on William Blake


[This essay, first written around 1967 in a poet-graduate seminar with David Erdman and Conor Cruise O’Brien at NYU and developed over the next year or so, was later published by Profs. Erdman and John T. Grant in Blake’s Visionary Forms Dramatic (Princeton University Press: 1970). It has been reprinted in David Punter’s collection, William Blake: Contemporary Critical Essays (New Casebooks, Macmillan Press, Ltd.: London, 1996. On this essay’s foundational connection with axial poetics and a poetics of principle, see axial language.]