Merton & Blake, Revisited

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Merton didn’t just write about Blake; he interpreted him anew, absorbing the fundamentals of his visionary poetics and spirituality and struggling to live out the reality of the Creative Contraries in his own vocation. Merton’s own spiritual and poetic vision, deeply indebted to Blake’s, consisted of what he called his central “mythdream”: the disunity of the word/world and its reparation by the poet; the role of silence in this lifelong act of reparation; the tyranny of intellection, which he refers to in Camusian phrasing as a “plague of cerebration”; the need to recover “archaic wisdom”; and the ultimate realization of that Four-Fold Vision, representing imaginative and spiritual wholeness.