The New Burden: The Crunch of Awareness, the tenth and final poem in Linda Chown’s William Blake Series

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

Christian reading in his book, one of 28 illustrations Blake did to accompany Bunyon’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress” courtesy of Interesting Literature / Public Domain

“I think; therefore, I am.” René Descartes

Whence it so happened that Descartes left tracks in
John Bunyan who impressed his mind on the way
to William Blake, decent soul that he was. Long ago
we were said to have souls, that mysterious interior
invisible, unknowable. And then things changed.
It was not God so much as that a new burden of knowing
came to be ours. This knowing no bloodless rule, no abstract thing.
Blake no Age of Reason pontificator: “To Generalize is to be an Idiot;
To Particularize is the Alone Distinction of Merit,” Blake wrote.
And here in this, he particularizes, oh how he particularizes.
Christian physically bound in his reading.
Blake kindles hot the near insanity of the meeting,
As his very…

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