The Mental Traveller of Collage - Art of RetroCollage | Art of RetroCollage

The Mental Traveller of Collage

William Blake (1757-1827), the English mystical artist and poet, compiled a handwritten collection of ten poems, which would eventually be published in 1866, nearly forty years after his death. The poems are thought to  have been written sometime in the first decade of the nineteenth century.  The collection became known as the Pickering Manuscript, after the collector who bought it the year it was published.

The Pickering Manuscript contains three of Blake’s best-known poems: “Auguries of Innocence,” “The Crystal Cabinet,” and “The Mental Traveller.”

(2012). Digital collage created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.

Of the three poems, “The Mental Traveller” is considered the most difficult to understand:  in political terms, it has been interpreted as the struggle between society and individual liberty.  But “The Mental Traveller” is far more than a political allegory. Its early stanzas hint at the Crucifixion, and conflicts between men and women, and parents and children, pervade most of the poem.

“The Mental Traveller” begins:

I traveld thro’ a Land of Men
A Land of Men & Women too
And heard & saw such dreadful things
As cold Earth wanderers never knew

For there the Babe is born in joy
That was begotten in dire woe
Just as we Reap in joy the fruit
Which we in bitter tears did sow

(The rest of  “The Mental Traveller” can be read on WikiSource.)

The first stanza of “The Mental Traveller” contains the only reference to the narrator of the title.  It inspired the collage above: a traveler who mentally journeys through a land where human suffering predominates and joy is sporadic. The mental traveler is unscathed but not untouched by what he witnesses there. Through his empathy he shares sorrow without being ravaged by it.

(All artwork, descriptions, & other text (except for quotations) created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.)

{ 86 comments }

  • Sweetheart w/LINKKY April 10, 2012, 12:41 pm

    Sooo cool!! Love the colours!!

    Brandi
    Sweetheart w/LINKKY recently posted..Worldess Wednesday w/LINKY – Sweetheart

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 2:41 pm

      Thanks very much, Brandi!

      Reply
  • Dave Keller @ Dave's Life April 10, 2012, 1:22 pm

    The poem gives a lot to reflect upon, and I really like the digital image. The colors can be reflective of our different moods. Nice linking up with you again this week.
    Dave Keller @ Dave’s Life recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Shoot the Moon

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 2:40 pm

      Thanks very much, Dave! I’m glad you liked the collage, and appreciate your kind words.

      Reply
  • Tina´s PicStorya April 10, 2012, 1:31 pm

    happy ww!
    Tina´s PicStorya recently posted..Tina´s wordless wednesday # 37

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 2:37 pm

      Happy WW, Tina!

      Reply
  • Mitch April 10, 2012, 1:34 pm

    awesome!

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 2:44 pm

      Thanks, Mitch!

      Reply
  • Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook April 10, 2012, 1:37 pm

    I didn’t do a wordless this week, but I enjoyed your post. I always learn something interesting. I love the collage along with the words of William Blake. Have a great week.
    Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook recently posted..Matzoh Farfel

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 2:36 pm

      Thanks, Carol! I appreciate your kind words, and I hope you have a fine week also.

      Reply
  • David April 10, 2012, 1:51 pm Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 2:35 pm

      Thanks for your link. I will visit your site soon.

      Reply
  • CREATE WITH JOY w LINKY April 10, 2012, 2:03 pm

    Very cool pic & colors!
    CREATE WITH JOY w LINKY recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Contemplation

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 2:45 pm

      Thanks very much! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply
  • bethere2day **LINKY** April 10, 2012, 2:18 pm

    That has a brilliant effect to it :-)
    bethere2day **LINKY** recently posted..WW – Aromatherapy Candles

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 2:34 pm

      Thanks very much, Steve! Have a great WW.

      Reply
  • Tots and Me w/linky April 10, 2012, 2:34 pm

    Interesting. Love the colors.
    Tots and Me w/linky recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: April 11, 2012 (w/linky): Resurrection Sunday

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 2:42 pm

      Thanks!

      Reply
  • aquariann April 10, 2012, 3:56 pm

    Fascinating facts, as always! And vibrantly pretty colors, of course. Happy WW!!
    aquariann recently posted..Pink Magnolia Tree Photo

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 2:00 am

      Thanks very much, Aquariann! As always, I appreciate your comments….Happy WW!

      Reply
  • Jody @ Mommy Moment April 10, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Wow
    Jody @ Mommy Moment recently posted..Eating Chicken Feet #WordlessWednesday {Linky}

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 1:57 am

      Thanks for your visit and your comment–Happy WW!

