Painting of three young children lying in a grassy field.

Arcadia, by Thomas Eakins, c. 1883. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot, (1876–1967), 1967.


Volume VII, Number 3 | summer 2014


William Blake’s wife reminded the poet in old age, “You know, dear, the first time you saw God was when you were four years old, and He put His head to the window and set you a-screaming.” Allen Ginsberg said that in 1948, while a senior at Columbia University, he was visited by the voice of Blake, which revealed to him the power of poetry—this was after he had read one of Blake’s poems while masturbating.

Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

—Book of Ecclesiastes, c. 200 BC