Through Satire to Innocence
So far as Blake’s intellectual life as a young man can be traced (the evidence is mostly indirect) he read intensely in certain books: not only the favourite English poets mentioned above but works of imaginative philosophy such as the writings of Plato and the Neoplatonists, and of occult writers such as Paracelsus and Jakob Boehme.1 The Bible and Milton, his especial favourites, he read by the light of his own intuition, valuing their passages of imaginative vision or fiery prophecy; but he could also be seized by more prosaic possibilities, as when he played on the concept of a literally ‘jealous God’.
KeywordsDepression Lost Verse Shoe Milton
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