And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon... south London soil,
Doing the Lambeth Walk?
Though reading like a specially written song to celebrate a different Blake's release to walk free on London land, this specially adapted verse is actually to draw your attention to a weekend of William Blake activities: the Blake in Lambeth Festival.
Born on this day 251 years ago, Blake lived in Lambeth for ten happy and productive years, becoming the celebrated poet, painter and philosphical behemoth that we know now.But look for a plaque to mark his residence in Lambeth and you will not find one. So there's a three day multi-disciplinary festival instead to address this lack of 'Look who lived here and really liked it' signposting.
Today, you can head to Lower Marsh Road near Waterloo and have a recording of yourself reading some of Blake's work which will go towards a sound installation, attend a lunchtime session of readings, songs and fellowship in the Blake Room in Tate Britain or go on a rare walk through Lambeth Palace Gardens. Tomorrow there's another walk through Lambeth this time and a play about Blake, and on Sunday there's more walking, a microscope workshop, music and a masterclass on Blake's poems from Innocence and Experience.
We are assuming that this weekend, it will be the only time it is acceptable, outside of the last night of the Proms, to sing Jerusalem at the top of your voice while standing on Lambeth Bridge. Happy birthday William Blake!
Blake in Lambeth, today until Sunday 30 November. For more information on the festival and Project Blake, go to the Project Blake website.