please note that all times given are not always consecutive; four hours of continuous reading would probably kill me.
19th May: 4 hours reading through “The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake,” specific emphasis on his chronicle of “The French Revolution.” roughly 2 hours writing response revs and noting observations.
20 May: 3 hours reading Bringhurst, mostly the essay “Prosodies of Meaning”; 3 hours alternatively reading Perloff and “William Blake: the Gates of Paradise” by Michael Bedard.
21 May: 2 hour meditation. clearing mind and reflecting on the essence of Blake’s work. five hours composing the beginning elements of two epic chronicles of my own. 1 hour reading Blake’s poetry.
22 May: half-hour reading Blake poetry, half-hour meditation. continued work on French-English poem, “Je Suis Hier,” two hours.
24 May: 2 hours reading “Gates of Paradise,” 2 hours formulating notes into a concrete reflection on what Blake’s poetry has to do with me and why I or anyone else should care.
25 May: 4 hours reading McClane and Blake together. 2 hours reading first and sixth chapters of Neuro and noting references in Blake’s poetry. Half-hour editing, typing and posting “The Immortality of the Visionary.”
log synopsis based on journal entries made during this week
I’ve been spending most of my personal study time this week to the development of a French/English poem I’ve been trying to write, though I admit the whole point of it is just to show off how much French I know, which I’m discovering isn’t very much. I sat down in my room for almost 5 hours on Wednesday evening before dinner trying to get something good out. I’m still iffy on it so far, but I spent a couple hours clearing my head as much as I could, since I’ve been disappointing myself with everything that comes out. The title is either going to be “Je Suis Hier (I Am Yesterday),” or “C’etait (This was).” It’s about not being able to write and not doing anything with the talent I have, the subtle irony being that it is a very structured poem written in the styles of T.S. Eliot, Charles Baudelaire, and a slight taste of Dante, and written in two languages. In other words, it’s supposed to be a really, really elaborate, well-written poem about not being able to write good poetry.
in addition to those 5 non-consecutive hours on Wednesday, I read most of the rest of “Exercises in Style” in hopes that I would find a clue to how certain poetic/storytelling forms tell their stories differently. Nothing concrete yet, though I made a few observation notes. I’ll post some of my Calculated Poetics reflections on here if i find anything concrete. this reading and occasional note-taking was spread over three days, I believe Monday-Wednesday, and took a total of about 6 hours.
this is a synopsis from journal notes throughout the week. I spent about 4 hours a day on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and 2 hours on Saturday sifting through my massive new book, “The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake.” There’s a lot in there and it was hard to decide where to start and how to go about studying him. I guess what’s most striking to me is his flow of illumination–I don’t know what it is yet, but from the way he writes, I can tell he was in a state of reverie, or a shamanic trance state (all really the same) and that (important part) the words that come out in his poetry follow from that state; in other words, the material element of his poetry is secondary to the mode of consciousness through which they derived. This, I believe, is a crucial axiom of shamanic poetry and therefore, the Bardic tradition.
Staples: that was easy!