Mercury Day Poetry: “The Divine Image”
This week’s poem comes from The Confluence Countdown’s favorite poet, William Blake. I’ve been reading Stephen Huyler’s excellent photo essay book, Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion. In it, Huyler describes the forms of daily worship in India, and illustrates them with his own photos. It’s a beautiful and informative book, putting you in the moment of darshan, when the worshiped and the worshiper unite. Huyler frequently uses the phrase “the divine image” to describe the visual representation of the divine, the thing that the devout look upon as the gaze is returned.
So, naturally, I keep thinking of this wonderful Blake poem. I’m slowly coming to see Blake as something of a Hindu radical, really. This poem may explain why. Blake was an extremist for his time: anti-slavery, a feminist, anti-colonial, and against organized religion. He took the idea that God made us “in His image” literally. The body, the form we take, is God, a form of worship. Well, read the poem. He says it much better than I can. Here’s the poem in its original form, the way Blake himself engraved it, followed by a transcription.
The Divine Image
Posted by Bobbie