The Tyger (and The Lamb)I found the poem to be an intricate and careful look at the question of a Creator. Despite Blake's obvious belief in God (apparent in both poems), he wonders about the things a child thinks of when approached with the idea. It is this innocence that I enjoy about the poem, the "Did he smile his work to see?" and "What the hammer? what the chain?", classic flaws in the theory that is religion. At the same time, Blake appreciates the tiger for all its skill and fierceness, something I feel contemporary philosophers skip out on. Instead of treating the animal like an inferior being meant only to be observed, Blake shows it has personal life and soul, not just in relation to humanity. The lack of personification and the beauty of the insight gave me respect for Blake and happiness at his ingenuity.
The LambIn the lamb, William Blake is awestruck at the natural perfection he is witnessing, and also uses the lamb's image to express his views on religion. He says, "(Who)Gave thee such a tender voice/ making all the vales rejoice?"(7-8), amazed the something so beautiful and perfect could arise all on its own. Because he thinks that such perfection could not arise by mere accident, he believes the lamb is so beautiful for a reason, which ties into Blake's ideas of God. Blake describes the lamb, "He is meek, and He is mild;/ He became a little child"(15-16), creating Christ-like imagery and referencing God's transformation of forms, from mortal to man.
The Chimney SweeperIn "The Chimney Sweeper," Blake describes the idea of Heaven through a child's eyes. By doing this, he is able to be more spontaneous in describing particular events and beliefs. This "spontaneity" was a common element in the Romanitic period, promoting the idea that people should have vibrant and independant trains of thought. Within the poem, there is also several reference to nature, particularly during the boy's dream, when "By came an angel who had a bright key,/ And he opened the coffins and set them free;/ Then down a green plain leaping, laughing they run/ And wash in a river, and shine in the sun" (13-16). Blake's use of imagery to create this descript scenery allows the reader to imagine the extent of the boy's travels in his dreams, while also referencing a key concept in the Romantic period, nature.This poem made me delighted and engaged. I could imagine myself going on this boy's adventure, permitting me to explore and experience an unknown world.
For those reading "London" and wanting a more modern perspective, I suggest you listen to "History" by The Verve. It's a great song, first of all, and, to link to class, it takes its lyrical start from Blake. Also, the poem by Yeats which links to Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" is "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."
"London"The speaker in this poem is clearly dissatisfied with the city of London. The Industrial Revolution brought many former small farmers and laborers into urban areas to work in factories. The concepts of hygiene, public health, and keeping order had not been invented yet for large cities in Europe, so London became a wet, foggy, polluted and crowded place. The poem's speaker describes how in every face, he sees "marks of weakness, marks of woe" (4). The abundance of human suffering among the poor would have been one of the factors contributing to a general dissatisfaction of Romantics with civilization, which they felt had become too detached from Nature. The river Thames is called "chartered" (2), the same adjective used for streets. Even London's river is modified by humans and probably polluted. The greatest impression of London on the poem's speaker, above all of his varied and relentless examples of human suffering is how a "youthful harlot's curse/ Blasts the new-born infant's tear,/ And blights with plagues the marriage hearse" (14-16). There are so many things wrong with that scene - a young prostitute cursing at a newborn and overheard by newlyweds in a funeral carriage. With this, the speaker continues to lament the human condition. The effect he achieves is that one finds oneself wishing for the opposites of London: a free-flowing river, with green fields and pastoral scenes, exactly what Romanticism valued above civilization. The poem reinforced a desire never to visit 18th-19th century London, as it seems a thoroughly depressing, terrible place. It also served as a reminder that some cities today in less-developed countries have their own millions of poor living in slums, something the speaker of the poem must have wanted to eliminate. Victoria Cui
The Tyger – William BlakeThis poem deals with religion, more specifically the idea of creation. Blake questions what sort of god would create such a fearsome creature, such as the tiger being described, as well as gentle creatures, like the lamb mentioned in one of his other poems. He says, “Did he smile his work to see?/ Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” (19-20). It is certainly an interesting question to ask because it implies that the creator is considered cruel to create one animal simply for the purpose of prey for another. Blake also expresses a growing interest in nature and the uncivilized way of life, a feature of Romantic poetry. When describing the tiger, Blake uses the phrase, “Burnt the fire of thine eyes!” (6). This represents a natural, animalistic feature of the tiger: its ferocity and primitive nature, which is similar to a fire in its power. He utilizes personal expression of thought and goes beyond the tangible aspects of the tiger by comparing it to the lamb. In contrast, the tiger is violent and a negative force. The repetition of the first stanza at the end of the poem serves to strengthen Blake’s point. The “fearful symmetry” refers to the similarity between the physical and spiritual facets of the tiger. I enjoyed reading this poem because Blake speaks of the tiger’s intensity with reverence. He opens up the questions of whether the god people believe in is a cruel god but leaves the answer to the question open-ended for the reader to decide.
William Blake: "The Tyger"Despite its natural subject, William Blake's "The Tyger" reflects not on the beauty of nature but on the ills of man as personified by the titular beast. The best evidence for this is found in the poem's diction where, instead of describing natural features like the animal's coat, Blake uses words reminiscent of industry such as "fire", "furnace", "anvil", or "hammer". These words paint a picture paint the picture of a fierce and powerful animal wholly different from the beauty and untamed majesty with which nature is depicted in "Tintern Abby". This makes even more sense when looked at historically because, when he was writing in 1794, Blake would have seen all around him the increasing power of industry, which the diction reflects. In addition, the repeating structure of three of the middle stanzas, where the first three lines ask what industry could have produced the terrible quality described in the fourth, provides yet more insight into Blake's thought. Again, to understand this, it helps to look at the poem in historical context as the power of industry drove war to be increasingly more terrible.For this strain of analysis, the most critical question of the poem is posed at the end of the second stanza when it is asked "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" With this, Blake betrays his distaste for this new mechanical world by wondering how the goodness in mankind could be compatible with all the destruction we are capable of. Also, by using the lamb as the symbol of goodness, Blake fully realizes the romantic notion of using nature to show human emotions.
