Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Swede-Medes(media) making Original Bees

BLAKE, William (1757-1827). "I do not behold the outward creation. . . . it is a hindrance and not action." Thus William Blake--painter, engraver, and poet--explained why his work was filled with religious visions rather than with subjects from everyday life. Few people in his time realized that Blake expressed these visions with a talent that approached genius. He lived in near poverty and died unrecognized. Today, however, Blake is acclaimed one of England's great figures of art and literature and one of the most inspired and original painters of his time.

Blake was born on Nov. 28, 1757, in London. His father ran a hosiery shop. William, the third of five children, went to school only long enough to learn to read and write, and then he worked in the shop until he was 14. When he saw the boy's talent for drawing, Blake's father apprenticed him to an engraver.

At 25 Blake married Catherine Boucher. He taught her to read and write and to help him in his work. They had no children. They worked together to produce an edition of Blake's poems and drawings, called 'Songs of Innocence'. Blake engraved both words and pictures on copper printing plates. Catherine made the printing impressions, hand-colored the pictures, and bound the books. The books sold slowly, for a few shillings each. Today a single copy is worth many thousands of dollars.

Blake's fame as an artist and engraver rests largely on a set of 21 copperplate etchings to illustrate the Book of Job in the Old Testament. However, he did much work for which other artists and engravers got the credit. Blake was a poor businessman, and he preferred to work on subjects of his own choice rather than on those that publishers assigned him. In the Old Testament, Job is an upright man whose faith in God survived the test of repeated calamities.

The Echoing Green
The sun does arise,
And make happy the skies;
The merry bells ring
To welcome the spring;
The skylark and thrush,
The birds of the bush,
Sing louder around
To the bell's cheerful sound,
While our sports shall be seen
On the Echoing Green.

Old John with white hair,
Does laugh away care,
Sitting under the oak,
Among the old folk.
They laugh at our play,
And soon they all say:
"Such, such were the joys
When we all, girls and boys,
In our youth time were seen
On the Echoing Green."

Till the little ones, weary,
No more can be merry;
The sun does descend,
And our sports have an end.
Round the laps of their mothers
Many sisters and brother,
Like birds in their nest,
Are ready for rest,
And sport no more seen
On the darkening Green.

A follower of Emanuel Swedenborg, who offered a gentle and mystic interpretation of Christianity, Blake wrote poetry that largely reflects Swedenborgian views (see Swedenborg). 'Songs of Innocence' (1789) shows life as it seems to innocent children. 'Songs of Experience' (1794) tells of a mature person's realization of pain and terror in the universe. This book contains his famous 'Tiger! Tiger! Burning Bright'. 'Milton' (1804-08) and 'Jerusalem' (1804-20) are longer and more obscure works. Blake died on Aug. 12, 1827.

Swede-Medes(media) making Original Bees

Emmanuel Swedenborg was born in Stockholm, Sweden, Jan 29, 1688, the son of a bishop, and of a noble family. He was graduated at the University of Upsala, and after four years of travel, was given a position in the College of Mines by Charles XII., who became his friend. For some years he busied himself in writing a host of scientific works, mainly practical, on bridges, air guns, docks, blood circulation, copper manufacturing, etc. Suddenly his scientific work stopped, and in 1749-'56 appeared in twelve volumes a Latin work which he called Heavenly Secrets. He announced that the Lord had appeared to him, and sent him to be the herald of a new church, and that his office was to interpret the Word of God according to its true meaning. The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, and many other theological works followed. Swedenborg made no effort to found a church, but confined himself to the work of announcing the new doctrines which were to be it basis. He died in London, March 29, 1772. Since his death religious societies have been founded on Swedenborg's teachings, and are banded together in America as the general convention, and in England as the general conference of the new church. See his Life by Wil.kin.son