William Blake, Jerusalem: the Emanation of the Great Albion

David Punter (University of Bristol)
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Blake was engaged on the epic poem called

Jerusalem, the Emanation of the Giant Albion

from 1804 to 1820. Although the form we have of the poem may appear to be final – in a sense in which

Vala, or, The Four Zoas

never achieved finality – one may nevertheless question in what sense such a poem can ever be 'complete'. This is because Blake here, as often elsewhere, appears to be engaged on several different enterprises at once, and we may discern four levels to the poem.

At the first level, he is concerned to construct a myth within which the central players are the 'giant forms' known as Albion and Jerusalem. We may figure the relations between these 'characters' in various different ways. Jerusalem, for example, may be considered to be the ideal form of Albion: in other words, Albion

674 words

Citation: Punter, David. "Jerusalem: the Emanation of the Great Albion". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4309, accessed 05 March 2024.]

4309 Jerusalem: the Emanation of the Great Albion 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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