The first thing that caught my attention about this poem was that it differs from Blake's other poems in that it is not expressly and overwhelmingly about God. The language is engaging and thought-provoking, as well as incorporating the poets desire to speculate on the nature of the universe. Blake eloquently describes a Tyger (a part of nature) and ultimately expresses his wonder and admiration for God. This poem is Romantic because it speaks of nature in its rawest form, emphasizes religion, plays with the mood of the reader, and definitely utilizes imagination. This is probably the poem that I have enjoyed the most thus far, and I now understand why so many people praise William Blake.
The above reflection is about "The Tyger".
The TygerWhile Blake is obviously not lamenting on about nature and how great it is, he is still writing in the romantic form. Blake is definitely giving the reader the perspective of the animal, asking lots of questions in short concise phrasing helps to give an animalistic feeling. Blake is describing making art by talking about the symmetry and creation. The creation of art has a clear correlation to creationism and thus, a link to romanticism. Through the short questions the author poses, he is very effectively creating an atmosphere of confusion for the reader. After reading this I was, needless to say, a little perplexed. However, after examining the poem I saw Blake's much needed connection to God, and for that I was almost surprised.
The Sick RoseIn William Blake's poem The Sick Rose, he illustrates the impact a worm has on a rose. I believe that Blake is commenting on the relationship between a man and woman. The rose, being a sign of innocence and purity represents the woman, is tempted by the invisible worm, the man, and this leads to the rose's life being destroyed. One key concept of Romanticism we find in Blake's poem is the idea of spontaneity and natural way of life. We see this when the rose decides to go with the worm even though the worm has "his dark secret love." Another aspect of Romanticism we see, although not as much in some of Blake's other poems, is the imagery of nature, like when Blake writes, "that flies in the night, in the howling wind," and "crimson joy." Another way The Sick Rose can be interpreted is that the rose represents life and the worm represents decay and death and that death is always bringing life down.
“The Tyger” William Blake.The poem describes tigers, stars, and waters. These natural elements are obvious examples of the romantic interest in nature. Blake also utilizes the power of the imagination. He presents the tiger as not only a part of nature, but he forces the audience to see it as something mysterious and fearful created from divine means. By incorporating the furnace, the chain, and the anvil, the tiger is strong, but it is also mechanical. The audience does not only see the tiger as an animal. They imagine that it was forged.The poem incorporates parallelism to convey the fact the tigers were created from a single being. “In what distant deeps or skies”, follows “In the forest of the night”. Tigers do not originate from a single element in nature. They are predators present everywhere. “And what shoulder, and what art” and “what dreadful hand? And what dreadful feet” The repetition of these lines depict the divine being who created the mysterious and fearful tiger. Blake addresses the Creator as a main point of the poem, as he created something so powerful and majestic. The diction supports this- “dread” and “fearful” do not inspire happiness or peace. The beauty of the tiger originates from its deadliness. Unfortunately, I once read an incredibly stupid vampire-love book that quoted “The Tyger,” and I had associated the poem with the book. When I first read the poem, I felt disgust and regret for reading it. Yet, after I read it again, the elegance, repetition, and rhyme that Blake uses is simple and graceful. “On what wings dare he aspire?/ What the hand, dare seize the fire?” and “And what shoulder, & what art,/ Could twist the sinews of thy heart?” The tiger is strong and magical, as predators hold their own frightening beauty.
Josh TrubowitzWilliam Blake's "The Tyger"In one of the Romantic Period's most defining features, "The Tyger" depicts the beauty and power, the "symmetry," that Nature holds. Blake raves over the perfection of the Tiger, of Nature, comparing the awe he holds for God to that which he holds for the tiger, asking "what immortal hand or eye dare frame [the tiger's] fearful symmetry." Blake uses striking imagery to convey his message, noting the tiger's "fearful symmetry" and its burning aura. I was struck by the way Blake captured the essence of the tiger, its grace and strength. The poem brought to life by Blake's imagery, I could picture the tiger in my mind and felt a connection with Nature, much like the artists of the Romantic Period.
Josh TrubowitzWilliam Blake's "The Sick Rose"Blake takes a hard look at death in this poem. The rose represents the beauty, passion, and vitality of life, something that would have been quickly recognized in the Romantic Period. The "invisible worm/ that flies in the night" is death, striking in the "bed of crimson joy," when people are sleeping. This imagery creates a juxtaposition between the "howling storm" that the "worm" of death flies in and the peace and quiet of sleep, showing that to Blake, death is a clearly an aggressive, harsh ending to the fragility of life. It is not slid into gently, but in a storming fashion. Interestingly, Blake maintains this view even when saying that it is God who controls this death, writing that it is "[God's] dark secret love/ does thy life destroy." Clearly, Blake is wresting with the idea that God, who is supposed to represent all that is just and good in the world, would "destroy" the beautiful phenomenon that is life. Blake gives no direct answer to this question, leaving it up to the reader to decide where they stand on such a charged paradox of religion. This is similar to many problems posed by religion that I myself have struggled with, and often, such as in this poem, there is no textbook answer. For me, the jury is still out.
The Tyger by William Blake2nd Blog EntryWell, I found from research, that William Blake was actually inspired to write this poem, when he saw a tiger at the London zoo. He was absolutely amazed by it's size and, "fearful symmetry". So he wrote this poem, talking about why God would make such a scary and frightening creature. "What immortal hand or eyeCould frame thy fearful symmetry?" I think that immortal he asks about is meant to be God. He even asks God, "what furnace was thy brain?" In other words, God, what were you thinking, when you made this thing. He's confused on how the same person, who made the gentle lamb, make the horrific tiger. "Did he who made the lamb make thee?" Lastly, he questions God again saying, "When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see?" I think the stars are supposed to be like the angels looking down at what God has created, and they all cry on Heaven, because they either fear the tiger or are not happy with God's creation. So then he asks God, if he is happy with the thing that he has created. And I think that is the main point of this story. Is that he wants to know how God could possibly be happy with his creation of such a dark and fiendish beast.
