Blake’s Night Thoughts by Jeremy Tambling (auth.)
By Jeremy Tambling (auth.)
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Additional resources for Blake’s Night Thoughts
His belief in ownership produces, as a response, the concomitant of possession: jealousy. The thorns are a form of delight because they tell him that, in his self-justification, he was right to accept suffering in refusing the Other. Possessing the Other is not just a form of control but a way of securing his single identity, for the flower which May never bore is heterogeneous, making identity something which cannot be known. 21 The result of Nobodaddy’s silence is darkness and obscurity (in ‘The Poison Tree’ the foe appears ‘when the night had veiled the pole’).
For the clod, love ‘builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair’. It is the second, and only other use of ‘despair’ in Songs of Experience, succeeding ‘Earth’s Answer’, where Earth’s locks are covered with ‘grey despair’. Earth’s rebuke, recalling Oothoon in Visions of the Daughters of Albion, is analogous to the curse of the ‘youthful harlot’ in ‘London’ (which virtually succeeds the poem in the Notebook version) and like hers, its scope is intragenerational. The clod however, unlike Oothoon, but like the youthful harlot, offers no political way forward.
13). Posthumous and spectral, they still breathe, still lack. 15 Viola’s first line evokes Blake’s ‘Never pain to tell thy love’, the second ‘The Sick Rose’, and the third ‘Ah! Sunflower’, linking all through ‘concealment’: female for Viola (though, since she is concealed as a male, she may make concealment a law for males), male in ‘Never pain’. 16 In Shakespeare, ‘concealment’ that ‘fed on her damask cheek’ is the worm even without ‘like a worm i’ th’ bud’ because ‘damask’ brings in the rose.