In this post, I’d like to provide some insight to the introductory poem in Europe a Prophecy and in turn, Blake’s writing process. Firstly, the speaker walks upon a fairy, who is preaching bits a wisdom. The speaker, possibly Blake, hides and listens to the fairy saying ”five windows light the cavern’d man.” To me, the fairy seems to be giving an example of how one may purely experience the poetic genius, which is through the cleaned doors of perception. This has to do with Blake’s idea of organic perception. If the physical senses can perceive organic perception, then the “bread (is) eaten in secret pleasant.” This concept is essential to how Blake writes. He must clean when writing or already has cleaned his perception. To gain organic perception involves dissolving all the systems which the block internal mind from flat physical sense perception. Blake’s process is one of totally clearing the mind to then receive, what he considers, divine inspiration.
When the speaker, supposedly Blake, makes himself known to the fairy, he inquires “what is the material world?” The fairy, for Blake, is a source of authority, which then the speaker sits down to completely and without conflict dictate its speech. This is also very telling of the way Blake writes his poetry. Blake, as a person, is just writing what the fairy says, which means Blake himself isn’t doing art but letting it flow through him from a non-self source. This is the state of the poetic genius as it is pre-thought, acted on impulse, and from the imagination. Blake, through the poetic genius, is basically writing whatever comes to mind and then editing it. To understand Blake, it is essential to understand his writing process and through the fairy, we see Blake as someone who lets a universal knowledge flow through him. He is a receptacle of the divine.