“The Chimney Sweeper”- William BlakeThe most evident Romantic concept in the poem is the emphasis on the individual. Blake is able to illustrate the plight of impoverished children not through a detailed description of the extent of the problem but through the story of a boy. He takes the poem to a personal level by including in-depth descriptions of the boy’s life, particularly those focusing on his peers. Blake says, “There’s little Tom Darce, who cried when his head/ That curled like a lamb’s back was shav’d, so I said.” The detail with which the narrator describes his companion makes him appear lifelike. Blake uses an emotionally devoid tone. Lines such as “my father sold me while yet my tongue,/ Could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep,/ So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep,” use objective descriptions. This is not, however, because the poem is lacking in emotional content. Blake uses tone to allow the reader to develop his/her own feelings, which may be stronger than if Blake had used emotive terms to over-dramatize the situation. More subtle diction is used to achieve a depressing mood. Blake says, “Hush Tom, never mind it, for when your head’s bare,/ You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.” He says “white hair” even though the poem is about children, which indicates that the narrator has already accepted that his position will carry to his death. Lines such as “Were all of them lock’d up in coffins of black” convey the same mood although they are more direct. Most of the poem does not contain nature references. Those that it does have are closely linked to religion, which is in accordance with the Romantic concept of natural religion. The nature references are also associated with joy which is rare throughout the poem. The Angel releases the boys from their coffins, and “Then down a green plain leaping laughing they run/ And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.” Since this occurs in a dream, Blake also shows the power of imagination.Although the poem finishes when the characters are hopeful, it carries a negative message. The Angel tells Tom that he must be a “good boy” to have God as his father, and the characters interpret this as compliance to their fate. Blake writes, “So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm,” showing that fear is also a motivating factor in the boys’ submission.
Merek Johnson2nd Blog EntryThe Sick RoseIn this poem, by William Blake, a very deep message is given in a simple 8 lines. Because of the poems short length, specific diction holds an even greater importance. Blake begins the poem addressing the rose specifically, which seems to represent humanity and its best assets, love, "crimson joy," etc. The "worm" seems to be death, and is "invisible" just as it is intangible. Though this "worm" flies at night and in a howling storm, these phrases are less literal, and are used to connotate darkness (night) and despair (howling). Blake effectively says that death is the parasite (worm) of life, its destroyer, and its sickness
"The Tyger"- William BlakeIn "The Tyger", WIlliam blake is addressing a fanatical commentary to the tiger and the creation of the tiger. Blake is idolizing the tiger as a natural ideal, the benevolent beast "burning bright", the power of the raw animal represented by the Tiger. Blake questions the origins of the tiger, seeking to know what divine entity (presumably the Christian God, for Blake refers to the creator in line 19 as a He) could have engineered such a magnificent creature. Blake asks what "shoulder, and what art" could create the heart, where "burnt the fire" used to create the eyes of the tiger, "in what furnace was (the tiger's) brain." The purpose of this letter to the tiger was to find the identity of its creator, so baffled and in awe was Blake of the core of the tiger. He was not satisfied just to look upon the tiger itself and its presence. he also wanted to know of the omnipotency of its architect.
"The Sick Rose"- William Blake It is amazing how short this poem is, yet it is densely packed with information and typical romanticism concepts. He starts off with saying “O Rose, thou art sick!” here the rose is not only a delicate flower, a beautiful part of nature, but it is representing life. To Blake life is a delicate thing, something that takes a long time to create but just a little time to destroy. Here Blake writes about a sick rose, as a representation of life, he is basically saying that he knows that life is going to be over soon. Then he goes on to write, “The invisible worm that flies in the night, in the howling storm”, since Blake already knows that life is dying he simply states that it is coming closer and closer. The worm represents death and it is infecting the rose slowly, just like in some cases death is a slow thing. He also touches on the point that the worm is coming at night, which was a very peaceful time for people. He ends by writing about religion, but not much is said about it just two small lines and he calls the love of God as secret and dark touching on the religious part of romantic poetry. Until I really looked at the poem I was unable to regard this as poetry. Originally I thought of it as eight lines of nothingness, but later after reading it over and over again, I was able to understand where he was coming from. This poetry, though it may be short, it holds power and thought into it.
"London" After hearing The Verve's "History" Blake's intentions in communicating his dissatisfaction with the state of the city became clear. His description of London is anything but romantic, specifically in the third and fourth stanzas. The romanticism, however, resides in his bemoaning of the lack of individuality (most likely a result of the status of the city). Blake says this describing "mind forg'd manacles" and applying them to every man and child. The Verve only echoes this sentiment in their work saying: "You understand, that living is for every man." Blake certainly expresses a need for "freer and more personal expression". The deteriorated London certainly evokes a sense of waywardness, and puts the reader in the place of the speaker as if they were themselves wandering and alone.
"The Sick Rose" -William BlakeThis poem is hard to interpret, because it is so short. Each person can draw their own conclusions from it. To me, it is about human innocence. It is about two lovers, but one of the lovers has a secret that destroys him. "The invisible worm (line 1)" is dark secret that went undetected for so long, but eventually it "thy life destroy (line 8)." This poem is a romantic poem because it questions human nature, it discusses how something seemingly innocent can turn out to be harmful. The title "The Sick Rose," means that something that appears to be beautiful, perfect, and sweet can turn out to be poisonous or "sick." Also, this is a romantic poem because Blake relates human innocence to a rose.The first line of this poem " O Rose, thou art sick!" provides the overall tone of the poem. Blake used this line to convey his idea that innocence is related to a rose, but that even innocence can be wrong. In this way, he claimed that evil can lurk behind anything, even innocence. It is apparent that Black tried to add feeling or something of which the reader can relate to in each line. Blake accomplished this by using vivid language, such as the howling storm (line 4)" and the "crimson joy (line 6)." These phrases make the poem seem more alive and ready to be interpreted. I enjoyed this poem because it was short and to the point. I also enjoyed the fact that it could be interpreted in dozens of different ways. It could be that the subject of this poem is death and that once it "Has found out thy bed (line 5,)" it will literally destroy your life by killing you. I liked drawing my own meaning from this poem.
