Blake, a Psychological Study

Blake, a Psychological Study

Blake, a Psychological Study

Blake, a Psychological Study

Excerpt

Of the poets of the Romantic Revival, the reputations of Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth and Coleridge have remained much the same as in their own time; that of Byron has declined; that of Southey sunk altogether out of sight; while that of Blake has continually advanced. Almost unknown during his own lifetime, his name now stands in the line of the major poets of the English language. But to most readers the greater part of his work is incomprehensible. Few, or to speak more correctly none, have passed beyond the childlike beauty of the Songs of Innocence without bewilderment. At the beginning of his work stand the Songs of Innocence and Experience, a mine for the anthologist; beyond we stumble into a mythological maze comparable with that of the Hindu pantheon, a veritable jungle of symbols. These "Prophetic Books" are a region into which few would venture were it not for the magnificent poetry to be found within. But they remain as a whole, incomprehensible to the general reader.

The object of the present work is to indicate a path through the Blakean jungle, to provide a plan of the maze. It is only within recent years that the problems of mythology and symbolism have been attacked scientifically, by the psychologists of the school of Jung, and the instrument of the Jungian psychology can provide a key for the understanding of Blake. Using this key, we shall find that the mythical activities of the strangely . . .

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