Ambrosia

Poetry begins in delight and ends in wisdom - Robert Frost.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Did He smile, His work to see?

The first poem I ever read, as a bloody nosy kid looking into senior class textbooks. Even now, I can remember thinking that 'eye' and 'symmetry' didn't quite rhyme...but then concluded that ol' William Blake just might know a wee bit more than me. End result? Pronounced it as sym-et-rye for quite some time. Ah well...can't tell why I like this poem so much. Simple, yet brilliantly worded.


The Tiger

Tiger, tiger, 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 began 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 watered heaven with their tears,
Did He smile, His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night
,What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

13 Comments:

Blogger Jan said...

Oh, love this one! I think the first line is one of the most powerful ones I've read. "Did he smile his work to see" is also my favourite line. Put a picture in my head the first time a read it! Then there's "in the forest of the night". And "When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears," Oh, what the hell! The whole poem's perfect!

Although, I must confess that "What the hammer? what the chain?" and "What the anvil?" always tempted me to say "what the hell". Guess my soul is not poetic enough. Sniff. :'(

8:36 am  
Blogger anj said...

sorry but all i can think of at this point is philo teaching us this poem in her own 'special' way..hehe...remember??? but i like this poem too...it has some of the best imagery that i have ever read.

9:58 pm  
Blogger the bored one said...

hey this was the first poem i ever read too!! Will wonders never cease? Tho i was being nosy and trying to poke through my mom's old lit books from college.
I was obsessed with the first wto lines for the longest time...i remember quoting it every now and then in class and when people asked me what the hell was i blabbering, i would storm off claiming they had no appreciation for poetry and that i could not associate with such people. Did they come begging for knowledge? sadly, not. Ah well...so goes life.
But i love the poem and always have.

4:00 am  
Blogger the bored one said...

sorry, typo...meant first two (2) lines...

4:01 am  
Blogger Dreamer Gray said...

jan : Hah...like the stars line meself.

anj : Trying very hard to forget that actally...

the bored one : I see your obsession with strange things was a childhood problem as well...baskets of bananas, anyone?

5:41 am  
Blogger the Monk said...

yeah, I've read this one...yup, it is beautiful...one of my personal favourites is H.W. Longfellow's A Psalm of Life...have u read it?

6:55 am  
Blogger rini said...

lovely imagery, my favorite lines apart from the powerful opening has to undoubtedly be "When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears".i can almost visualise this in my mind.It's great what poetry can do to you!

10:57 pm  
Blogger Dreamer Gray said...

the monk : Yeah...it's a lovely poem...was thinking of putting that up sometime as well...oh, and was your nick inspired by the character in Mean Machines, by any chance?

rini : Yeah, I like those meself...lol, that's kinda why I started this blog.

6:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suku : The name of the movie is Mean Machine. The Americans have made a cheap rip-off of it called The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler.

Nice poem.

I wonder what art will twist the sinews of my heart.

6:19 am  
Blogger the bored one said...

gasp! the bananas thing was a genuine doubt!! u would have wanted to know about them too if u had seen it. u cant use that as evidence!!!!

7:37 am  
Blogger Dreamer Gray said...

anonymous : Yeah, I know. It sucks compared to Mean Machine though...hah, good one...probably music, I'd guess.

the bored one : Mmhmm??

8:09 am  
Blogger Dhruva said...

Love it!

9:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's the monk!!!
the monk!! sod off you old geezer.. its the monk!!

11:37 pm  

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