"The Lamb" -William BlakeI read this poem several years ago in English class and really didn’t like it. Reading it again, I like it a bit better but not as much as many of the other Romantic poems we have read. (Perhaps that is because of my differing religious beliefs, but I doubt it) Blake’s usage of repetition makes the poem feel slightly stilted but serves to create an almost nursery-rhyme effect. The repetition also emphasizes the focus on God the Creator, who has created all life, including the lamb. The nursery-rhyme effect is added to by the rhyming couplets, which make the poem rhythmic and rather bouncy-sounding. The anthropomorphism of the lamb (Blake describes the lamb’s “tender voice” and “clothing”) makes it easier to connect the lamb and God or Jesus, who “calls Himself a Lamb”. This connection between God the Creator and all his creations is the central idea of the poem. The usage of words such as “meek”, “mild” and “tender” seem to add to the idea of God as caring and gentle.
The TygerThe fiery power of the tiger is one to be feared and untamed. In The Tyger, William Blake addresses the tiger as not only an object, but a symbol of nature and freedom. His first line, “Tyger, Tyger burning bright ,” compares the cat to fire, the ultimate representation of strength and power. He uses this comparison to show the tiger is a fierce creature and then goes on to even question whether God could even create such a feral and mighty creature. As he says “What the hand, dare seize the fire?”, he leads back to the idea that the tiger, represented by the fire, is so powerful that even God doesn’t dare try to tame it. That questioning not only relates the poem to religion, but also ties the natural aspects of tiger to the uncontrollable flames, two important aspects of Romanticism.The poem, though it discusses the fear the tiger inspires in people, also speaks of the tiger in admiration. When William Blake asks what immortal being could create the tiger, he does not say tiger, but “fearful symmetry”. The use of “fearful symmetry” shows that the tiger is so beautiful that it is feared, but also allows one to consider what about the tiger makes it so beautiful, such as its lithe and muscular body, striped patterned skin, and eyes. His admiration and awe for the tiger is easily evident in the lines and his comparisons to elements such as fire leave the full beauty of the tiger undiminished by exact descriptions and more towards the depiction of the animal as is imagined.
"The Sick Rose" William BlakeBlake uses a natural symbol of beauty, the rose, yet the whole poem deals with death and loss of beauty. This poem gives the rose so many threats, that it is doomed, and everyone knows it. The poem is talking about how death is always coming, no matter what you do to try to prevent it or postpone it, just like how the worm, which symbolizes disease and death, is constantly flying towards the rose in the storm. Blake specifies the worm as "invisible" and "flying in the night" in order to add additional ominous tones to the poem, making death seem more mysterious and inevitable to the reader.The second stanza deals with when the worm reaches the rose, and in the worm's bliss, it kills the rose. Diseases work the same way because they spread through the suffering of their victims. The worm and rose are personified as lovers to show how natural death is, and how it will always find you. Love and death are both natural human emotions, and Blake treats them as such.
William Blake: “The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Innocence)One element of Romanticism that is represented in this poem is imagination. The dream that Tom Dacre had shows an example of the imagination demonstrated in this poem. Also, in the dream that Dacre had, the coffins of the chimney sweepers represents the confines of society. The angel, however, came and unlocked the coffins, thus symbolizing the significance of freer and more personal expression. This is greatly emphasized in the poem with the description of the “coffins of black,” and, by contrast, the angel’s “bright key”. Another element of Romanticism is the value of the uncivilized way of life. Tom Dacre is reassured that his white hair will remain safe from the black soot while he is bald. This represents the protection of his natural genius from the contaminants of society.Blake uses symbolism throughout the poem. For an example, he uses the description of the angel and the confining coffins to convey the idea of a freer and more personal expression. He also uses symbolism to show the values of the uncivilized way of life. Blake also uses the character of the poem and his pure, uncontaminated, white hair to represent innocence.My first reaction to this poem was disappointment. Tom had just had an inspiring and meaningful dream which clearly showed the importance of spontaneity, nature, and joy. In his dream, Tom and the other chimney sweepers go “down a green plain leaping, laughing, they run,/ And wash in a river, and shine in the Sun./ Then naked and white, all their bags left behind,/ They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind.” Even with the knowledge of this vision, Tom chooses to continue the dull work of chimney sweeping.
"LONDON"The poem "London" by William Blake, rather than embracing the natural world - as many romantic poems attempt to do - illustrates the woes of the industrial, London life. Blake describes the faces of the people he meets as full of "marks of weariness, marks of woe". This description of the effects of a modern lifestyle on Londoners sheds little light on an industrialized world. This negative description is what creates the romanticism in the poem. It shows that the things that Blake valued the most were those present in the natural world. A life without some connection to nature is considered a bleak life as far as Blake was concerned.
The TygerBlake seems to be in awe of the tiger. He describes the tiger as "burning bright/In the forests of the night," comparing the animal to fire, a symbol which is often associated with power. One can also tell from Blake's language, using words like "fearful" and "deadly", that he is afraid of the tiger. To me it appears as though Blake is questioning whether or not God created this creature writing, "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" The lamb is pure and innocent, while the tiger is awesome with power.The only parts of this poem I did not like were the first and last stanzas. "Tyger! Tyger!/ burning bright/ In the forests of the night,What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" The first three lines are rhyming and catchy, but then the last line hits and the lack of a rhyming word is disappointing.
William Blake: "The Tyger" In William Blake’s “The Tyger,” Blake questions the creation of such a fearful beast as a tiger. Blake’s reaction to the tiger is one of not merely fear, but also awe. The tiger is both powerful and destructive. Blake considers whether or not the creator of this terrifying beast could also create its opposite, the calm and gentle lamb. Not only does he question the production of such a deadly creature, but the supposedly divine creator’s methods as well. Blake asks, “And what shoulder, and what art/ Could twist the sinews of thy heart/…What dread hand? And what dread feet?” If creation reflects any part of its creator, then the existence of the tiger, a beautiful, death-dealing predator who stalks and devours its prey, raises frightening questions about the intelligence that shaped it. Blake’s “The Tyger” is romantic because he emphasizes natural religion. Blake’s questions are formulated so that is not entirely clear whether he is questioning the frame of the tiger, or the morality of God. In certain areas of the poem, it is more apparent that he is questioning God and his work, as when he writes, “Did He smile His work to see? / Did He who made the Lamb make thee?” but in other parts, such “What the hammer? what the chain?/ In what furnace was thy brain?/ What the anvil? what dread grasp/ Dare its deadly terrors clasp?” it is not as clear-cut. Blake uses his poem to wade out into deep waters as he challenges God Himself, although indirectly, as though he feared to confront either God or his own doubts head-on. The poem is one of terror, but not so much of the literal tiger as of the terrors of existence itself in a world too complex, ruthless and beautiful to comprehend easily.
