Zoom talk for the Blake Society on Wednesday 15 September 2021 at 20.00

Blake’s Mental Traveller and The Gold Machine.
 
An improvised talk about how a Blake poem, retrieved from his notebooks, fair-copied and preserved in the ‘Pickering Manuscript’, became the road map and model for a lifetime of journeys and pilgrimage quests. ‘The Mental Traveller’, first encountered as a schoolboy, was an awakening, a mesmerising rhythmic cycle to be experienced but not yet understood. The poem returned at various points in the years that followed. Until it was acknowledged as the secret code for The Gold Machine, a late-life expedition to one of the sources of the Amazon, undertaken in company with my daughter, and in the footsteps of my great-grandfather, who published an account of his adventure in 1895.