by John Emslie THE WORD ZOA is Greek. It means ‘living one’. In the Book of Ezekiel, zoa is the name of the four creatures who pull the chariot of God’s Spirit. William Blake, The Works of William Blake: Poetic, Symbolic, and Critical, III, ed. Edwin J. Ellis and William Butler Yeats (London: Quaritch, ). PR E5. The Four Zoas (Excerpt) by William is the price of Experience do men buy it for a song Or wisdom for a dance in the street No it is bought with the.

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Furthermore, the arrangement tends to reduce serious anomalies in the text rather zoa create them. In the text of my essay, the following abbreviations are used: It seems clear that when Blake composed Gour he must have planned to include in the eight Night some kind of sequence describing the epiphany of Satan, and the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ.

Night VIIa1 has strong narrative links with pagesas it describes the confrontation between Urizen and Orc anticipated at the end of VIand the rebirth of Vala anticipated in V. This may be why the description of the reunion on page 90 was originally designed for inclusion in the eighth Night.

Literature: Understanding Blake’s Zoas

The Four Zoasp. Their eternal names are Tharmas, Urizen, Luvah and Urthona. In the world of time and generation he holds the power of reproduction. In what follows I will also assume that the deletions and marginal additions to pages bearing fine script, as well as designs that intrude into fine text areas on page 25, for examplewere made after the abandonment of whatever intentions for publication the copperplate hand s may embody.

In the long pastoral passage Tharmas complains: Fou the visual images in no direct way “illustrate” central features of the “event” of this “fall.

Flatter his wife, pity his children, till we can Reduce all to our will, as spaniels are taught with art. This procedure would require no further cutting, except possibly for minor trimming or filing of edges, and would waste very little copper. When Blake first composed this passage he was possibly more concerned with developing the myth to his own satisfaction than with the problem of containing it within the existing structure of the foud.

In the absence of the presiding image of the Tree — indeed of any single controlling spatial image — Night VIIb is organized, in direct opposition to VIIA, through a series of discontinuous though implicitly overlapping parallel segments, deployed along the horizontal axis as parallel, vertical, self contained fragments whose details nevertheless feed from one section to the next by means of shifting gaze and speech direction of the characters.


Blake, Valaor The Four Zoaspage This negative evidence cannot prove that such manuscripts never existed; but, given the production characteristics of relief etching, there are practical reasons why Blake need not have written such manuscripts. Afterhe was able to work on it again.

Vala, or The Four Zoas – Wikipedia

Clarendon,p. By leaving the tension between Los and Enitharmon unresolved in the new ending of VIIa, Blake may have hoped to explain the strained relationship in VIIb, although the Spectre-like Los of VIIb is hard to equate with the humanized Los of page 87, who has already begun his inspired construction of Golgonooza.

In the Lambeth books Blake had developed two different images for the corruption of Orc: Edward Young text and William Blake illustrationp. In the added passage Los is watched over by Jesus, so the action appears to be part of the divine scheme of redemption, and the passage is clearly related to a late addition near the end of VIII Such a revision, while changing the ending of the eighth Night from an explosive climax to a passage of elegiac expectation, would help to re-establish the presence of Enion and Ahania who are largely absent from the central Nights of the poem before fouur resurrection in the last Night.

This disruption could also be an indication that a new rule of organization of VIIb would have to be discovered that could accomodate VIIa, a rule that would probably redefine the structural pattern of both Nights. If this is indeed the case, then the suggestions presented here can be summarized as a three-step process of changing plans for a manuscript reflecting those changes as follows: How is it that all things are chang’d, even as in ancient times?

Clearly, Rahab was becoming increasingly important in this series of local additions. Thus could I sing foud thus rejoice: However, the Night was transcribed on Night Thoughts proof pages in the normal way, and had approximately zaos same number of lines per page as the earlier Nights on the proof pages, which suggests that Blake still maintained some concern for the general appearance of his manuscript, and was hoping to resolve the problem of his two seventh Nights within a nine-Night structure.

The new enlightenment seems to have come after VIIb was transcribed, and after the Christianization of the poem had begun, but before the second version of the eighth Night VIIIb had been copied out. It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity: The similarity of the designs on pages 75 and 47 of Fkur Four Zoas connects narrative moments that otherwise seem distinct. Although as the poem now stands this narrative is continuous, there is zoax to suggest that it was originally composed and xoas as two distinct sections designed for separate contexts within the poem.


In VIIa1 Blake reconciles the two images. They raise their faces from the earth, conversing with the Man: Mapped independently of dour other’s controlling structural patterns, Nights VIIa and VIIb each reveal strongly defined but orthogonally opposed spatial properties. Press,p. The image on this page is, however, juxtaposed with verbal text that focuses on Urizen’s fall into a raging dragon form following his sexual confrontation with the Shadowy Female, which issues in a threat that the entire aoas will recycle itself.

Whereas the passage from Night VIIa1 for pages to line We fojr no authority for this textual arrangement, but neither do we have authority to exclude VIIb from the poem.

The Four Zoas (Excerpt) – Poem by William Blake

Yet the way her arms point so decisively upward, conforming to the vertical edges that enclose them, reaffirms this figure’s imprisonment within the two-dimensional space of the page. The relatively complete exposure of this figure, in conjunction with her struggle to break free from the text, structurally parallels both the verbal clarity of the lamentations of Ahania and Enion on this page and their contrapuntal content — hope and despair.

Blake seems to have introduced the Christian symbolism in a context which emphasizes the correspondence between the sexual harmony required in his own myth and that which forms the climax of Revelation.

Marks,pp. Blake intended the book to be a summation of his mythic universe but, dissatisfied, he abandoned the effort inleaving the poem in a rough draft and its cour unfinished. A man trained to the book and print business of his time who also invented a number of unconventional ways of producing and distributing images could hardly avoid such interests.

It is as if in Night VIIb the Tree had absorbed the characters and mystified the narrator so completely that they are almost unaware of its presence and power. Unlike the previous examples, however, the design on pages page 47 of The Four Zoas seem to illustrate the text on that page of Blake’s poem unusually well: Also out of the fiur thereof came the likeness of four living creatures.