The TygerIn this poem, the tiger described is most clearly contrasted with many man made things. The objects described are things generally associated with force and strength, such as an anvil, a spear, or a furnace. Blake says "And what shoulder, & what art. could twist the sinews of thy heart?", directly contrasting the tiger and things associated with humans.The difference between the tiger and the things Blake is comparing it to are mainly just the fact that the tiger is natural and the other objects are not, and the fact that the tiger is the stronger, fiercer, and better thing in the comparison emphasizes the power of the natural over the manmade.Sydney Vize
The Sick RoseFor all we know, when Blake wrote this poem, he was just thinking of a real rose that was dying and what was causing its death. In this case, he has almost given the rose a human life as if he is telling it the terrible news about the tragedy that has fallen upon it. It is possible that this rose represents a human being who learns he is going to die. It is the same for people as it is for the rose. We either dry up and wither from old age or we are infected by an invisible virus very much in the same way as the worm has come to the rose. It is also simple to compare the rose to the beauty of life and the worm to death in general. No matter how beautiful an object is, it cannot last forever. This poem is also romantic because of the nature involved. No matter what this infected rose represents, it is an aspect of nature. Blake uses an object from nature being affected by a natural occurence to get whatever he is trying to tell us across.
Dan Liu (Topics ENG II Period 5)“The Tyger” – William BlakeI find this poem jumping out at me with a speedy pace right from the beginning. It immediately continues on at such a pace, one line after another with never-ending spontaneity. I found the quick, jumpy phrases like “What the hammer? what the chain? / In what furnace was thy brain? / What the anvil? What dread grasp / Dare its deadly terrors clasp?” These details seem to embody the intense, wild nature of a true, bold tiger brought up in its most wild and free spirit. I deeply enjoy the quick, rapid style of this poem and its constant emphases throughout the entire composition that keeps me filled with energetic zeal. This is one of the poems in the romantic genre that exhibits the style of wildness and craziness the best through such energy-drawing action through rough, decisive words.
"The Tyger"- Emily WrightBlake bestows upon the poem an air of imagination while pondering the perplexity of God and creation. He conjures up fantastical images, using descriptions such as "When the stars threw down their spears,/ And watered heaven with their tears,". The subject of Blake's poem is a part of the natural world, and by exploring the origins of the subject, Blake relates the natural world to religion. He repeatedly asks questions of God, wondering how something so powerful and awesome could have been created. He both reveres and fears the tiger, comparing it to the Lamb, and wondering at the complexity of such a beast.
Sadie Wolfe--The Tyger-Blake uses the Tyger to show the wild and mysterious aspects of nature. He relates this to religion by questioning God's "immortal hand or eye" in the role of creation of such a creature. Blake uses rhetorical questions like, "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" to further his inquiry of God. He also uses imagery of nature to show the other powerful objects created by God. By using "distant deeps and skies," Blake engages Romantic concepts of Nature.
Amy AndersonThe Sick RoseThis poem makes me feel sad. I believe the author is talking not about a rose but about a person, maybe a woman. The poem sounds like someone close to Blake died or is dying of some disease as he wrote this. I think it is a disease rather than a wound of some sort because he speaks of “the invisible worm/ that flies in the night” which sounds like a bacterium or virus that spreads through the air. I feel sorry for him and whoever he writes about. The way he capitalizes “Rose” helps this, as it sounds more like a name and less like a flower.
The TygerThis poem caught my attention because although the focus was the tiger and it's disposition in nature, it connected on a deeper level to religion and the disposition of God the creator. The theme presented in the poem is of God's reasoning as he constructed his living creations, and how something as frightening and angry as the tiger could be a creation of the same power that made the meek and innocent lamb. With the lines “what the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? What dread grasp dare its deadly terrors clasp?” the poet is pondering how such a terrifying beast was created, what tools were used to capture the magnificant form of the tiger, and how these same tools were utilized to mold the fragile figure of the lamb. The poem is Romantic because he makes references to god and religion by addressing concepts in nature.
"London"I take Blake's use of the word "chartered" to mean "overburdened", as well as "part of a professional body that has a royal charter." First expressing the industrialized, worn out state of the area, he makes a statement that Nature, in this place, has been taken over. Taken over by the Industrial Revolution, by rich landlords, by coal, fire, metal, and machines. The poor, with soot on their faces, controlled by landlords, have more than this visible mark about them. Their sadness is obvious, their weakness can be easily spotted. You would have to try hard to ignore their cries of sorrow, fear, and pain. All of this misery reflects the misfortune of Nature. The moods of the people reflect the "mood" of Nature. Here lies the Romanticism (although unlike any other Romantic poem I have read, where Nature is in a good state). Unrelenting in his verses, Blake continues to reveal the sorry state of the city. Observing "how the youthful harlot's curse/ blasts the new-born infant's tear/ and blights with plagues the marriage-hearse," he makes a statement about the consequences of marriage, and how at times such as these, it can mean a death sentence. You never know when your husband will go and sleep with a prostitute, pick up a venereal disease, and give it to you. Such is the way of Nature, where death can spread like wildfire as the last stems dry out.
"London"This poem is an almost opposite to cliche of romantic poems. Firstly, the poem has a dark depressing tone describing London in the late 18th century. In the middle Blake describes the low communal moral of the people, "In every cry of every Man, In every Infant’s cry of fear". There does not seem to be romantic aspects of this poem. Blake ends the poem making reference to infidelity and disease. He writes,"And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse". This metaphor might represent London at the time. With the end of love represented by the 'death of marriage' and the diseases as a prelude or consequence of said death. This poem , instead of describing love in the traditional since more describes the end of love, the end of a romantic time, where the two are non-existent.
