Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Gentle Lamentation Falls Like the Morning Dew

I have always found that Angels have the vanity to speak of themselves as the only wise; this they do with a confident insolence sprouting from systematic reasoning.

What do you know about angels?

But that's not why we're gathered here today, dear friends.  To talk about Angels with narcissistic personality disorder.  No.  We're here to talk about this ...

"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.  
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern."

              -- William Blake

William Blake was a genuinely crazy person.  But we have, among many other things, the above lines to thank him for.  Because without them (plus an assist from Aldous Huxley), The Doors would never have existed.  Plus, I love a guy who not only writes poetry, but illustrates it as well.

This from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, which is also the source of some of the above ...


I once got an A on a short story I wrote for a science fiction writing class in college, titled, if memory serves, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  In crafting it I stole a bunch of stuff from Blake's Book of Thel.  The most famous stanza from which might be ...

Does the Eagle know what is in the pit,
Or wilt thou go ask the Mole?
Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod,
Or Love in a golden bowl?

The teacher, who may have been John Casey (author of Spartina -- an amazing book -- among others), said "I'm not sure this is science fiction ... but I like it."

It was, I can assure you.

Anyway, all this by way of announcing the death yesterday of Ray Manzarek, keyboard player for The Doors.  God bless the man.  Now he's in Heaven with Jim Morrison, that most insolent of Angels.  Or Hell.  Either way, at least he can stop touring with those idiots.

For you completists:  I'm listening to Translucent Blues, Manzarek's 2011 collaboration with blues guitarist Roy Rogers.

I'll leave you with this ...

The daughters of Mne Seraphim led round their sunny flocks,
All but the youngest.  She in paleness sought the secret air,
To fade way like morning beauty from her mortal day.
Down by the river of Adona her soft voice is heard,
And thus her gentle lamentation falls like the morning dew

Which is a pretty good couple of lines.  And if you can't draw a bright white line connecting "She in paleness sought the secret air" and "Break on through to the other side" then I want you to step away from the blog and engage in some serious introspection.

We'll invite you back when we think you're ready.


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