Tag Archives: #WilliamBlake

Prompt: William Blake Quotation

LWG prompt for 16-07-2019

Quote: “To see a world in a grain of sand

and a heaven in a wild flower,

hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”

by William Blake

I read the words, the understanding of which was not immediately apparent to me. Nor did their meaning become any clearer within days, weeks, months, long years – decades even.

I hadn’t spent every second of that time thinking upon the quote from William Blake, that would have been a strange career; but, I did return to perusing their meaning every once in a long and wearisome while.

None of the actual words were a problem to me, it was just their combination together that caused the headaches,

‘that flesh is heir to- ‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d’,

as Hamlet once soliloquised.

Saying that, I really don’t know what it has to do with anything, never mind the aforementioned quotation.

And, saying that, a quotation is just that: something spoken once (or written down) and then discussed or argued over for years (Centuries even) to come.

I may have digressed – I do that. Sometimes, I just waffle on about something when I really should be focussed and keeping to the point of the whole contentious issue – such as that time when I was talking about the possible existence of life on Mars and then I rambled on about how the Marathon bar became the Snickers bar and how the Mars bar stayed the same – did you know that Wagon Wheels are exactly the same size as they used to be, even though popular opinion is that they were once larger, and are now smaller, than they were.

Returning to the William Blake quotation that I quoted earlier, if you remember – wasn’t it a corker? – I have to say that, if I had chosen a quote, I wouldn’t have chosen that one; but, as it ‘was’ chosen for me, I shall limit myself to commenting upon its merits, rather than discussing the dubious benefits of a different, and more popular quotation, that seems to be the wise thing to do at this moment in time, or ‘now’ as ‘this moment in time’ actually means.

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes. William Blake. 1757 to 1827 – approximately half an hour, to be imprecise, or seventy years in old money.

He wrote the quote. And was a bit of a pote, to boot.

He couldn’t give a hoot about owls; although he did consider the use of tea-towels to be a waste of new material – and so never ever mentioned them in his stand-up routines.

What he was saying in his quote – if you can still remember it – was that if you can, ‘see a world in a grain of sand’

and ‘a heaven in a wild flower,’

and, also ‘hold infinity in the palm of your hand’

along with ‘eternity in an hour.’

then that pretty much sums up the idea of something or other.

Which my saying of that should have helped you to understand the “interesting” quotation… as much as I do.

Yes?

No.

Well, to put it another way.

“To see a world in a grain of sand…”

Is to see great detail in a teensy-tiny, minute item – grain of sand, rice, split lentil or atom –

“… and a heaven in a wild flower,”

is to realise the wondrous beauty that there is in Nature.

“…hold infinity in the palm of your hand…”

is to see possibilities to the nth degree as available to you, for your perusal, at your leisure, so to speak.

“…and eternity in an hour.”

is saying that you can make a moment last a lifetime, and even beyond – in some cases, longer.

It is really no surprise that Stan from ‘On The Buses’ really hated Blakey.

And that vague 1970’s TV reference finishes my clear and well defined essay upon the words that which were given to us for us to do that which what where we would.

To be honest, I just can’t wait for the rest of the poem to be suggested as a prompt – and, BTW (by the way) can I just say here and now that I loved Blake’s 7 – his finest hour so far.

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WILLIAM BLAKE: TO SEE A WORLD

WILLIAM BLAKE: TO SEE A WORLD

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

A Robin Redbreast in a Cage

Puts all Heaven in a Rage.

A dove house fill’d with doves and pigeons

Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions.

A Dog starv’d at his Master’s Gate

Predicts the ruin of the State.

A Horse misus’d upon the Road

Calls to Heaven for Human blood.

Each outcry of the hunted Hare

A fiber from the Brain does tear.

He who shall train the Horse to War

Shall never pass the Polar Bar.

The Beggar’s Dog and Widow’s Cat,

Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The Gnat that sings his Summer song

Poison gets from Slander’s tongue.

The poison of the Snake and Newt

Is the sweat of Envy’s Foot.

A truth that’s told with bad intent

Beats all the Lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;

Man was made for Joy and Woe;

And when this we rightly know

Thro’ the World we safely go.

Every Night and every Morn

Some to Misery are Born.

Every Morn and every Night

Some are Born to sweet delight.

Some are Born to sweet delight,

Some are Born to Endless Night.