"London"Blake begins his poem with a man walking through the streets. The emotion displayed on the faces of people he meets shows the the sadness that exists in human society. Blake writes that “In every cry of every Man, In every Infant’s cry of fear” (5-6) he hears the torture of life upon the people. There is clearly a problem in London, for the people do not suffer for nothing. The third and fourth stanzas describes the Chimney-sweepers and the soldiers who are suffering, as well as old marriages. The last line reads, “And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse” (16), which describes the death of someone in the marriage. Further research revealed that this poem was written in 1792, a year when power was frantically being changed. A revolution occurred in Paris, England banned certain writings and violence was everywhere. Blake received his inspiration from these dark times, noting that many of the innocent people in the cities did not want any part of the violence. Blake wrote London to illustrate the needs of the people that were not being met by the governments of the countries.
The Sick RoseMy immediate reaction to this poem is morose. The beautiful rose begins the poem sick, and ends it sick. It can no longer reveal its "crimson joy" to the world, which strikes a deep fallacy in romantic ideas, that urge expression of thought. Blake is likely personifying human nature as a whole into the beauty of this rose. His interpretation of the mood of nature is therefore a symbol of human nature. According to romantic conception, art should invoke a subjective feeling towards the 'mood' of nature, which is exactly what this poem does. The poem is short and ends somewhat unsatisfactorily. However it leaves the floor open for questioning on the degredation of human nature at the hands of the "invisible worm", whatever that may be.
"The Sick Rose"The deadly worm that "has found out they bed/ of crimson joy" sounds (to be blunt) like a penis that has entered a bed to have sex. A boiling pot of sex and death, this poem emphasizes the true evil of society and the importance of Nature. The pure and innocent rose, perhaps love, or a woman, is killed by the worm's "dark secret love." Blake criticizes love and points out that it only ends in death- diseases destroy lovers, and love destroys innocence. Full of double meanings this short poem encompasses a despairing but important message about the dangers of sex and the evils of desire.
LondonThis poem evokes in me a sorrow at the kind of world that Blake is describing. It is romantic because it condemns the non-romantic world, the modern world that rejects nature and the purer things for it's own self-imposed institutions. The characteristic that I noticed the most in this poem isn't the emphasis on nature, but the condemnation of things that aren't nature, that have "evolved" past what we were given. It serves as a warning to us: this is what happens to the world when we allow ourselves to get disconnected from our roots. For this reason, this poem is Romantic.Mr. Sharp- I am aware that this is a day late, however I have been running a high fever for three days and have not been in any shape to ponder classic poetry. Please excuse my tardiness. I can bring you a note if you wish. Thank you,Lena Melinger
Dan Liu (Topics ENG II Period 5)“London” – William BlakeThis poem is a unique one out of all the other romantic poems I have read already. Instead of directly complimenting the idea of Nature and all its greatness like all the other ones did, William Blake’s “London” does so indirectly by blasting the idea of civilization organized into a city establishment. The speaker senses weakness, woe, fear, cries, sighs, and curses as described throughout the stanzas, lamenting over the disadvantages of the city. This, in turn, gives a bright light to its binary opposite, the countryside and natural world of primitive freedom and free flowing expression. The idea of justifying a point by razing its opposite is a smart one and does so through showing the regret and misery of urban life city inhabitants.
Dan Liu (Topics ENG II Period 5)“The Sick Rose” – William BlakeAgain, one of William Blake’s poems has brought about some inspiration inside me. This is the perhaps the first romantic poem in these series where I have seen the poet make a direct correspondence and interaction between the concept of ideal nature and its opposite, undesirable civilization. Blake starts out immediately with concern over the Rose, which symbolizes nature and all of its unmatched beauty: “O Rose, thou art sick!” He continues with a diagnosis and concludes it is the foul action of “The invisible worm / That flies the night, / In the howling storm.” The worm whose “life [destroys]” the “crimson joy” of the rose mirrors how civilization erodes the appreciation and realization for nature in the world. Romantic followers found this to be a major problem and thus found a reason to work towards a society where primitive and natural living should take dominance over the strict, bureaucratic orders of controlled civilization, just as it did in the beginning of time. I find this poem short, sweet, and simple. I consider William Blake one of my favorites in the field of Romantic literature.
Josh TrubowitzWilliam Blake's "The Tyger"In one of the Romantic Period's most defining features, "The Tyger" depicts the beauty and power, the "symmetry," that Nature holds. Blake raves over the perfection of the Tiger, of Nature, comparing the awe he holds for God to that which he holds for the tiger, asking "what immortal hand or eye dare frame [the tiger's] fearful symmetry." Blake uses striking imagery to convey his message, noting the tiger's "fearful symmetry" and its burning aura. I was struck by the way Blake captured the essence of the tiger, its grace and strength. The poem brought to life by Blake's imagery, I could picture the tiger in my mind and felt a connection with Nature, much like the artists of the Romantic Period. By the way, this shouldn't be counted late because I had already turned it in, just under the wrong section about a week ago.
"The Sick Rose"Even though this poem is short, it is effective and very clearly expresses ideas of romaticism. He starts by speaking of how a flower, a natural being, is ill, and blames a worm,"that flies in the night", for taking advantage of its beauty. The worm is representative of people and the modern world in general taking advantage of making natural things "sick". The "dark secret love" of the worm that destroys the rose correlates to the progression of human development, and how that destroys many natural aspects of the world and human life.sydney vize
"The Tyger"In William Blake's description of the tiger he creates the wild awe of the tiger, but he also comments on the one who created such a fierce creature. The tiger in this poem exemplifies the untamed spirit of nature, free from human influence or interference. He asks "What immortal hand or eye,/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry". In that phrase Blake connects the free spirit of the tiger with god and his abilities. By bringing god into this poem Blake makes a deeper connection between men and nature because god has created all creatures with the untamed manner of nature. There are many romantic aspects of this poem, but they are all centered around the idea of god creating the tiger.
"The Sick Rose"This poem is literally the effect of a worm eating a rose, but the poem is really about how something can affect the relationship between two lovers. The rose that Blake mentions is the love between a man and a woman, and the worm in question represents any sort of problem betwee the two. When Blake says, "O Rose thou art sick," he is saying that the relationship is in trouble. The "invisible worm" could be a nasty rumour, or any resentment in the relationship, and "thy bed/ Of crimson joy" is the relationship in general. Blake is lamenting on the destruction of the relationship.
