(Task 2 Week4)
In William Blake’s Songs of Experience: Introduction (1794, p. 28) the Bard affirms that he heard the Word of God, which is a reference to Christ. From this prophecy he believes that he is all-knowing and that he sees beyond time. The Bard wants to save humanity and invokes the Earth to listen to his voice; “Calling the lapsed soul”, “Fallen fallen light renew”. The prophet urges the Earth to come back to God and forcefully states to her that only he can save humanity from its fall. The Bard’s tone is authoritative and patriarchic although his propositions are noble : “Turn away no more: / Why wilt thou turn away”.
The Bard does not prove that his God is good. In fact, the Earth’s answer (Blake, p. 30) defines his God as tyrannical; “Selfish father of men”, “Break this heavy chain”. The Earth’s argument is far more refined than that of her opponent. She explains that humans need to learn from their mistakes: “Does spring hide its joy / When buds and blossoms grow?” The Earth is arguing that humans need to learn for themselves. Also, in the second stanza, the Earth mentions that the prophet’s God is jealous. This is because Mother Earth is the matter from which human beings are made.
Blake uses symbols of Christianity although his language does not strictly conform to mainstream interpretations of the bible. For this reason and the aforementioned, I am confident in saying that the prophet’s God is a fake, a demiurge, a weak God. Besides, this view agrees with Blake’s argument that “the true faculty of knowing must be the faculty which experiences” (All Religions are One, p. 5).
Tibby Aubry, 16th of August 2016 © http://adnspirit.com \ Literature; text registered at ACU.