Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
The Incredible String Band.
This time we continue Prydwyn Piper’s notes on the penultimate track on the album, “Douglas Traherne Harding”, these notes appearing in the book “An Incredible String Band Compendium” edited by Adrian Whittaker.
“It was clear to me from this point that Douglas Traherne Harding employed a liberal dose [sic; no “of” here] “inspired borrowing” (nothing wrong with that, of course – it’s a truly ancient practice). This passage is one of a number which share that common theme, and phrase.”
At this point it is necessary again to quote some lyrics from the song. It opens with these words:
“When I was born I had no head
My eye was single…”
Later comes this:
“…I did hide my sheep and goats under the bags of oatmeal”; and later still this couplet:
“And the streets are his and all the people
And even the temples and the whole world”.
Continuing now with the notes:
“One of Traherne’s major themes in both his poetry and prose, and the one which would seem most obviously to endear him to the “psychedelic” mindset, is that of the “Infant Ey” – the ecstatic, unclouded perception which he recalls having had as a child, which was driven out of him in the course of his early education and experience, but which he finally recovered and is able to enjoy a second time in adulthood. Sort of the “turn-on”, as it were. The beginning of Traherne’s Third Century (the first twenty-eight paragraphs, in fact) is devoted to the subject of this infant perception and its loss, and it is here that we find yet more of the raw material from which Douglas Traherne Harding was forged:
” “The Corn was Orient and Immortal Wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown…The Dust and Stones of the Street were as precious as GOLD. The Gates were at first the End of the World, The Green Trees when I saw them first through one of the Gates Transported and Ravished me; their Sweetnes and unusual Beauty made my Heart to leap, and almost mad with Exstasie…The Citie seemed to stand in Eden or to be built in Heaven – The Streets were mine, the Temple was mine, the People were mine, their Clothes of Gold and Silver was mine, as much as their Sparkling Eyes Fair Skins and ruddy faces. The Skies were mine, and so were the Sun and Moon and Stars, and all the World was mine, and I the only Spectator and Enjoyer of it.” (III,3)”.
More from these notes next ISB time.