Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fresh Horses - partay with the tyger

Eden told me do it.

I had a poem in my head long before I ever heard all of it.  Snippity snappets of it were rattling around clinking and clanking and brightly banging its sweet rhythms in bursts of sharp taste.

So one day when I was about 15, long before the internet would have made it easy, I hunted for the snatches I knew I'd heard. When I heard it all, it resonated, but I really couldn't tell you why. I hope you like it too. (Thank you 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?

Editing later to add: My other choice was Dylan Thomas' Do not go gentle into that good night. And the birthday thing didn't click when I posted this earlier ... thank goodness I didn't choose that poem, Happy Birthday Eden!


  1. I fell in love with this poem when I was about 13 or 14, and haven't seen it anywhere much since then. thanks :)

  2. Studied Blake for 3 unit English waaaaaaay back.

    Memories have now been unearthed once more.

  3. Obviously, by doing a science based degree, there is a lot of wonderful adventures out there, waiting for me. Thanks!

  4. I love that poem...was never in my syllabus, but I loved it for what it's like walking in a forest on a cold, starry night and suddenly encountering a tiger....

  5. Love the Blake. Love the Dylan, too.

  6. Wow - just WOW.

    You have impeccable taste. And if you ever want to read out the Dylan at one of my fictional open-mike parties, you are SO welcome!

    Thanks, Pundy XXXX


"Scout yonder's been readin' ever since she was born." I wasn't quite so precocious but I do love reading comments!