Ran Woodfin"The Sick Rose" The first two words of the poem, "O Rose," (1) serve as a hook to the reader. The assonance of a long O sound present a vocally pleasing start, yet gives off a morose feel that precedes the rest of the melancholy poem. Blake's rhyme scheme is simple, worm and storm, joy and destroy, but serves as thread to connect each respective topic. The worm and storm are both natural (whether or not they serving metaphorical purpose), and the worm, whose connotation is neutral, is linked with the negative connotation of a howling storm to emphasize what the poem is about. Joy and destruction are generally on opposite ends of the spectrum, but are linked here to show that one comes at a cost to the other.
The Chimney Sweeper – William BlakeSongs of InnocenceThe Chimney Sweeper begins as the speaker, a young boy whose mother has died, is sold into the cruel world of child labor. Though through the first stanzas, the poem speaks of the boy, the focus quickly shifts to Tom Dacre, showing the poem’s most evident Romantic theme, Individualism. In a dream of salvation, Blake uses Tom to express religious Romanticism as well. Blake’s description of Tom Dacre shows an innocent child. Tom is pure, and “the soot cannot spoil your white hair” (8) symbolizes God protecting Tom. No matter what happens, Tom will not become less than a man, or evil. The chimney sweeps are in a cruel world, covered in soot day and night and “locked up in coffins of black” (12). Blake now uses Tom’s dream to show God saving man and a picture of heaven. In Tom’s dreams, he sees “an angel who had a bright key […] and set them all free” (13-14). The boys are “white” (17) meaning pure, and the angel tells Tom that if he was good, “He’d have God for his father, and never want for joy” (20). The force of this hope is so strong, that even after being forced to return to his dreary job, “Tom was happy and warm” (23). With faith in God, Blake tells us that “they need not fear harm” (24). Seeing this poem in its first few stanzas forced me to do a double take, with a slightly morbid feeling. Through the rest of the poem, however, I saw how Blake showed salvation of man even the most grim of situations.
“London” by William BlakeOne of the many elements of romanticism in this poem is Blake’s description of the city’s chartered streets, “blackening church”, and bloody palace walls. This image is greatly detached from both beauty and nature. By describing only the filthy and grimy aspects of city life, Blake is portraying the Romantic preference for an uncivilized life in his poem. Blake also mentions the “mind-forged manacles”, which represents the strain that society imposes on the natural genius. Blake follows this statement with a description of “How the chimney-sweeper's cry/ Every blackening church appals,/ And the hapless soldier's sigh/ Runs in blood down palace-walls.” Clearly, Blake does not associate society’s “mind-forged manacles” with beauty or happiness.Blake mostly uses metaphors to convey his meaning. He describes the soldier’s sigh as running “in blood down the palace-walls.” This image allows him to describe the undesirable aspects of city life. Blake also mentions “mind-forged manacles,” which represents a metaphor for humans’ corrupted and contaminated views towards nature and life.After reading this poem, Blake’s vivid and harsh images of the situations of the subjects of the poem caused me to feel both shock and depression. All of the characters were unhappy and suffering from the miserable and difficult aspects of city life while detached from nature. Though the message in this poem is clear, the impracticality of removing oneself from society to nature will prevent the reader from interpreting and becoming an example for the theme of the poem.
The Chimney Sweeper – William Blake(The other one)This poem’s opening lines are extremely similar to the other “The Chimney Sweeper.” Starting with “Crying ‘weep! weep!’” (2) Blake creates a sense of sadness from the beginning. However, he develops this into a more joyful Romantic poem through the young child’s emotions and also the religious aspect of Romanticism, again similar to the other poem. The child’s parents have gone to pray to “God and his priest and king” (11) because of their devotion. The child is “happy” and “smiled” (5-6), a joyous feeling contrasted with his devout parents. His pious mother and father see the boy’s happiness, and force him into “clothes of death” and “notes of woe” (7-8). This shocking action, along with the title, represents the wretched lot of mankind. Man suffers on the face of the world, and there is oppression. Blake says that God makes a “heaven of our misery” (12) showing the boy’s misconception of heaven as a place that merely improves on the desolate nature of his parents as man, rather than the perfect place. This poem put black on white (snow), and repressed happiness. Even though the parents thought that the child was happy, the poem was depressing. Happiness is traded for woe.
“London”This poem is probably one of my favorites of all the ones we’ve looked at. I love the flow of the poem and how the themes are tied into the beginning and ending of the work. This poem also seems to have the most obvious rhyme scheme, and I think it really helps add to the mood of the poem. Some elements of Romanticism that can be seen in this poem are reference to nature, moods, and personal expression, the poem being from the perspective of the author. The element that is emphasized most is human mood and it’s correlation with elements in nature, with Blake connecting the flow of a river and the expressions in men’s faces. This element also comes up when Blake mentions the “midnight streets” and the youth around the city. Blake also brings up nature in both of the previously mentioned situations, and in addition paints a scene so that images are left to the power of the imagination of the reader.
The Sick RoseThe poem seems simple at first, not at all leading to a deeper thought, until the lines “And his dark secret love/ Does thy life destroy”. These lines enable the rose to be seen as the symbol of love that it was intended to be and the destruction of the rose symbolic of the destruction of the love it represents. The use of a rose, ties the very strong emotion of love to that of nature and this is only exacerbated by the fact that the rose is torn apart by a worm. The poem, depicting a rose being eaten by a worm, gives off a very negative tone that is visible throughout each of the eight lines. The first line, “O Rose thou art sick”, perfectly explains the poem by not only giving the tone, but also showing what the poem is about. This sick connotation towards the rose influences the reader to think the same of the love the rose represents. It suggests that William Blake wants the reader to believe that love is forever cursed by the worm that will tear it apart. This idea is very romantic because it connects the expression of human emotion and result thereof to a natural element. I love this ideal because he makes the connection very strongly by using diction such as “crimson joy” to further emphasize the fact that the rose is representing a human emotion of love and happiness. This even more clearly defines the poem as romantic.
