By William Blake
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 sieze 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?
“The Tyger” is a poem by the English poet William Blake, published in his 1794 collection “Songs of Experience.” The poem explores the nature of creation and the idea of a divine creator, using the image of a tiger as a metaphor for the power and mystery of creation.
The poem begins with a series of rhetorical questions, asking “Tyger Tyger, burning bright, / In the forests of the night; / What immortal hand or eye, / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” The speaker marvels at the tiger’s beauty and power, but also wonders about its origins.
The second stanza continues with more questions, asking about the tools and methods the creator might have used to make the tiger, such as the “hammer” and “chain” that could have been used to forge its heart and brain. The speaker also ponders the motivation behind the creation of such a fierce creature, asking “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”
The final stanza of the poem shifts to a more existential tone, with the speaker asking “When the stars threw down their spears, / And watered heaven with their tears, / Did he smile his work to see? / Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” The speaker wonders about the creator’s emotions and motivations, and whether the same divine being that created the gentle lamb also created the fierce tiger.
Overall, “The Tyger” is a complex and multi-layered poem that explores the mysteries of creation and the nature of good and evil. The tiger is both beautiful and terrifying, and the poem raises questions about the source of these opposing qualities, and the intentions of the divine creator behind them.
Leave a Reply