In this installment, Ken Edwards reads “London” by William Blake. Edwards’ books include the poetry collections Intensive Care (1986), Good Science (1992), 3600 Weekends (1993), eight + six (2003), and the novel Futures (1998). He has been editor/publisher of Reality Street Editions since 1993. He is active in music as well as writing: his text for a piece by John Tilbury for piano, voice and sampled sounds, There's something in there…, was premiered in 2003, and his music for Fanny Howe's Spiral was first performed in Brighton and London in 2004. He is writing a new novel. He lives in Hastings on the south coast of England and works as an editor for the Royal College of Nursing in London.
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.