Author Topic: "English" branch?  (Read 16926 times)

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Offline Margot

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2010, 06:02:03 PM »
Yes I did not use the 'scepter'd isle' quote although in an earlier quote somewhere in that thread I had mixed aspects of it in with a jolly good imitation of 'Jerusalem' which is absolutely rabidly nationalistic!


Offline Adagietto

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2010, 06:33:00 PM »
'Jerusalem' is hard rabidly nationalistic in the ordinary sense, of celebrating the supposed good qualities of a nation, it expresses the aspiration to create an ideal land out of a very imperfect one (full of dark Satanic mills), as expressed figuratively as the recovery of a lost holiness through the legend that Jesus had once visited England. I think people often misunderstand it because they sing (or hear it sung) as some kind of patriotic hymn without paying much attention to the meaning of the words. (Not that it isn't patriotic in its way, in my view it is patriotic in the only way in which patriotism can be of any value.)

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2010, 07:06:45 PM »
 Talk about rabidly nationalistic, have any of you read or heard all 12 or so verses on God Save the Queen [or king as it might be.  I have not heard it  in entirety in years. And that was an old radio show. The US anthem is also  quite  hostile, and it comes from  an old English pub song.
 Perhasps most national anthems are.   Sakura [Japan] is probably the most peaceful anthem I know of.  More like a Zen poem. None of the "Defend the Motherland" sort of thing.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 07:08:54 PM by Robert_Hall »
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Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2010, 07:35:15 PM »
Regarding the use of Gaelic discussed earlier:
Seems like Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, was not the only of QV's family to live in a Gàidhealtachd. I see from a study about the use of Gaelic in the Grampians that Deeside must have been rather Gaelic-speaking when Victoria and Albert fell in love with the place. Because in 1901 there was still as much as 5 % Gaelic-speakers in the district of Crathie next to Balmoral and further up the Dee towards Braemar it was 15-25 %. At nearby Inverey and the Braes o' Mar on the Dukes of Fife's Mar Lodge Estate it was still 46 % as late as 1891!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 07:37:54 PM by Fyodor Petrovich »

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2010, 04:33:30 AM »
FP

Apologies for my confusion. Given your erudition in everything else, I would be astonished if you did not know your Shakespeare.

I confess that my knowledge of Ibsen is woefully lacking.

Ann

Offline Margot

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2010, 04:37:40 AM »
'Jerusalem' is hard rabidly nationalistic in the ordinary sense, of celebrating the supposed good qualities of a nation, it expresses the aspiration to create an ideal land out of a very imperfect one (full of dark Satanic mills), as expressed figuratively as the recovery of a lost holiness through the legend that Jesus had once visited England. I think people often misunderstand it because they sing (or hear it sung) as some kind of patriotic hymn without paying much attention to the meaning of the words. (Not that it isn't patriotic in its way, in my view it is patriotic in the only way in which patriotism can be of any value.)

The implication of creating a 'Jerusalem' in England's green and pleasant land and to try justify the 'Satanic mills' is enough to make me balk! I personally find the arrogance of implication and aspiration in Jerusalem abhorrent though I love the actual melody!

 

Offline Adagietto

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2010, 12:16:47 PM »
He is not seeking to justify the Satanic mills, these symbolize the degredation that we should try to remedy; 'Jerusalem' is an ideal end (symbolically expressed, nothing is stated about its precise nature, different people could imagine it in different terms), the polar opposite of the present fallen world:

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.

How the Chimney-sweeper's cry
Every black'ning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.


Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2010, 03:39:04 PM »
He is not seeking to justify the Satanic mills, these symbolize the degredation that we should try to remedy; 'Jerusalem' is an ideal end (symbolically expressed, nothing is stated about its precise nature, different people could imagine it in different terms), the polar opposite of the present fallen world:



Quite so. Blake was anything but a rabid nationalist, and the poem is part of a cycle dedicated to Milton and harking back in time to a pre-industrial era and in spirit to the period of the Republic and the idea of people who tried to create a better, more equal world that was Christian in the sense of seeking the good of the greatest number.

But does anyone remember the spoof of Jerusalem re-done by "Spitting Image" in the 1908s as a Tory anthem? :-)   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVwdKfLOa5o
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2010, 07:49:38 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVwdKfLOa5o
Too funny with Maggie becoming Satan to some because she did close those dark satanic mills!

Offline Margot

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2010, 03:59:54 AM »
He is not seeking to justify the Satanic mills, these symbolize the degredation that we should try to remedy; 'Jerusalem' is an ideal end (symbolically expressed, nothing is stated about its precise nature, different people could imagine it in different terms), the polar opposite of the present fallen world:



Quite so. Blake was anything but a rabid nationalist, and the poem is part of a cycle dedicated to Milton and harking back in time to a pre-industrial era and in spirit to the period of the Republic and the idea of people who tried to create a better, more equal world that was Christian in the sense of seeking the good of the greatest number.

But does anyone remember the spoof of Jerusalem re-done by "Spitting Image" in the 1908s as a Tory anthem? :-)   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVwdKfLOa5o

IMHO England doesn't need to be a Christian state in order to seek the good of the greatest number! It is the continued popularity of 'Crusading' sensibilities and National pride which I find so utterly distasteful in today's climate! Jerusalem conjures up very emotive images of an England born out of and led by people who ultimately like the song because it about an idyll of a Christian England as envisaged by faithful Christians! Whether Blake intended for future generations to use the words in such a way is obviously debatable! To me the combination of words and music merely highlight the hypocrisy of society in England as it is today! It is that hypocrisy which I find so distasteful!
 

Offline Adagietto

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2010, 06:29:45 PM »
Blake was of course a very unconventional Christian. It seems to me that one can picture that 'Jerusalem' in any terms that one likes, Christian or non-Christian, left or right. It is a symbol of undefined content (all the more so because almost nobody would picture it in Blake's own terms).

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: "English" branch?
« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2010, 08:32:17 AM »
Blake was of course a very unconventional Christian. It seems to me that one can picture that 'Jerusalem' in any terms that one likes, Christian or non-Christian, left or right. It is a symbol of undefined content (all the more so because almost nobody would picture it in Blake's own terms).

Yes - he was in perpetual conflict with the established Church, and since he admired the ideals of the French revolution I wonder whether there wasn't element of paganism in it too. In my post, I might have expressed it better if I'd said "Christian ONLY in the sense of tending to the greatest good for the greatest number". England and Christianity were his frame of reference, but I think he'd have been most bemused to think that people now associate his words with national aggrandizement and the Establishment!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.