Friday, November 14, 2008

On Homers Poetry by William Blake

Every Poem must necessarily be a perfect Unity, but why Homers is
peculiarly so I cannot tell: he has told the story of
Bellerophon & omitted the Judgment of Paris which is not only a
part, but a principal part of Homers subject
But when a Work has Unity it is as much in a Part as in the
Whole. the Torso is as much a Unity as the Laocoon
As Unity is the cloke of folly so Goodness is the cloke of
knavery Those who will have Unity exclusively in Homer come out
with a Moral like a sting in the tail: Aristotle says Characters
are either Good or Bad: now Goodness or Badness has nothing to do
with Character. an Apple tree a Pear tree a Horse a Lion, are
Characters but a Good Apple tree or a Bad, is an Apple tree
still: a Horse is not more a Lion for being a Bad Horse. that is
its Character; its Goodness or Badness is another consideration.
It is the same with the Moral of a whole Poem as with the Moral

of its parts Unity & Morality, are secondary considerations &
belong to Philosophy & not to Poetry, to Exception & not to Rule,
to Accident & not to Substance. the Ancients calld it eating of
the tree of good & evil.
The Classics, it is the Classics! & not Goths nor Monks, that
Desolate Europe with Wars.

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