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English - Poetry Analysis

"The Tyger" by William Blake

Michelle Zarytshansky

on 5 May 2011

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Transcript of English - Poetry Analysis

Poetry Analysis Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

1. Reading the Poem 2. Initial Reactions - Is the poem about a tiger?

- If it is about a tiger, then why do they spell it with a “y” instead of an “i”?
- The poem is slightly hard to understand and interpret exactly what the author is trying to get across to the audience.

- Wondering if the author is trying to refer to a creator, possibly like god? Someone who has the ‘tools’ (powers) to create life on earth.

- Is the poem describing different features of the tiger (tyger) such as; eyes, it’s heart beat, brain, it’s personality (terror). And how they were created? In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze 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 watere'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? 3. Overall Structure of the poem 4. Internal Structure of the poem Meter:
The poem is in trochaic tetrameter with catalexis at the end of each line. A pair of syllables - a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. a poetry line usually with eight syllables
The absence of a syllable in the final foot in a line.
In the poem, an unstressed syllable is absent in the last foot of each line.
Therefore, every line has seven syllables, not the conventional eight.
Structure and Rhyme Scheme:
The poem consists of six quatrains,
(a quatrain is a four-line stanza).
Each quatrain contains two couplets, (a couplet is a pair of rhyming lines).
5. Re-read the poem...

The poem is more about the creator of the tiger than it is about the tiger itself. The speaker of the poem is at a loss to explain how the same God who made the lamb could make the tiger. Basically the poem is saying humans are incapable of fully understanding the mind of God and the mystery of his handiwork. 6. Summarize the poem: a.) Who is the speaker? b.) Who is being spoken to?
c.) What feeling is being expressed? d.) What is still unclear or confusing? I believe the feeling that is being expressed in this poem is that
there is confusion of how life on earth is created. In this poem it talks about God which many people believe that he was the creator of all life on earth, but how does he create such sofisticated stuff? How does he create a heart? or a brain? How life on earth is created?
Who is the creator?
What gives the creator ideas to make the things he does?
The speaker in the poem is hard to
exactly pin down, but it seems as though
he/she is someone who is wondering who
the creator of life is. 7. Poetic Devices: Alliteration: repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of each word over several words in a line or lines.

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright (Line 1).
Frame thy fearful symmetry? (Line 4).

Distant Deeps (Line 5).

Began to Beat (Line 11).

Dare its Deadly (Line 16). Metaphor: comparison between two unlike things without using the words “like or “as”.

Comparison of the tigers’ eyes to fire
Repetition: repeating a word, phrase or line for emphasis.

“Tyger Tyger, burning bright”

Allusion: a reference to another work of literature, a famous person, myth, place or event.

“And water’d heaven with their tears” referring to heaven, and possibly god, (creator).
The poem "The Tyger" is a Lyric

A lyric is a brief, subjective poem expressing the poet's personal imaginings and emotions. Lyric poems come in a variety of rhythm patterns and may be expressed in a rhymed or unrhymed verses. Subjectivity, imagination, melody, and emotion are the essential characteristics of lyric poetry. 8. Message or Purpose of the poem? The message/purpose the poem is trying to get across is getting people to possibly wonder about how life is actually created? “What immortal hand or eye, could frame thy fearful symmetry?” This gets them to start asking questions to them self like...who is the creator? “What hand, dare seize the fire?” Where do these ideas come from? “In what distant deeps or skies.” What is the process involved in creating life? “What the hammer? What the chain, In what furnace was thy brain?” 9. Overall Structure of the Poem Relating to Message or Purpose? Yes, since the overall structure of the poem is considered a lyric it definitely relates to the message/purpose that the poem “The Tyger” represents. The poem expresses the poets’ personal imagery and emotions about the creator and creation(s) of life. “What the hammer? What the chain, in what furnace was thy brain?” This allows the reader to imagine how life is being created and gives them an emotional sense of the satisfaction when something is actually created. “Did he smile his work to see?” The structure is also made up of rhymed verses for example, “Tyger Tyger, burning bright, in the forests of the night.” Created By:
Michelle Zarytshansky Cody McKeachnie Charlotte Collison The Tyger

By: William Blake Synecdoche: when a part of something is used to represent the whole or the whole of something is used to represent just a part.

“Tyger Tyger, burning bright, in the forests of the night”

It’s stating the Tyger (being the whole), but actually talking about the Tyger’s eyes (which is just a part).


"Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night."
- The tiger's eyes glowing in the dark forest at night.

"In what furnace was thy brain?"
- Gets the reader to imagine how the brain was made. Stanza 1:

The tiger's eyes are glowing in a dark forest at night.
Then the speaker is asking what immortal beings' hand
and eye could create such a perfect proportioned
(symmetrical) creature.
Stanza 2:

Where was this creature created? In hell "distant deeps" or in heaven "skies." Is the creator, God or the devil? "What the hand dare seize the fire?" Stanza 3:

What strength “what shoulder” and craftsmanship “what art” could make something like a heart? Then when the heart starts to beat, who could stand before it “what dread feet” and shape it further until completion “what dread hand.” Who could get the courage after making this fearful creature alive to grasp the tiger,
“what dread grasp, Dare its deadly terrors clasp.” Stanza 4:

What kind of tool “what the hammer” did the creator use?
Then where did it get created? “In what furnace was thy
brain? What the anvil.” (Anvil is the working surface when
you forge a piece of hot metal, by a fire/furnace and then
hammer the shape you want out of the hot metal.) What do you think each Stanza means? Stanza 5:

When the stars cast their light on the creature, “when the
stars threw down their spears” was the creator pleased
with his final product? “Did he smile his work to see?”
Did this same creator that made the tiger make other
creatures such as the lamb? “Did he who made the
lamb make thee?” Stanza 6:

The poet repeats the first stanza again. However, the
poets does change the wording a bit from…
(Line 4), “Could frame thy fearful symmetry” to
(Line 24), “Dare frame thy fearful symmetry.”
This is no longer who could have made this creature,
(the tiger) but who dares to create such a frightful creature.

Another version of the poem, "The Tyger" singing form: William Blake
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
The poem "The Tyger"
was published in 1794

Below is the original way the poem "The Tyger" was published.
Full transcript