha sees th e P r e l u d i u m as " a m y t h i c a l r e g r e s s i o n t o a t ime ' e a r l i e r ' than [America p r o p e r ] " (p.270) and adds t h a t " t h e P r e l u d i u m appears t o produce the P rophecy , the p r i m a l rape g e n e r a t i n g . . . t h e s y m b o l i c drama o f a p o c a l y p s e " ( p . 2 7 6 ) . 4 7 D e n n i s Doug la s , " B l a k e ' s ' E u r o p e ' " A Note on the P r e -l u d i u m , " J o u r n a l o f the A u s t r a l i a n U n i v e r s i t i e s Language and  L i t e r a t u r e A s s o c i a t i o n , 23 (1965) , 111. 4 8 i n a d d i t i o n , we know t h a t B l a k e " t a u g h t M r s . B l a k e t o t ake o f f the i m p r e s s i o n s [from h i s r e l i e f c o p p e r p l a t e s ] w i t h ca re and d e l i c a c y " ( G i l c h r i s t , L i f e o f W i l l i a m B l a k e , I , 7 0 ) . 4 ^ i t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e t h a t th e f i g u r e o f the same shadowy female r e p r e s e n t s the p l a t e i n b o t h poems, s i n c e Europe was e t ched on the r e v e r s e o f the p l a t e s f o r A m e r i c a (see A m e r i c a , M a t e r i a l s f o r the S tudy o f W i l l i a m B l a k e , Volume I , p . 5) . 5 ° D o u g l a s , p . 1 1 4 . 114 Notes to Pages 7 7 - 7 9 Chapter IV: The Poetry A f t e r U r i z e n AThe other g r e a t p e r i o d c e n t e r s on the year 1 8 0 4 i n which Blake began e t c h i n g both M i l t o n and Jerusalem. 2The e a r l i e s t c o l o u r - p r i n t e d i l l u m i n a t e d book i s There  i s No N a t u r a l R e l i g i o n ( 1 7 8 8 ) . 3 F o r the d e t a i l s of t h i s development i n Blake's c o l o u r p r i n t i n g technique, see M a r t i n B u t l i n , "The E v o l u t i o n of Blake's Large Colour P r i n t s of 1 7 9 5 , " i n Essays f o r S. F o s t e r Damon, p p . 1 0 9 - 1 6 . For the range of Blake's t e c h n i c a l e x p e r i -mentation, see Laurence Binyon, The Engraved Designs of W i l l i a m Blake (London: E r n e s t Benn, and New York: S c r i b n e r ' s , 1 9 2 6 ) . ^ W i l l i a m Blake, V a l a or the Four Zoas, ed. G. E. B e n t l e y J r . (Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1 9 6 3 ) , p . 1 5 8 . ^Keynes suggests t h a t "The manner of t h e i r [ i . e . The  Book of Ahania and The Book of Los] e x e c u t i o n suggests t h a t Blake was wearying w i t h the e f f o r t of making the s p l e n d i d books t h a t preceded them, and was s e e k i n g f o r a l e s s l a b o r i o u s method of p r o d u c t i o n . He a c c o r d i n g l y experimented i n these two s m a l l e r books w i t h t e x t s e t c h e d on copper i n the conven-t i o n a l way and p r i n t e d i n i n t a g l i o p l a t e s " (Geoffrey Keynes, ed., W i l l i a m Blake, The Book of Ahania ( P a r i s : T r i a n o n P r e s s , 1 9 7 3 J , p . i ) . Keynes's c o n j e c t u r e of Blake's motives here i s almost c e r t a i n l y wrong; i t i s p r e c i s e l y the ease of p r i n t i n g design and t e x t from a s i n g l e r e l i e f p l a t e t h a t i s the beauty of Blake's method from a t e c h n i c a l s t a n d p o i n t . Granted t h a t the e t c h i n g of a r e l i e f p l a t e takes l o n g e r than an i n t a g l i o p l a t e , but once the p l a t e s are etched, the subsequent p r o -d u c t i o n of any number of c o p i e s from r e l i e f p l a t e s i s much e a s i e r f o r s e v e r a l reasons: the paper does not have t o be wet, o r s t r e t c h e d t o dry; p o l i s h i n g and i n k i n g of the p l a t e i s much q u i c k e r ; and p r i n t i n g i s p h y s i c a l l y and t e c h n i c a l l y e a s i e r anc more r e l i a b l e . A l s o , s i n c e the d e s i g n s on these i n t a g l i o books were c o l o u r p r i n t e d s e p a r a t e l y from the t e x t , the procedure f o r producing a s i n g l e page of d e s i g n and t e x t became q u i t e i n v o l v e d . A craftsman of Blake's e x p e r i e n c e would have known these t h i n g s i n advance, and we would be wise t o look f o r r e a -sons o t h e r than ease of p r o d u c t i o n t o e x p l a i n Blake's e x p e r i -mentation. 6Todd, W i l l i a m B l a k e : The A r t i s t , p . 3 1 . Notes t o Pages 80-87 115 7Anthony Gross, E t c h i n g , E n g r a v i n g , & I n t a g l i o P r i n t i n g (London: Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 1970), p.76. See Gross pp.73-77 and Hayter pp.48-52 f o r the d e t a i l s of l a y i n g and smoking ground. ^Hayter, New Ways of Gravure, p.51. ^ F r y e , F e a r f u l Symmetry, p.215. 