In this installment, Jeffrey Thomson reads “London” by William Blake. Thomson’s third book of poems, Renovation, was part of the Carnegie Mellon University Press poetry series in 2005. His second collection of poems, The Country of Lost Sons, inaugurated a new poetry series from Parlor Press at Purdue University in February 2004 and first book, The Halo Brace, was brought out in a limited edition letterpress version from Birch Brook Press in 1998. He is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine, Farmington.
William Blake’s “London”
I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.
How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every black’ning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot’s curse
Blasts the new born Infant’s tear,
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.