William Blake: free radical

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Yesterday, August 12th, was the anniversary of the death of that great soul William Blake, for whom the phrase “free radical” could have been invented.

What God is he,  writes laws of peace, & clothes himself in a tempest

What pitying Angel lusts for tears, and fans himself with sighs

What crawling villain preaches abstinence & wraps himself

In fat of lambs? No more I follow, no more obedience pay.

(from America)

Seest thou the little winged fly, smaller than a grain of sand?

It has a heart like thee; a brain open to heaven & hell,

Withinside wondrous and expansive; its gates are not closed,

I hope thine are not: hence it clothes itself in rich array;

Hence art thou cloth’d with human beauty, O thou mortal man.

(from Milton)

Gert pays her own tribute to one of her favourite human beings in the forthcoming Crane Mansions:

But to the relentless exactitude of his father’s regime, the second Dr Crane had brought the spirit of Poetic Inspiration. From its origins in his adored, long-lost Little Mummy’s tales of fairies, ducklings changing into swans, children changing into bluebirds, through his youthful passion for the works of the poet Blake to its culmination in a vision of Blake in old Nat Dodge’s pigeon loft, of which we will hear more later in this story, Pigeonnic Augury had become his entire life.

Photo credit for The Tyger: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicamulley/3526667591

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