Friday, 4 February 2011

marks of weakness, marks of woe

 I recently began working at Hackney Community College in the to me unexplored locale of Shoreditch. Tipped off by a reference in Iain Sinclair's Edge of the Orison (of which more presently...) and bored of the office one lunchtime last week, I psychogeographised my way to Bunhill Fields just off Old Street roundabout and stumbled upon the resting-place of William Blake, a humbly unadorned grave set in fitting isolation amid the flagstones. 
   It was poignant to find such a maverick,recalcitrant master lodged in this little dissenters' cemetery surrounded now by glassy office-blocks, panini-bars, cybercafes and Pret a Mangers, this buzzing, 'happening' district momentarily stilled by the spectacle of a memorial stone dedicated to a poet who believed so passionately in the eternal.

   "I wander through the charter'd streets
    Near where the charter'd Thames does flow,
    And mark on every face I meet
    Marks of weakness, marks of woe"

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