- BLAKE saw
- Angels in a London street;
- God the Father on a hill,
- Christ before a tavern door.
- Blake saw
- All these shapes, and more.
- Blake knew
- Other men saw not as he;
- So he tried to give his sight
- To that beggarman, the world.
- "You are mad,"
- Was all the blind world said.
- Blake died
- Singing songs of praise to God.
- "They are not mine," he told his wife,
- "I may praise them, they are not mine."
- Then he died. And the world called Blake divine.
- John Gould Fletcher (1886–1950)
Mike Spanouli from The Poets' Corner says:
This poem may have been jointly inspired by Blake's famous claim "I did not write them (his poems). God did", and Max Eastman's less well-known observation "It appears that a poet in history is divine, but a poet in the next room is a joke."
A reminder to us about the instability of the contemporary poet. Hubbell and Beaty, in An Introduction To Poetry point out to reminds the reader,
"It is a matter of fundamental importance," they say, "that we should, if possible, know and read our poets before they are dead. They write for us rather than for posterity."
Fletcher was an American poet educated at Harvard and became one of the leaders in the Imaginists movement in England. A great admirer of William Blake who was thought quite mad during his day because he claimed that his poetry was a divines source from his dreams . Both Blake and Fletcher shared the same affliction and that was debilitating depressions.
Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner: