Welcome back to Douglas Murray’s Sunday column, where he presents passages from great poets he has committed to memory—and explains why you should, too. If you want to listen to Douglas read this week’s work, William Blake’s “The Lamb,” click below.
Ecstasy is one of the things that poetry is especially good at. That can be sexual ecstasy, ecstasy in nature, ecstasy in God—and the ecstasy of creation, the furious celebration of making something timeless and transcendent.
Some years ago, I was walking through London’s Soho with a friend who knew the area well. He suddenly stopped on a corner near Poland Street. “That is where William Blake used to live,” he said, pointing at a building that had long since been replaced. “And that is where he saw God.”
My friend was not remotely religious, and so the thrill of his statement struck me even more forcibly.