      Reply
  • Stacey at RealWorldMom (Linky) April 10, 2012, 4:48 pm

    The colors are beautiful, and I really like the depth to the artwork. Happy WW!
    Stacey at RealWorldMom (Linky) recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- Cute Puppy

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 1:56 am

      Thanks so much–I appreciate your kind words! I was hoping that the depth would come across, and I’m very happy that you find it does….Happy WW!

      Reply
  • alissa apel April 10, 2012, 4:58 pm

    I live that it has a story that goes along with the artwork.
    alissa apel recently posted..WW: Pinwheel {Linky}

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:02 am

      Thanks. I’d say it was the story that inspired the artwork…

      Reply
  • Theresa April 10, 2012, 5:27 pm

    Hmm, gives a little to think about. I find the whole poem a bit fascinating and disturbing at the same time.
    Thanks for hosting and happy WW!
    Theresa recently posted..Wordless Wednesday~ Fireman’s Last Run

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:00 am

      Yes, I think you’ve captured it exactly: the poem is simultaneously fascinating and disturbing. Thanks very much for your thoughtful comment.

      Reply
  • zongrik April 10, 2012, 6:05 pm

    i really like how he glows in that picture

     care for those age’d until the end

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 11:50 pm

      That’s my favorite part of this picture, too…It was quite unexpected, but instantly seemed so right for it. Thanks very much for your thoughtful comment!

      Reply
  • Disc Golf - linky April 10, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Happy WW!
    Disc Golf – linky recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Disc Golf

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 11:45 pm

      Happy WW!

      Reply
  • Yvonne April 10, 2012, 7:22 pm

    Great picture! Love it!
    Yvonne recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 11:44 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind comment…I’m glad you like it!

      Reply
  • Catch My Words April 10, 2012, 8:22 pm

    I love the colors!
    Catch My Words recently posted..#AtoZ Meets #WW: "I am a Great Photographer"

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 11:42 pm

      Thanks very much!

      Reply
  • Lisa April 10, 2012, 9:10 pm

    Happy WW!

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 10:32 pm

      Thanks….And a happy WW to you!

      Reply
  • Windows Phone 7 Behind the Scenes {LINKY} April 10, 2012, 9:23 pm

    Cool colors!!

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 10:11 pm

      Thanks! Happy WW!

      Reply
  • momto8blog April 10, 2012, 9:24 pm

    wow..love the picture and poem…interesting stuff here!!!
    happy WW!
    momto8blog recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 10, 2012, 10:08 pm

      Thanks for your interest and your kind words….Happy WW to you as well!

      Reply
  • Danielle @ Royalegacy April 10, 2012, 10:50 pm

    Always an interesting picture. Thanks for sharing.
    Danielle @ Royalegacy recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Chukar #WW with Linky

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 5:08 am

      Thanks so much for your kind comment!

      Reply
  • Anonymous April 10, 2012, 10:50 pm

    Love this work of art. I don’t know that I would want it in my home, but I would definitely find a place for it at the office.
    recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

    Reply
  • Helen @ Random Bits April 10, 2012, 11:08 pm

    What an interesting piece. I have always found Blake difficult to read.
    Helen @ Random Bits recently posted..Wordless Wednesday {spring garden}

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 4:36 am

      Thanks very much! Yes, Blake isn’t easy to get into. One thing I found very useful for increasing my understanding of Blake was reading an annotated edition of his work. The Penguin paperback edition of Blake’s complete poetry and prose (edited by Alicia Ostriker) is one such work I can recommend very highly. I think it’s out of print now, but you can probably get it secondhand for not very much money.

      Reply
  • Megan@MondayMorningMusings April 11, 2012, 12:37 am

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
    Megan@MondayMorningMusings recently posted..wordless wednesday: what’s on your nightstand?

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 4:27 am

      Thanks very much–glad you like it!

      Reply
  • Elizabeth@Table for Five April 11, 2012, 12:42 am

    Stopped by for Wordless Wednesday, what a cool image! I have a B.A. and my main focus was Literature, but I didn’t take a lot of poetry classes so I’m not familiar with this poem by Blake. Your image makes me want to read the whole thing now!
    Elizabeth@Table for Five recently posted..Wordless Wednesday 4-11-12: Nathan’s First Wood-shop Project!

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 3:24 am

      Thank you so much! It’s very kind of you to say that, and I really appreciate it, and your stopping by. Happy WW!

      Reply
  • princesscj haven April 11, 2012, 1:54 am

    I like the picture. visiting from WW: :)
    princesscj haven recently posted..WW: 4/11/2012

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 4:26 am

      Thanks very much for your comment and your visit!

