The Tyger Poem by William Blake

The Tyger

Rating: 3.8


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?

Thursday, May 10, 2001
Topic(s) of this poem: night
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Shahzia Batool 04 July 2012

The Tiger Any reader of Blake would certainly find The Tiger as a remarkable poem with a difference. Only Blake's genius afforded a hidden, great & mystical theme under the veil of animal imagery. Here a deep mystical sense overshadows with an apostrophising impulse, indicating wonder at the diversity of God's creations.As The Lamb is symbolic of meekness, tenderness, beauty & innocence, but when we ascend the ladder of Experience that is atrewn with grief, disappointment, & injustices of life, the symbols of the poet get changed at once; the symbol of this kind of life is The Tiger...strong, restless, remorseless, ruthless...but beautiful. Blake not only wonders at the burning eyes & fearful symmetry, but he tries to catch a glimpse of the Power that created it; The enigma, in fact, is not the Tiger, but the Creator.It is the divine incomprehensibility that strikes the note of amazement.Blake takes care of the aura as well; if meadows are the fit places for frisking & frolicking of the lamb, forests provide the apt atmosphere for all the actions & movements of this regal being. Herein lies the cause of the poet's wonder, not on the fierce heart or dreadful feet of the tiger, but the divine power that could create the antagonistic objects, that could bound together these strong muscles & sinews...vigorous, horrible & ferocious. The real obscurity lies in the 5th stanza where the Biblical connotation is concealed behind the outward symbols. The line when the stars threw down their spears can be found in his epic The Four Zoas with the same context. The personification of stars means (though not definitely) the person of Urizen throwing down the spears. The stars symbolise Milton's fallen angels also who, with lucifer, refused to serve God. This poem is all about God with the concept of contrariness, the Being who created the meek prey lamb, could also create the aggressor -the tiger...in the last line the word DARE replaced the word COULD.From the creations to the creator, understanding God through whatever He has created, is the main theme of this puzzling yet beautiful poem. shahzia batool

148 39 Reply
Paul Brookes 04 July 2012

Wow! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Nothing else needs be said.

59 47 Reply
Bri Marie 26 January 2013

I first heard this on the tv show The Mentalist and it enchanted me right away. Who knew I would ever hear anything so beautiful and profound from a tv show! Bravo to The Mentalist writers. :)

66 38 Reply
Sashi Dharan 14 February 2012

Excellent.. the Poem is symbolism of tiger in words

55 44 Reply
Osama Waqar 04 July 2012

beautiful, .............nothing less than an innovative piece of art........just unexplainable

52 37 Reply
GOod\! 08 April 2021

GOod\!

0 0 Reply
Unnikrishnan E S 12 December 2020

Great poem. For those who read Malayalam, a commentary and appreciation of the poem by talented writer Mr. Asha Menon appears in the Mathrubhoomi Weekly dated 13.12.2020.

1 0 Reply
Suryendu Chaudhury 22 September 2020

It' way beyond the known contraries of innocence and experience. The lines reflect the terrors of history unfolding itself in the most telling of manners.

3 0 Reply
Savita Tyagi 14 March 2020

Lovely poem. It is hard for us to reconcile that the One Who made burning eyes of a Tyger also made sweet innocent eyes of a lamb. Though hard to accept our peace lies in recognizing it. Or knowing that questions can never be answered.

3 2 Reply
Navod Dilhara 28 November 2019

The poet has use the technique of rhetorical questions in order to emphasize some facts. Could imagine so many things.

5 2 Reply
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