3-OAS the f i e r y flames l i c k i n g a c r o s s the c o p p e r p l a t e , Fuzon i s the sun as w e l l as the son of U r i z e n * s s i l e n t b u r n i n g s . The pun i s c l i n c h e d a t the bottom of the p l a t e where Fuzon's f i e r y beam becomes p h y s i c a l l y one w i t h the body o f the sun. T h i s m e t a p h o r i c a l account of the smoking of a p l a t e s h o u l d be com-pared w i t h t h a t on p l a t e 18 of The M a r r i a g e d i s c u s s e d by Eaves i n h i s a r t i c l e i n Blake S t u d i e s 4 (1972) 7 107. ^ U r i z e n (the copperplate) i s an a b s t r a c t e d , shadowy demon and an abominable v o i d i n Chapter I of U r i z e n , and i n the Pre-ludium t o America, the p l a t e i s r e p e a t e d l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h clouds (there p o s s i b l y r e p r e s e n t i n g the a c i d r e s i s t s i n c e they seem to p a r t i a l l y thwart Ore's embrace). 1 2 A n o t h e r p o s s i b l e r e a d i n g of t h i s passage would see Blake a p p l y i n g the ground t o the p l a t e b e f o r e i t i s smoked. In t h i s r e a d i n g , the "Globe of wrath" which Fuzon/Blake throws a t the p l a t e / U r i z e n would be the b a l l o f ground which lengthens i n t o a f i e r y beam as the dabs o f smoking ground are then smeare 1 a c r o s s the s u r f a c e of the p l a t e . 1 3 T h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Ahania with the poem i t s e l f which i s embodied i n the c o p p e r p l a t e i s a l s o p r e s e n t i n the f r o n t i s -p i e c e to The Book of Ahania which shows an awakened, e x p r e s s i v e , and a p p a r e n t l y a r t i c u l a t e Ahania completely e n c l o s e d by the h u l k i n g , i n t r o s p e c t i v e , b r u t e form t h a t i s U r i z e n . 1 4 A l t h o u g h the i n k i n g dauber or p r i n t e r ' s b a l l was the s t a n d a r d method of a p p l y i n g i n k i n B l a k e ' s day, Blake h i m s e l f would have used t h i s technique o n l y i n i n k i n g an i n t a g l i o p l a t e , thus the metaphors are again c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the s p e c i f i c t e c h -niques a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the books t h a t embody them. I t i s i n t e -r e s t i n g t h a t a s n a k e - l i k e or p h a l l i c i n s t r u m e n t i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the i n k i n g process o n l y i n t h i s i n t a g l i o - p r i n t e d poem. The se r p e n t can a l s o be read as another m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the s e r p e n -t i n e genius of the a c i d , born of the bubbles/eggs of the e t c h i n g bath and a t t a c k i n g the p l a t e with i t s p o i s o n , o r a c i d . In t h i s r e s p e c t , t h i s account may a l s o modulate i n t o a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the s p i t - b i t i n g technique i n which a s n a k e - l i k e p a i n t b r u s h s p i t s i t s c o r r o s i v e venom on the c o p p e r p l a t e . 116 Notes to Pages 88-98 l ^ i f i t i s indeed the production of The Book of Ahania i t s e l f that i s being described, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g that Fuzon's corpse i s hung l i k e a leaf "On the topmost stem of t h i s Tree" (Ah 4:7, E 86) just as his corpse appears at the bottom of the l a s t plate of the poem. •^In t h i s case, t h i s body would most appropriately be. i d e n t i f i e d , as Ahania's, although even i n the f i n a l chapter, we are t o l d that "no form/ Had she" (Ah 4:49-50, E 87). 1 7The very close a f f i n i t y of t h i s portion of Ahania with the story of Urizen's binding by Los i n Chapter IV-lb) of Urizen i s the key that indicates that the painting of the plates here i s again t y p i c a l l y conflated with the etching process. The "noxious clouds; [that hover] t h i c k / Over the disorganiz'd Immortal" (Ah 4:18-19, E 86) represent the various l i t e r a l l y noxious gases that are produced as a by-product of the etching process, depending on the type of acid used. (Etching should always be done near an open window or with a fume extractor.) Robert Wilson, a professional etcher, engraver, and p r i n t -maker, t e l l s me that when etching copper with f e r r i c c h l o r i d e , a dark yellowish chlorine gas that i s heavier than a i r w i l l c o l l e c t over the surface of the etching bath and s p i l l onto the f l o o r : another i d e n t i f i c a t i o n f o r "The clouds of disease [that] hover'd wide/ Around the Immortal i n torment" (Ah 4:22-23, E 86)? 