      Reply
  • NCSue April 11, 2012, 5:26 am

    Thank you for hosting! And thanks for your visit to my linky at http://acts17verse28.blogspot.com/2012/04/aaaahhh-country-life.html too.
    NCSue recently posted..Aaaahhh. The country life.

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:23 pm

      Thanks for your visit!

      Reply
  • By Word of Mouth Musings April 11, 2012, 7:20 am

    my 14 yr old is self teaching photoshop and adobe and really getting into her linedrawing and anime … cannot wait to show her this!
    By Word of Mouth Musings recently posted..Wordy or Wordless this Wednesday, a to do list.

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:28 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind comments! That’s really exciting; best of luck to your daughter, and also happy Photoshopping!

      Reply
  • Birgitta April 11, 2012, 7:38 am

    Excellent work!

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:29 pm

      Thank you so much! And thanks for your visit.

      Reply
  • The BOAT w/LINKY April 11, 2012, 7:38 am

    Thanks for sharing and linking up with THE BOAT!
    The BOAT w/LINKY recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Happy Easter

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:22 pm

      Thanks! My pleasure.

      Reply
  • Jen ~ Mom of 2 (Linky) April 11, 2012, 8:23 am

    Sorry I haven’t been around much on WW’s! I hope you are having a great day!
    Jen ~ Mom of 2 (Linky) recently posted..Wordless Wednesday ~ The Shack

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:22 pm

      Thank you, and I hope you have a great day also!

      Reply
  • Paula J April 11, 2012, 8:58 am

    Love the neon colors :))

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com
    Paula J recently posted..Wordless Wednesday …

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:22 pm

      Thanks very much, Paula!

      Reply
  • Jennie at Snapdragon Diaires April 11, 2012, 9:31 am

    What a very interesting post. The graphics are wonderful.
    Jennie
    Jennie at Snapdragon Diaires recently posted..Wordless Wednesday ~ Prayers

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:19 pm

      Thanks so much, Jennie–I appreciate your kind comment!

      Reply
  • Simply Delicious April 11, 2012, 10:20 am

    Beautiful capture.

    Leche Flan

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:17 pm

      Thanks very much for your compliment!

      Reply
  • Daily Visual Inspiration April 11, 2012, 10:32 am

    It’s my first Wordless Wednesday :)
    Nice picture, I love the colors! :)
    Daily Visual Inspiration recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Ghost Town

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Thanks for your kind comment, and welcome to WW!

      Reply
  • Vivien... Interrupted April 11, 2012, 10:54 am

    Love this! Thank you for linking up :-)

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:14 pm

      Thanks very much, Vivien! I appreciate your stopping by to leave a kind comment.

      Reply
  • Teresa April 11, 2012, 11:19 am

    That is such a fascinating picture you’ve created for the poem. I do love Blake’s poetry.
    Teresa recently posted..Colored Pencil Wordless Wednesday

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:13 pm

      Thank you very much Teresa! I also love Blake’s poetry.

      Reply
  • brattypants (linky) April 11, 2012, 11:21 am

    My, you’re talented! I love the neon colors in this one. Happy WW!

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:12 pm

      Thank you so much–I greatly appreciate your kind comments!

      Reply
  • bree April 11, 2012, 11:22 am

    great pics!!! Happy WW.
    bree recently posted..{WW: wordless wednesday}

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 12:08 pm

      Thanks very for stopping by and leaving your kind comment!

      Reply
  • Erika Price {Linky} April 11, 2012, 11:27 am

    Hi again Eric – sorry – somehow I managed to comment on the wrong post – duh!

    Anyway, thanks for another great post – I’m a huge fan of Blake’s work, especially his poem “And Did Those Feet” , (which became the words to the hymn “Jerusalem”) and his painting “Ancient of Days” :)
    Erika Price {Linky} recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Greek Cafe, Symi

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 11, 2012, 11:50 am

      Thanks very much, Erika! I’m also a huge Blake fan; I began reading his poetry when I was nine, and haven’t stopped since! And of course I love his pictorial work as well.

      Reply
  • feeling beachie April 12, 2012, 6:29 pm

    love the colors… so pretty
    feeling beachie recently posted..Lost and Found

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman April 13, 2012, 2:35 am

      Thanks very much for your visit and your kind comment!

      Reply
  • mercadeo internet May 29, 2012, 5:27 pm

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Megan@MondayMorningMusings recently posted.. wordless wednesday: what’s on your nightstand?
    mercadeo internet recently posted..No last blog posts to return.

    Reply
    • Eric Edelman May 29, 2012, 5:34 pm

      You’re welcome–thanks for your visit and your comment!

      Reply

{ 86 comments… add one }

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