Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mock On, Mock On, Voltaire, Rousseau

by William Blake

Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau:
Mock on, mock on: ‘tis all in vain!
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.

And every sand becomes a Gem,
Reflected in the beam divine;
Blown back they blind the mocking Eye,
But still in Israel’s paths they shine.

The Atoms of Democritus
And the Newton’s Particles of Light
Are sands upon the Red Sea shore,
Where Israel’s tents do shine so bright.

* * *

Typical Blake: doesn't care about atoms or photons, but cares very much about spiritual things. That's a good thing, so far as it goes--though I might add that caring about atoms doesn't preclude caring about scripture. Like any good Chestertonian, I care about both.

I've been reading Derrida, lately, and the poem is apt for him too: he really is throwing sand into the wind. The man makes no sense to me at all. Unfortunately, I've got to make sense, 6-8 pages of sense, out of him by next Friday.


Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

I wish I had stumbled in here a week ago; I'd have recommended you consult the Postmodern Papist. I'm not sure I entirely agree even with him, but it would've been worth a shot, and should you have anything to deal with in that area in the future he's one to remember.

Sheila said...

Thanks! I think my paper was fine, thank goodness.