Saturday, November 10

Who Can Stand?

Inspiration comes from many sources. More often than not its the people Ive known, deeds given with kindness, words said with sensitivity and situations overcome. Sometimes though when I'm on my own, I will take inspiration from something Ive read. I think this must be a sure sign of age as Id probably have snorted with derision 10 years ago as Ive never been a great fan of poetry.
Something that I often listen to in the car is this poem by William Blake, Who Can Stand?

O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue
To drown the throat of war!
- When the senses
Are shaken, and the soul is driven to madness,
Who can stand?
When the souls of the oppressed
Fight in the troubled air that rages,
Who can stand?
When the whirlwind of fury comes from the
Throne of God, when the frowns of his countenance
Drive the nations together,
Who can stand?
When Sin claps his broad wings over the battle,
And sails rejoicing in the flood of Death;
When souls are torn to everlasting fire,
And fiends of Hell rejoice upon the slain.
O who can stand?
O who hath caused this?
O who can answer at the throne of God?
The Kings and Nobles of the Land have done it!
Hear it not, Heaven, thy Ministers have done it!
--William Blake.
Blake you may recall was responsible for the poem Jerusalem, but personally I find this a more powerful piece than his better known work. I like it anyway.


  1. Brad in Knoxville21:31

    Thank you for posting this poem. It is one of my favorites but I couldn't find it in the book where I thought I would. When I googled it, I found your website. I, too, am handicapped and deal with significant health issues. Maybe such things make us more sensitive to poems like this.

  2. I found your blog thru apparellzed fore I am also disabled. I write poetry to keep me sane. If you feel in the mood it would please me very much if you would have a look at my blog. Thanx.