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Making Sense

William Blake, The Ancient of Days (1794)



'I know, I know, I know,’ he said,

‘but you have to try to make sense of what comes.

Remember everything and keep your head.’

—Seamus Heaney, Station Island


 

Other folk have slept in this room on other sheets,

when they had sheets (they often did), and awoke

to other dawns and hopeless or hopeful days,

walked down other streets, sometimes even the same ones,

were deceived by other lies,

though much like these of ours,

did what they had to, tried to make sense of what came, remembered what they could.

They’re dead and gone now, many glad to go.

Let’s raise a glass to them.

Poor dears, they didn’t know!

Neither do we, who also piss away our time,

and blame our weaknesses on some bigger baddie.

Thus it’s ordained: "Vengeance is mine;

I will repay,”* says Nobodaddy,

“With darkness & obscurity

In all my words & laws

That none dare eat the fruit but from

The wily serpent’s jaws.”†


 

*Romans 12:19, NKJV.

†William Blake, “To Nobodaddy,”

tweaked.

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