Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blake's Poem, "The Tyger"

The Tyger

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake’s, “The Tyger,” exists as a poem of many unanswered questions. This poem starts with the speaker asking who could create such a creature, A Creature that subsists as both striking and frightening.  A tiger portrays both beauty and fear, and these two aspects do not usually complement each other in nature. The speaker wonders who could create such beauty in evil? No man can comprehend such a power. Each stanza in this poem seems to convey what the first stanza asks but gets into further detail as the poem progresses. The speaker wonders what kind of evil artistry and bodily presence could have, “twisted the sinews of thy heart?” The creator of this evil beast has kept the heart beating, but the unanswered question remains, who is this creator? And is this creator proud of his product as he watches the destruction the tiger generates? An answer starts to appear when the speaker suggests the creator of the Lamb created the Tiger as well. The creator of the Lamb is God, but the lamb is more of an innocent creature when compared to the Tiger. William Blake believed that nature reflects its creator, so how could God be a creator of evil, if the poem is suggesting that God created it? The tiger then symbolizes the existence of evil in the world, and that God does in fact create evil. The tiger was created to show how evil in the world is disrupting the beauty in nature. God wanted us to feel amazed at beauty, and the evil of the tiger, but realize how immoral it truly is. God was trying to shed light on this situation on earth, the situation of reason, so humans would come to realize that even though the earth may feel perfect with our sinful ways, it is immoral. This brings this poem back to, “Songs of Innocence and Experience,” in the sense that the evil of humans is the wicked reasoning we create on earth. In Blake’s point of view, God wants humans to understand that even though reason may seem moral, it is an evil work of art.

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