Burning Gold or not, Bring Me My Bow

I’m not threatening or anything like that. 

And my arrows are not of desire and I don’t have a chariot of fire, either.** 

Nor do I want Cupid spearing me in the heart:  I cannot stand or understand the falling-in-and-out-of-love routine.  So exhausting and beside the point.


It is just that hunting season has begun. 




The Archers, red chalk, and detail.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the HM Queen Elizabeth II to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18 (with light interference).

The museum notes that the meaning and context of this sketch of archers both male and female and without bows advancing towards a herm is not known.


You hear a strange report from Nevers in France that a man has just been found with a crossbow arrow through his heart in a shed of the house in which he lived with mother and brother.

And you think to yourself:


Wait now. Where’s my bow?

Where is my embossed and gilded quiver?  Is there anyone out there making arrows?

Diana, where are you? Artemis, then….. Could you get off your many pedestals  please……….

We need to go hunting no matter what the vegans are saying. 

 Let alone in the Sapiens’, it is in the hominid order………



Diana, this cast 1893-94, bronze.  Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 1848-1907, American.  Metropolitan Museum, NY




Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Diana in The National Gallery, Washington, DC







Augustus Saint Gaudens’ Diana in the Philadelphia Art Museum




Diana the Huntress, oil on wood, after 1526.  Giampetrino (Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli, active by c. 1495-1553).  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY





Corcoran - Unknown-1

This beautiful piece, probably in bronze, was at the late, lamented Corcoran.  I do not know its provenance and have not yet found it at the National Gallery of Art, DC who inherited whatever it wanted from the Corcoran.



Picture with An Archer, 1909, oil on canvas.  Vasily Kandinsky, French born Russia, 1866-1944. MOMA, NY

The Museum points out that Kandinsky was moving towards abstraction and did so fully not long after this painting, set in his native Russia, was completed.




Archer and Unliberated Woman, 1987, oil on canvas.  Honoré Sharrer, 1920-2009, American.  Collection of the artist’s family.

The pose of the archer is that of a statue of a Greek Trojan archer found at the Sanctuary of Aphaia at Aegina and dated to 500 BCE.  The unliberated woman is another Helen of Troy for this artist.

On display at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Pennsylvania in 2017


Cupid, 1593, Lucas Cranach the Elder, PMA-1

Cupid, 1530, painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1472 – 1553, German.  Philadelphia Art Museum. 2016




The Hunter, 1906, oil on canvas.  N.C. Wyeth, 1882-1945.  Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania



**A poem by William Blake, (1757-1827, British) appended to another much longer poem. 

It is not clear whether  the poet was inveighing only against the noxious consequences for workers of the first Industrial revolution; or against the dominance of the Church of England also.

Poured through our ears and into our hearts from when we were very young as an absolute obligation to social justice. 

Another work revolution is upon us with catastrophically noxious results for large numbers of workers.

Adopted as ‘Jerusalem’ (with music by  Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1848-1918, British), by the British Left.


And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land












3 thoughts on “Burning Gold or not, Bring Me My Bow

  1. Je viens de lire le livre d’Emmanuel Tod “Où en sommes nous ? Une esquisse de l’histoire humaine” où il dit que la croyance religieuse a sans doute permis aux classes moyennes anglaises de supporter l’horreur ( these dark satanic mills) sociale de l’industrialisation. Et, à ce propos, il cite deux vers de ce poème de W. Blake.
    J’ai connu le poème par la version qu’en avaient donné Emerson Lake & Palmer.
    Je l’ai appris par cœur.

    1. Emmanuel Todd is no doubt right.

      The Church of England has supported all efforts by the British establishment in the UK and abroad to retain and strengthen their position. They have just all but excommunicated the Anglican Church of Scotland for marrying homosexuals. Typical. That they are in steep decline in terms of number of believers has not seemed to have stopped them.

      The role of the Non-Conformists, who also left for America, is more complicated. They do have two traditions: hard work and the increase of capital on the one hand; and social justice on the other.

      This poem is one of those that concentrates that great effort in England, now a little more than 500 years old, to free the common people from the effects of class, money and power. Still not complete. One in 4 children remain in health-threatening poverty in England. And then there is Grenfell also.

      And Boris Johnson and David Cameron, among others, mediocrities, achieved their place in society only because they are old Etonians.

      Very great tradition the French have who have allowed an Emmanuel Todd to do his work until he retired……….!

Comments are closed.