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Read William Blake’s “The Tyger” and describe the poem’s form or structure.

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ssdude2004 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted July 27, 2010 at 2:13 AM via web

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Read William Blake’s “The Tyger” and describe the poem’s form or structure.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 27, 2010 at 5:28 AM (Answer #1)

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I love this poem, and its counterpart, "The Lamb".  The Tyger is a poem from the Songs of Experience (how the world effects us as we grow older and have experiences); the Lamb from the Songs of Innocence (how we are before the world gets hold of us and turns us into something other than innocent). 

The format is a question and answer format where the speaker begins with a question to the tiger--Who created you?  The speaker wonders how the horrible heart of the tiger began to beat, and compares it to the blacksmith (a dirty job).  The speaker wants to know if the creator smiled when he finished created the tiger, and could this creator be the same one who created the lamb?

There is a hammering rhythm, which again underscores the comparison with a blacksmith.  The Tiger is a beautiful but deadly creature (he burns bright)...so how can the same creator make both the tiger and the lamb?  What kind of God would put both animals on this earth?

The poem is full of unanswered questions about the complexity of creation and the speaker is obviously in awe and wonder of the sheer magnitude of God's power.  The mood is one of open awe of both God and the Tiger's brute strength.

The blacksmith, too, is a "creator".  He is creative, artistic, and skilled. Blake uses words like "dare" and "could" in his poem to represent the risk of creating "art" as a blacksmith.  It is a dangerous and dirty job, but one that is fulfilling.  He risks fire, injury to his lungs and body, to create and do his job daily. 

The tiger, perhaps, is the voice of violence and revolution in the world.  No longer innocent like the lamb, but demanding more beauty and fairness...brutally taken, if necessary.  There is an element of fear mixed in with the awe.

Six stanzas, rhyming couplets (some are more sight or near rhyme than exact rhyme), in a sing-song pattern which helps to give this dangerous fear a bit more lightness.  However, the hard consonants and hammering rhythm of the blacksmith bring us the reality of life...it's not all child's play and innocence like The Lamb.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 27, 2010 at 5:30 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 2 like

I love this poem, and its counterpart, "The Lamb".  The Tyger is a poem from the Songs of Experience (how the world effects us as we grow older and have experiences); the Lamb from the Songs of Innocence (how we are before the world gets hold of us and turns us into something other than innocent). 

The format is a question and answer format where the speaker begins with a question to the tiger--Who created you?  The speaker wonders how the horrible heart of the tiger began to beat, and compares it to the blacksmith (a dirty job).  The speaker wants to know if the creator smiled when he finished created the tiger, and could this creator be the same one who created the lamb?

There is a hammering rhythm, which again underscores the comparison with a blacksmith.  The Tiger is a beautiful but deadly creature (he burns bright)...so how can the same creator make both the tiger and the lamb?  What kind of God would put both animals on this earth?

The poem is full of unanswered questions about the complexity of creation and the speaker is obviously in awe and wonder of the sheer magnitude of God's power.  The mood is one of open awe of both God and the Tiger's brute strength.

The blacksmith, too, is a "creator".  He is creative, artistic, and skilled. Blake uses words like "dare" and "could" in his poem to represent the risk of creating "art" as a blacksmith.  It is a dangerous and dirty job, but one that is fulfilling.  He risks fire, injury to his lungs and body, to create and do his job daily. 

The tiger, perhaps, is the voice of violence and revolution in the world.  No longer innocent like the lamb, but demanding more beauty and fairness...brutally taken, if necessary.  There is an element of fear mixed in with the awe.

Six stanzas, rhyming couplets (some are more sight or near rhyme than exact rhyme), in a sing-song pattern which helps to give this dangerous fear a bit more lightness.  However, the hard consonants and hammering rhythm of the blacksmith bring us the reality of life...it's not all child's play and innocence like The Lamb.

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