Thursday, 21 October 2010

Delirious Scale

Wherein the artist uses examples of dimensions beyond all possibilities to express the boundless nature of the imagination.

“And all this Vegetable World appeared on my left Foot,
As a bright sandal form’d immortal of precious stones & gold:
I stooped down & bound it on to walk forward thro’ Eternity.”

William Blake – Milton

Here Blake, inspired by the return of Milton to earth as a fiery comet, sees the sensorial world as a mere sandal, which, once strapped on, allows him to stride forth in poetic creativity.
It was in the preface to this book that Blake wrote what would become his most famous lyric, “Jerusalem”

“Well I’ll stand up next to a mountain
And chop it down with the edge of my hand.”

Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

The power of Hendrix’s wah-wahed chops more than match the boldness of his lyrics. What I love about this verse is that after he has picked up all the pieces of the mountain and made them into an island, he suggests he may even “raise a little sand.” How generous, he’s going to make us child-like mortals a beach to play on.


“You race naked through the wilderness,
You torment the birds and the bees.
You leapt into the abyss, but find
It only goes up to your knees.”

Nick Cave – Babe, You Turn Me On

In this mischievous song, which sees the Gothfather liken himself to a “little deer,” the upsetting of scale is used to portray the immensity of the singer’s lover, the power she wields over him.