"Jacob's Ladder", 1799-1800

               William Blake's name has long been synonymous with "visionary". "Jacob's Ladder," a marvellously symbolic work, illustrates the spiritual dynamics within the soul, as well as the famous Bible story. For years I've meant to get a print to keep on my wall, and may still do it.
                  Blake was also perhaps the most successful creator of "illuminated manuscripts" in the last couple centuries. His blend of text and paintings in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell as well as his later "prophetic books" gives inspiration to all of us who have ever dabbled in both arts.
                  One can't really separate Blake the artist from Blake the poet. His words from "Milton" have long resounded in my head as a credo for the spiritual warrior::

                                       Bring me my spear of burning gold,
                                       Bring me my arrows of desire.
                                       Bring me my sword! O clouds unfold!
                                       Bring me my chariot of fire!

                                       I shall not shrink from mental strife,
                                      Nor let the sword sleep in my hand
                                     Till we have builded Jerusalem
                                     In England's fair and pleasant land.

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