William Blake: poet of the human potential

early two centuries after his death, the final resting place of William Blake (1757 – 1827) is about to be marked with a gravestone. The remains of the poet-painter lie in a common grave under an anonymous patch of grass in Bunhill Fields cemetery, just outside the City of London.On 12 August, myself and fellow trustees of the Blake Society will unveil a new ledger stone on the site, exquisitely carved by leading stonecutter Lida Cardozo. The ceremony will be open to all.

I’m hoping Bunhill Fields will be filled with people on that day, because I believe that, though Blake is long dead, he is still the finest poet of liberty and the human potential, and we need his work to awaken the dissenting imagination more than ever.

This is not how Blake is usually seen today. Most people tend to think of him as bucolic, and otherworldly, painting mystic visions of angels in Heaven while opposing the Industrial Revolution on Earth. A sort of patron saint of hippies, peaceniks and eco-warriors.

For me, nothing could be further from the truth. I think today is an apposite time to honour Blake because our present illiberal, censorious and conformist era shares many parallels with the period in which he lived [ . . . ]

Continue at SPIKED: William Blake: poet of the human potential | Arts & Culture | Books & Essays | spiked

Poetic justice as William Blake’s grave at Bunhill Fields gets its own stone

Poet who died in 1827 gets memorial at previously unmarked spot in burial ground

WILLIAM Blake will finally have a memorial stone at his previously unmarked grave at Bunhill Fields, known as London’s burial ground for radicals, non-conformists and dissenters.

The poet died in 1827 but his final resting place was not identified until 2006. A plaque in the area read: “Nearby lie the remains of William Blake and his wife Catherine Sophia.”

The lack of a proper memorial is in stark contrast to the grand tomb of baptist preacher and writer John Bunyan and author Daniel Defoe’s obelisk.

The 12 years since the discovery of the exact spot has seen a heated debate over what should be carved into a gravestone for Blake, including a row over apostrophes, and a fundraising drive to pay for it.

Gareth Sturdy, a trustee of the Blake Society, said: “Blake is the finest representation of the London artist, he knew London completely.

“He often walked through the fields of Islington and knew them very well. Anyone who lives in and loves London would have an intimate relationship to Blake if they began to read him.”

Blake lies under an “unremarkable patch of ground” with around seven other bodies placed on top of him, according to Mr Sturdy. It is a fate that echoes lines from a poem in Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience: The Voice of the Ancient Bard: “How many have fallen there!/They stumble all night over bones of the dead/And feel they know not what but care.” [ . . . ]

Continue reading: Poetic justice as William Blake’s grave at Bunhill Fields gets its own stone



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The feminist energies of William Blake and Faith Wilding take over Chicago 

The Block Museum’s current exhibition, “William Blake and the Age of Aquarius,” is a study of time travel and tripping. It connects Blake’s ethereal radicalism to that of the 1960’s to that of the post-truth U.S., and in Chicago, Faith Wilding’s show at Western Exhibitions. [ . . .]

Continue Reading at: The feminist energies of William Blake and Faith Wilding take over Chicago – Chicago Tribune