William Blake (28 November1757 – 12 August1827) was a visionary English poet, painter, and printmaker. He was largely unrecognized during his life, but is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual art of the Romantic Age. Blake was primarily occupied as an engraver and watercolor artist. Today poems by William Blake have largely outstripped his visual artistic renown.

“The Tyger” by William Blake is often said to be the most widely anthologized poem in the English language. It consists entirely of questions about the nature of God and creation. Particularly whether the same God that created vulnerable beings like the lamb could also have made the fearsome tiger. Further the tiger becomes a symbol for one of religion’s most difficult questions: why does God allow evil to exist? At the same time, however, the poem is an expression of marvel and wonder at the tiger and its fearsome power, and by extension the power of both nature and God.

In addition, this poem by Blake is written in the praise of the Creator – God who has made such a fierce creature. However, it also reflects the poet’s amazement over the Creator. Because He is the same who has created the lamb which is quite opposite in nature to the tiger.

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The Tyger
Poems by William Blake
Poems 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 seize the fire?

Poems by William Blake

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?

Poems by William Blake

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?


CA Nitin Kaushik (Imaginary_Lands)

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