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By Harold Bloom

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Having fled death-in-life, the tyrant finds life-in-death. The ironic hint is that Ti­ riel's quest represents religion's attempt to posit a literal immortality which repeats but does not renew life. The Body wants to be resur­ rected, but the Body's ruler, Tiriel, can find for it only a zombie's destiny. Har and Heva are tended by a nurse who is Blake's prophecy of the nurse, Nature, in Wordsworth's Intimations Ode. Blake's figure, Mnetha, whose name suggests both Athena or wisdom and Mnemos­ yne or memory, is established as imperceptive when she refuses to recognize, in the poor blind man before her, the tyrant she remembers in his joy.

THE MINOR POEMS The creative mind of Blake verges on the sinister in the subtle transition that now turns the course of the poem. The state of In­ nocence is a world of deceptive reflections, a shadowy looking glass where two appearances of the one reality will seem equally true. Thcl's worm is the infant image of weakness it seems, but the moth­ er's embrace it invites will be an embrace of Experience and death. It is not the worm that replies to Thel, but a clod of Clay, the worm's environment and fruit alike, the clay from whose red outline Adamic man is to be formed.

Bar's wife is Heva, which suggests that Har is Adam, but Adam in Blake is the limit of Contraction, the point beyond which mankind cannot fall. So Adam comprehends more than Har; he has life and eternity in him as well as death and time. But Har is in the endless time of a second and lunatic infancy; he has never been born into life. He cannot of course die, but this is merely because he has never lived. 2 Tiriel goes to Har seeking eternal life, and can find in TIRIEL: THE VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS 33 him only the living death of the undeveloped natural foetus that has been frozen at one stage of its growth into the human.

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