Blake’s eyeglasses now live at the Fitzwilliam Museum—here’s the museum’s catalogue record. There’s an image of them in the checklist of publications and discoveries that appeared in our spring 1996 issue (vol. 29, no. 4), at p. 141.

Today’s poem is by Morton Paley, from the summer 1978 issue:

Mr. Blake’s Spectacles
At the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Through Mr. Blake’s spectacles
the ranked Swedenborgian angels
ruffle their wings, as if in an aviary.

Flamingoes shower over Lambeth,
and the horses that draw the constellations
may be seen sparking,
for the tiles of the roof are translucent.

Through Mr. Blake’s spectacles
intersecting vortices
over a strewn sea.
On the orlop deck
the suture moans for its lost friend.

Yet the bridges of London are held up by tawny
young giants the colour of Bath stone,
and the sky balloons like a tent over Primrose Hill.

The poet’s work is done; follow him home
into a room contoured like an engraving
where Mr. Blake’s spectacles
are oriel windows looking over
the architectonics of Jerusalem.