Abstract. Milton (1804–1808), an epic poem of two thousand lines, known to exist in four copies, is William Blake’s second masterpiece (his first is Jerusalem, 1804–1820). Milton is a marvel of complexity in romantic poetry and illuminated painting (water-colours). It is indispensable for understanding Blake’s myth-making. We published the present Romanian translation in 2006. Here we republish it with a few revisions, and providing the bilingual edition for the first time with a critical apparatus in the English language (introductory study – William Blake’s symbolic cosmogony: with a special reference to the Book of Daniel and the “water of life”; and Notes, presenting literary, philosophical, historical, spiritual and scientific contexts, as well as matters of translation). The English text of Milton follows Geoffrey Keynes’s 1976 Oxford edition Blake complete writings with variant readings (pp 480–535). The student of English and Romanian should be aware that the poem presents extreme linguistic difficulty, and the same is true also for the other two poems making up Blake’s Prophetic Books, namely Vala, or The four Zoas (1796–1807) and Jerusalem (1804–1820). We offered a translation of Vala in 2006, and of Jerusalem in 2021, so at around the bicentennial of their being written. In the scheme of the Prophetic Books, Blake’s Milton occupies a special place, since here Blake uniquely offers distinct keys for the decipherment of his esoteric symbols. The introductory study clarifies, in a synoptic survey, crucial questions regarding Blake’s symbolic cosmogony; a special reference is made to: 1) the Book of Daniel, which proves to be a key in understanding the apocalyptic and prophetic dimensions of Blake’s works; and 2) the “Water of Life,” a biblical (New Testament) concept associated with the Holy Ghost (cf. John & Revelation), reminding us of William Harvey’s “vital force” and of Gerald Pollack’s newly discovered “EZ water,” or “exclusion-zone water,” i.e. water in the 4th phase, between solid and liquid, which has life-supporting and healing properties, being what looks like one of the crucial engines of life.
Key words: Romanian translation; epic prophecy; time travel; eternalism; apocalyptic literature; Book of Daniel; infinite plane; romanticism; water of life; vital force; EZ water

Stroe MA (2022) William Blake in Romanian translation: Milton – a critical bilingual edition. Creativity 5(2): 141–331. doi:10.22381/C5220226

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University of Bucharest,
Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures,
English Department;
Bucharest, Romania

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