Friday, March 26, 2010

Blake's Tyger

Perhaps the most often read and significant of the poems in Songs of Innocence and Experience is Tyger,Tyger. With this poem in mind Northrup Frye wrote his tremendous book called Fearful Symmetry:

"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, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart begin to beat,
What dread hand? and 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?"

Focus on this question: "Did he who made the lamb make thee?" That's food for considerable thought! At the least it calls into question many conventional ideas about God.

This could be the fundamental spiritual issue for Blake throughout his life, and for a great many of us: What about it, God? Are you a killer as well as a lover?
What do you Think?

No comments: