Happy National Poetry Day!


Apparently it’s National Poetry Day! Who knew.

Here is my poem, and my story about it:

The Tyger
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?
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?
I will set the scene: It’s my grade 11 English class (many years ago). It’s possible we were griping about poetry and how difficult it is to understand it. The teacher (Miss Cole) was like look, sometimes the meaning is obvious and don’t try so hard to look for hidden meanings. Her example was: on an exam, she had The Tyger by William Blake. She asked questions about it. The first being, what is the main image of the poem (or something like that). Here is the thing, people said, fire….hammer….stars…sky…..no one said a tiger! THE TITLE OF THE POEM IS THE TIGER!
It’s obvious when you see it, but I get it. You think that poetry has to be a thing, and it must be representational and you must be missing something. (See BJ’s post on The Waste Land.)  But sometimes, a tiger is just a tiger. Poetry doesn’t have to be hard.
Enjoy National Poetry Day! Read a poem. Write a poem. Be poet-y. You will thank me later.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s