SeeStan ChapLee

Monday, December 8, 2014

Un(s)even: Satan, Sin, Death

(a bit cropped)

In Tasso's Il Mondo Creato we find a brief description of Death popping out of Sin, and Sin out of Satan, that, while reworking passages from the New Testament (James, Paul), paves the way to Milton's powerful and "drama-acting" conversations between the three dark powers.

Directly from Paradise Lost, modifying it on purpose and not without humor, is William Blake's personal version of this imagery in his long poem Milton:

[Leutha, a "Daughter of Albion," speaks]
. . .  entering the doors of Satan's brain night after night
Like sweet perfumes, I stupified the masculine perceptions
And kept only the feminine awake.(*)  . . .

I sprang out of the breast of Satan, over the Harrow beaming
In all my beauty . . .

But when the Gnomes refus'd to labour more, with blandishments
I came forth from the head of Satan! Back the Gnomes recoil'd
And called me Sin, and for a sign portentous held me.  . . .

[The Bard sings: Once in Palamabron's bed,]
In dreams she bore the shadowy Spectre of Sleep & nam'd him Death.

(*) Apparently with temporary homosexual consequences, as Satan falls in love with Palamabron.