[The Tyger]William Blake sets the tone for his poem immediately with a man walking alone down the street "in every face I meet / Marks of weakness, marks of woe." Blake focuses intensely on the scenery surrounding him "where the charter'd Thames does flow" and making note of all the sounds he hears. And this is definitely and untamed and disorderly scenery. Blake mentions the individuals he hears and each of there individual problems, which is also a major point of Romanticism. Blake compares the Palace as "runs in blood." Blood always symbolizes life, or in it's worse manifestations, death.//Max Timkovich
"The Tyger"I already responded to "The Tyger" on the "Romanticism (Students)" page before this page was created. I say this because I want you to know that I created the post on time (early), and so it was completed and it is most certainly not late.- Peter Washington
"The Tyger" -William BlakeWilliam Blake’s poem “The Tyger” is much more pleasant to read than “The Lamb”. I liked this poem because it did not sugarcoat the subject – it discussed the tyger with awe, but from a respectful distance, mindful of its power and strength. It also questioned the existence and role of God as the creator, asking, “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” The lines “In what distant deeps or skies/Burnt the fire of thine eyes” called to mind the way cats’ eyes glint when light hits them, especially dim light like that from a fire. This poem reminded me of the panting “Tiger in a Tropical Storm” by Henri Rousseau, which also shows a tiger’s eye gleaming from the lightning in the sky. The painting and the poem possess the same sort of mystery. Overall, this poem made me feel better about the world, because it seemed to be telling me that even things that appear to be bad do not have malice behind them, that’s just the way they are, and they’re not always bad. Blake’s description of the “fearful” tyger, created by the same God who made the sweet lamb managed to quell the initial negative reactions I had to Blake’s work and allow me to enjoy his descriptive power.
Mr. Sharp-The above comment was indeed published on the 9th. I somehow managed to completely miss the fact that the 3rd blog post was due on the 8th, as I was absent the day you announced it (Monday the 2nd).Not an excuse. Just letting you know.
Blake’s poem is centered on the religious-romanticist tone of Tom’s dream. The angel, among many things, is the most obvious connection to religion and shows Tom that there is something better if he just waits and trusts in God to be “his father”. The angel also renders Tom a key that represents a biblical event known as the rapture when all of the good are set free from their earthbound dwelling and are lifted to heaven to be with god, which is what Tom does when he unlocks the coffins and the “thousands of sweepers” “rise to the clouds.” At the conclusion of the poem as a result of his dream, Tom is refreshed by his religious experience and is “happy and warm” because he is filled with the reassurance of God. (Innocence)The tone of this poem is more immature than that of “Innocence” which explains the modified view of religion. As a small child, he wants to play in the snow and bask in its frosty mysteries, but his parents are forcing him to dress “in clothes of death” and “sing songs of woe” because it is apparent that someone has died and everyone is going to the Church for prayer. Blake transitions from thinking that religion is something that can warm to something that is dull and forlorn that keeps him from his child’s play. Since he is a child, he does not understand why at this time it is indecorous for him to dance and sing and play. (Experience) I feel I can relate to both portrayals of how one feels toward religion. There are times when I feel that praying is one of the last things I want to do when there is something more enticing to be enjoyed and there are other times when I feel that being religious can be rather uplifting.
The Tyger This poem recapitulates the classic themes of idolatry and idealism, that is, taking one, exceptional point of nature, and deifying it, in a way. Giving the Tyger eyes of fire made far off in the deep or skies, with brain forged in flame is an act of reverence, almost out of place for a mere animal. The impression created by this sort of poetry is both fantastic and impressive, and it makes use question our own perspectives on commonplace things.
"London" William Blake's "London" most certainly holds an intense dark tone. The poem it self was written in response to the difficult times in London when the city was experiencing hardships in both war and in poverty. I love the way Blake creates this clear image out of the poem within a gloomy subject, he's able to contribute fear through the entire poem. The narrator, walking about the streets of London encounters people, objects, and places-this is where we see the narrators thoughts and fears upon viewing the area, and he expresses thought on what is to come. Blake emphasizes the pain and suffering starting on line 3 and until the end "And mark in every face I meet, marks of weakness, marks of woe" he also makes it so we see the suffering of others "In every cry of every man,In every infant's cry of fear,In every voice, in every ban,The mind-forged manacles I hear:How the chimney-sweeper's cryEvery blackening church appalls,And the hapless soldier's sighRuns in blood down palace-walls."Its a great poem that unleashes a subtle sense of horrid pain through strong words and tone.
Mr. Sharp, I too was absent Monday the 2nd, so I failed to post this response on the 8th. I know it's not a good reason, I just wanted to let you know that I've posted it.
"The Lamb" by William Blake “The Lamb” by William Blake is a soft poem illustrating some key concepts of romantic poetry. The poem starts out with a question “Little Lamb, who made thee?” the speaker questions where the little lamb comes from, its origin, the speaker wants to know what made the lamb so gentle and kind. Questioning who God is and his creations is a common concept in romantic poetry. This poem opens a new door that has to do with human curiosity and the individual soul. In the second stanza the speaker tries to answer his own question by saying, “Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee!/He is called by thy name/For He calls Himself a Lamb”. Here is another key concept in romantic poetry, the emphasis of religion and nature, the speaker, who is a child as see in the second stanza, is definitely referring to God himself and the magical things that he does for the world. These are all things common in romantic poetry and Blake is exemplifying them through out this poem.
The LambThis peom ties in with the key concepts of Romantisism. For one, the constant admiration for nature is presented througout the poem. When he talks about the lambs beautiful fur and "meek voice". Also, towards the end, he praises god for the creation. Which directly ties into the concept of natural religion. This peom also represents the "human mood towards nature" According to the poet, the very exsistance of this lamb brings "rejoice".
LondonThis peom endulges in the conecept of human mood. He talks about the the overall agony the city displays. I also noticed that he uses the word "chartered" more than once. Which creates the idea of an organized/documented area. Conflicting with the idea of "uncivilized". Therefore conflicting with the idea of Romanticism. The poet seems to believe the city is lacking happiness and life. Possibly because it lacks romaticism. This city is not nature, but a dark place for a person who admirs the Romanticism. The poem also ties into the idea of "natural religin" when the author becomes uneasy to the Church bells.