Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday William Blake

William Blake was born on this day 251 years ago - a visionary artist, poet, artisan, philosopher, mystic and husband.

"He who binds to himself a joy
doth the winged life destroy.
But he who kisses the joy as it
flies lives in Eternity's sunrise."

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. During his lifetime, and for half a century afterwards, his work was largely disregarded or even derided as the work of a madman. Today Blake's work is considered seminal in the history of both poetry and the visual arts of the Romantic Age. Blake's prophetic poetry is often considered to be the writings of extraordinary originality and genius. Though he is now considered to have been a spiritual visionary of the Romantic age, his work has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry has led one modern critic to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". Born inside London, Blake spent the entire course of his life, save for three years, inside the city. His creative vision, however, engendered a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced 'imagination' as "the body of God", or "Human existence itself".

The William Blake Archive

A hypermedia archive sponsored by the Library of Congress and supported by the Carolina Digital Library and Archives at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With past support from the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, the Getty Grant Program, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Preservation and Access Division of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Sun Microsystems, and Inso Corporation.
Morris Eaves, University of Rochester
Robert Essick, University of California, Riverside
Joseph Viscomi, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Books by William Blake on Google Books

1 comment:

O. Quimby Melton said...

God, wouldn't Blake have loved the internet?

All this radiant textuality ...

Thanks for the video post!