Tyger, Tyger

I've never been too fond of zoos, mainly because I don't like to see neurotic animals pacing back and forth in concrete cell blocks, nor hear neurotic men making comments about how a particular animal doesn't look very frightening. Hell, even Mike Tyson doesn't look particularly threatening on television or behind bars.

I'm somewhat fonder of the Tacoma Zoo now that they've redone many of the exhibits. I particularly like the Tiger exhibit, where you can see these magnificent animals in what would almost pass as a natural environment though they're still not allowed to hunt down their natural prey or even zoo visitors who would probably make a tastier meal.

This one reminds me of William Blake's favorite poems.

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 sieze thy fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And why 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 grasp?

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?

2 thoughts on “Tyger, Tyger

  1. I’ve always liked that poem. But the rhyming of “eye” and “symmetry” has always been a stumbling block for me. Breaks the flow. Perhaps it’s a change in the pronunciation over the years. I don’t know.

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