1 8Morton Paley, "Method and Meaning i n Blake's Book of  Ahania," B u l l e t i n of the New York Public Library, 70 (1966), 27. 1 9 P a l e y , Energy and the Imagination, p.81. ^^There i s , of course, no t e c h n i c a l impediment i n producing designs i n an i n t a g l i o plate, as proved by some of Blake's other i n t a g l i o work such as The Gates of Paradise. 2 1The t i t l e page of The Book of Los, which shows Los bound i n by the r o c k / i n t a g l i o copperplate, should be compared to Urizen plate 10 which shows Los e n e r g e t i c a l l y breaking his way through the "rock" of the r e l i e f p late. 2 2Stevenson, Divine Analogy, p.148. 2 3Edward J. Rose, "Blake's Milton: The Poet as Poem," Blake Studies 1 (1968), 16-38. O A Joseph A. Wittreich, J r . , Angel of Apocalypse (Madison: U. of Wisconsin Press, 1975), p.20. 2^Paley, Energy and the Imagination, p.154. 117 Note t o Page 100 ^Erdman s u r e l y confuses the s e x u a l symbolism o f the poem i n h i s commentary on p l a t e 2 (The I l l u m i n a t e d B lake, p. 218) i n which he i d e n t i f i e s the female embracing the grapes on the r i g h t as the p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of the female grapes/wine, and the male embracing the wheat on the l e f t as the p e r s o n i f i -c a t i o n of the male wheat/bread. I would suggest t h a t t h i s p l a t e , too, dramatizes the Harvest & V i n t a g e theme and each f i g u r e i s i n f a c t embracing i t s o p p o s i t e . The t r u e s e x u a l i d e n t i t y of these emblems i s gleaned from the s m a l l s h a f t of wheat t h a t s p r i n g s from the female's t h i g h and the s m a l l v i n e t e n d r i l t h a t c i r c l e s towards the male's t h i g h . 118 A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources Blake, W i l l i a m . America: A Prophecy. I n t r o d . G. E. B e n t l e y , J r . M a t e r i a l s f o r the Study of W i l l i a m B l a k e , V o l . 1 . Normal, 111.: American Blake Foundation, 1974. . Complete W r i t i n g s . Ed. G e o f f r e y Keynes. 4th p r i n t i n g rev. Oxford: Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 1972. _______ The I l l u m i n a t e d B l a k e . Ed. David Erdman. Garden C i t y , N.Y.: Anchor, 1974. . The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l (Copy H). I n t r o d . G e o f f r e y Keynes. London & New York: Oxford Univ. Press ( i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the T r i a n o n P r e s s ) , 1975. • The Poetry and Prose of W i l l i a m B l a k e . Ed. David Erdman. 4th p r i n t i n g rev. Garden City., N.Y. : Doubleday, 1970. . Songs of Innocence and of E x p e r i e n c e (Copy z). New York: O r i o n ( i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the T r i a n o n P r e s s ) , 1967. . V a l a on the Four Zoas. Ed. G. E. B e n t l e y , J r . Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1963. ________ F a c s i m i l e s of the i l l u m i n a t e d books, e d i t e d w i t h com-mentaries by G e o f f r e y Keynes, P a r i s : T r i a n o n , as f o l l o w s : The Book of U r i z e n (Copy G), 19 58. The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l (Copy D), 1960. America (Copy M), 19 63. M i l t o n (Copy D), 196 7. The Book of Ahania, 1973. Secondary Sources 1. Books B e n t l e y , G. E. J r . Blake Records. Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1969. Binyon, Laurence. The Engraved Designs of W i l l i a m Blake. London: E r n e s t Benn, and New York: S c r i b n e r ' s , 1926. Eppink, Norman. 101 P r i n t s : The H i s t o r y and Techniques of P r i n t - making. Norman: U. of Oklahoma P r e s s , 19 71. 119 Erdman, David V. Blake: Prophet A g a i n s t Empire. Rev. ed. P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. Press," 19 69. , and John E. Grant, eds. Blake's V i s i o n a r y Forms Dramatic. P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. P r e s s , 1970. E s s i c k , Robert N. "The A r t of W i l l i a m Blake's E a r l y I l l u m i -nated Books." D i s s . Univ. of C a l i f . , San Diego, 1969. . ed. The V i s i o n a r y Hand: Essays f o r the Study of W i l l i a m Blake's A r t and A e s t h e t i c s . Los Angeles: Hennessey & I n g a l l s , 1973. F r y e , Northrop. F e a r f u l Symmetry. P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. P r e s s , 19 47. . Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m . P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. P r e s s , 19 57. G i l c h r i s t , Alexander. L i f e of W i l l i a m B l a k e . 2 v o l s . 1880; r p t . New York: Phaeton, 1969. Gross, Anthony. E t c h i n g , E n g r a v i n g , & I n t a g l i o P r i n t i n g . London: Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 1970. Hayter, S. W. New Ways of Gravure. 19 49; r p t . . London: Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 1966. I v i n s , W i l l i a m M. J r . P r i n t s and V i s u a l Communication. London: Routledge & Kegan P a u l , 19 53. Jackson, John. A T r e a t i s e on Wood En g r a v i n g , H i s t o r i c a l and  P r a c t i c a l . London: C h a r l e s K n i g h t , 1839. Keynes, G e o f f r e y . Blake S t u d i e s : Essays on H i s L i f e and Work. 1949; r p t . London: Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 1971. . A Study of the I l l u m i n a t e d Books o f W i l l i a m Blake, Poet, P r i n t e r , Prophet. London: Methuen ( i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the T r i a n o n P r e s s ) , 1965. , and Edwin Wolf 2nd, comps. W i l l i a m B l a k e 1 s I l l u m i n a t e d Books: A Census. 1953; r p t . New York: Kraus R e p r i n t , 1969. L i s t e r , Raymond. I n f e r n a l Methods: A Study of W i l l i a m Blake's  A r t Techniques. London: G. " B e l l , 197 5. Paley, Morton. Energy and the Imagination: A Study of the Deve- lopment of Blake's Thought. Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , - 1 9 7 0 . 120 , and M i c h a e l P h i l l i p s , eds. W i l l i a m Blake; Essays i n honour o f S i r G e o f f r e y Keynes. Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1973. P a r a c e l s u s . S e l e c t e d W r i t i n g s . Ed. Jolande J a c o b i , t r a n s . Norbert Guterman. London: Routledge & Kegan P a u l , 19 51. P e r c i v a l , M i l t o n 0. W i l l i a m Blake's C i r c l e o f D e s t i n y . 1938; r p t . New York: Octagon, 1964. Rosenf e l d , A l v i n , ed. W i l l i a m B l a k e : Essays f o r S. F o s t e r  Damon. Providence: Brown Univ. P r e s s , 19 69. Stevenson, Warren. D i v i n e Analogy: A Study o f the C r e a t i o n M o t i f i n Blake and C o l e r i d g e . S a l s b u r g S t u d i e s i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , Romantic Reassessment, No.25. S a l s b u r g , A u s t r i a : I n s t i t u t Fur E n g l i s c h e Sproche und L i t e r a t u r , U n i v e r s i t a t S a l s b u r g , 197 2. Todd, Ruthven. W i l l i a m Blake:, The A r t i s t . London: S t u d i o V i s t a , and New York: Dutton, 1971. Weathers, Winston, ed. The Tyger. Columbus, Ohio: M e r r i l l , 1969. W i t t r e i c h , Joseph A., J r . Angel o f Apocalypse: B l a k e ' s Idea o f  M i l t o n . Madison: U. of Wisconsin P r e s s , 19 75. 2. A r t i c l e s Douglas, Dennis. "Blake's 'Europe': A Note on The Preludium." J o u r n a l o f the A u s t r a l i a n U n i v e r s i t i e s Language and L i t e - r a t u r e A s s o c i a t i o n , 23 (1965), 111-16. Eaves, M o r r i s . "A Reading of Blake's Marriage o f Heaven and  H e l l , P l a t e s 17-20." Blake S t u d i e s , 4 (1972), 81-116. Erdman, David. "The Suppressed and A l t e r e d Passages i n Blake ' s Jerusalem." S t u d i e s i n B i b l i o g r a p h y , 17 (1964), 1-54. E s s i c k , Robert. "Jerusalem 25: Some Thoughts on Technique." Blake N e w s l e t t e r , 27 (1973-74), 64-66. Paley, Morton. "Method and Meaning i n Blake's Book o f Ahania." B u l l e t i n of the New York P u b l i c L i b r a r y ,~70~(T9~6 6) , 27-33. Rose, Edward J . "Blake's M i l t o n : The Poet as Poem." Blake S t u d i e s , 1 (1968), 16-38. . "Good-bye t o Ore and A l l That." Blake S t u d i e s , 4 (1972), 135-51. 121 Toomey, Deirdre. "The States of Plate 25 of Jerusalem. Blake  Newsletter, 22 (1972), 46-48. Wright, John. "Toward Recovering Blake's Relief-Etching Process. Blake Newsletter, 26 (1973), 32-39. 

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