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As an online William Blake fan, I receive at least one request per month from students asked to interpret William Blake's wonderful lyric, "The Tyger. Dost thou know who made thee? One of the central themes in his major works is that of the Creator as a blacksmith.
Blake identified God's creative process with the work of an artist. And it is art that brings creation to its fulfillment -- by showing the world as it is, by sharpening perception, by giving form to ideas. Blake's story of creation differs from the Genesis account.
The familiar world was created only after a cosmic catastrophe. When the life of the spirit was reduced to a sea of atoms, the Creator set a limit below which it could not deteriorate farther, and began creating the world of nature. The longer books that Blake wrote describe Los's creation of animals and people within the world of nature.
One particularly powerful passage in "Milton" describes Los's family weaving the bodies of each unborn child. In believing that creation followed a cosmic catastrophe and a fall of spiritual beings into matter, Blake recalls Gnosticism, a multi-faceted religious movement that has run parallel to mainstream Christianity.
Unlike most other Gnosticizers, Blake considered our own world to be a fine and wonderful place, but one that would ultimately give way to a restored universe. Blake believed that his own visions, which included end-of-the- world images and sometimes a sense of cosmic oneness, prefigured this, and that his art would help raise others "to the perception of the infinite.
Although the natural world contains much that is gentle and innocent "Songs of Innocence"those who are experienced with life "Songs of Experience" know that there is also much that is terrible and frightening. The "fearful symmetry" might be that of the lamb and the tyger, innocence and experience.
What do you think? A casual reader or student does not have to understand Blake's mystical-visionary beliefs to appreciate "The Tyger". For the casual reader, the poem is about the question that most of us asked when we first heard about God as the benevolent creator of nature.
In the creation story in "Job", the stars sing for joy at creation, a scene that Blake illustrated. In Blake's later books, the stars throw down their cups the notebook poem "When Klopstock England Defied For Blake, the stars represent cold reason and objective science.
They are weaker than the Sun of inspiration or the moon of love. Their mechanical procession has reminded others, including the author of "Lucifer in Starlight", of "the army of unalterable law"; in this case the law of science.
Although Blake was hostile as I am, and as most real scientists are to attempts to reduce all phenomena to chemistry and physics, Blake greatly appreciated the explosion of scientific knowledge during his era. But there is something about seeing a Tyger that you can't learn from a zoology class.
The sense of awe and fear defy reason. And Blake's contemporary "rationalists" who had hoped for a tame, gentle world guided by kindness and understanding must face the reality of the Tyger. Other people will tell you the Tyger represents evil.
When I hear the word, I think of among other things a blathering alcoholic adult bully ridiculing and beating a small child. It seems to me that it is not "evil" for a real tiger to eat a lamb, but is part-and-parcel of our world.
Yet it still inspires a certain horror and a sense of awe, that we are in the presence of a transcendent mystery at the very heart of creation -- and a certain terrible beauty.
If Blake's lyric has brought this to our attention, it has been successful. If you found that you really enjoyed "The Tyger", then I hope you'll have a chance to explore more of Blake's writings -- even the difficult "Prophetic Books" -- as well as his own influences especially the Bible and "Paradise Lost".
You may also enjoy learning about his times, and the social injustices of which he was so deeply aware. You may also enjoy reading about T. Eliot and "Christ the Tiger".
Yesterday's romantic poets and today's liberation theologians write about Christ as rebel, liberator, advocate for the politically oppressed, type of Prometheus, and so forth.
The Bible and the human family's mystics and visionaries have written much aout the fear and awe that come from encounering thd Lord."The Lamb" is a poem by William Blake, published in Songs of Innocence in "The Lamb" is the counterpart poem to Blake's poem: "The Tyger" in Songs of Experience.
Blake wrote Songs of Innocence as a contrary to the Songs of Experience – a central tenet in his philosophy and a central theme in his ph-vs.com published: Jerusalem. AND did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England's mountains green? And was the holy Lamb of God On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine. Songs of Innocence was the first of Blake's illuminated books published in The poems and artwork were reproduced by copperplate engraving and colored with washes by hand.
In he expanded the book to include Songs of ph-vs.com spellings, punctuation and capitalizations are those of the original Blake manuscripts. A summary of “The Lamb” in William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Songs of Innocence and Experience and what it means.
Speak of the Deverell A memoir in seven quick chapters. The Advocate is the mouthpiece (so to speak) of the Vancouver Bar Association, and not long ago it ran this breezy, offbeat profile of Bill Deverell, written by his former law partner, Jay Clarke, a prolific crime .
Wood engraving by William Blake, –21, for Robert John Thornton's Pastorals of Virgil. × cm. Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum; photograph, J.R.
Freeman & Co. Ltd.