The Poetry and Art of William Blake

English 490 7.01

One of the great poets and artists of his time, William Blake is much else as well: a druid, a revolutionary, a Christian mystic, a satirist, a working man, a theoretician of alternative worlds, a possible father of science fiction, (ask Philip K. Dick) of rock and roll, (ask Jim Morrison) of hallucinogenic spirit quests, gender agonies, graphic novels, of whatever may happen tomorrow.  This class will read deeply in his poetry, from the eerily clear and early “Songs of Innocence and Experience,” to the grand and wild prophetic works such as “Vala” and “Jerusalem” with their apocalyptic landscapes and epic confrontations. We will look closely at his artworks. We will look closely at his life and times. We will prepare ourselves through our ever-deepening grasp of the regenerative powers of the imagination, to someday meet Blake in heaven and ask him what’s up.