William Blake was regarded as insane by his contemporaries, due in no small part to the same "cryptic flights of poetic fire" and "marvellous, ineffable pictures" that would later see him labeled a genius. But brilliant though he was*, it's hard to read "Texts from William Blake" and not sympathize with those Romantic-era peers who thought him mad.
Above: Plate 100 from William Blake's Jerusalem, which plate he himself crafted // via The William Blake Archive
Over at The Toast, Mallory Ortberg has cooked up a series of text messages between the misunderstood poet-cum-graphic artist and a nameless third party to hilarious effect. Her spin on Blake's poem Jerusalem we found particularly excellent:
Bring me my Bow of burning gold
William what are you talking about
Bring me my Arrows of desire
You’re not allowed to have arrows
has someone let you have arrows?
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
you don’t have any of those things
and there aren’t any clouds out
it’s a very nice day
why don’t you come outside in the garden for a little while
it’s a very nice day out here
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I can’t do that, I’m afraid
but I can bring you a cup of tea
would you like me to bring you a cup of tea?
would you like that?
it’s no chariot of fire but I’ll put lots of milk in it
bring me a cup of tea
I’ll get you a cup of tea
a cup of tea of fire
just a normal cup of tea with no fire in it yet
ha ha ha ha ha
More at The Toast.