Monday, September 14, 2009

Poem of the Day

From William Blake's Auguries of Innocence:

A dog starv'd at his Master's Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus'd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear.
Bishirmeer. 20-r zuunii tuuhiig Blake ter chigeer ni zugnuud harchihsan met--an augury?. Tovchhondoo bol:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
yum daa...

Blake-iig sonirhoj baigaa humuus baival Songs of Innocense and of Experience-ees ehelsen ni zuv baih (bolj ugvul Blake-iin uuriih ni engrave hiisen plate-tey edition-g olj avaaray). Tegeed hervee bur literary criticism ene terd horhoisdog bol Harold Bloom-iin commentary-g unshihiig zuvluyu--yalanguya Tyger deer hiisen tailbar ni lut.

Addendum: Harold Bloom's advice for college freshmen - Get Lost. In Books. (if you have time, read the entire series)

There is general agreement on the indispensable canon: Homer, Plato, the Bible, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Milton. From the 19th century until now, keeping only to English and American authors, a slightly more arbitrary selection might include Blake, Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens, George Eliot, Hardy, Yeats and Joyce in England and Ireland. Among the Americans would certainly be Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Hawthorne; and in the 20th century, Faulkner and the major poets: Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot, Hart Crane.


chups said...

I would say start with “The Lamb” which was published in a collection called “Songs of Innocence” that has a variety of poems which reflect the innocence of life or the state of mind that characterizes a person when he or she was a child and believed everything is good and pure. The subject matter in “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” differs, when thinking about a lamb, one gets an idea of a small woolly creature that grazes on the grass, vulnerable and harmless to the world. A tiger, in comparison to a lamb, is a large ferocious predator that is able to kill at a moment’s notice. “The Lamb” is conveying peace and “The Tyger” is conveying terror. In “The Lamb,” Blake uses words portraying peace and gentleness: “Gave thee clothing of delight, / Softest clothing woolly bright; / Gave thee such a tender voice,” giving the readers a sense of calmness or a peaceful feeling. Additionally, in “The Tyger,” and “The Lamb” there are several references to God or Jesus. In poem “The Lamb,” the most important symbol is the child. For Blake the world he calls “Innocence” is a world of children. He is trying to capture a child-like way of looking at the world. Jesus is also the son of God, so he is a child. There is identification between the speaker and Jesus. For this child, then, God the creator is not something out there and up there. He is not some distant figure. It is something like the child. The child asks rhetorical questions. He already knows the answers. The child asks a question in order that he may answer it. An object is what one make sit. If we are imaginative, we have the free will and the power to make something good. The speaker is struggling to deal with what he considers to be the existence of evil in the world. He assumes that the tiger is evil, and although he never answers these questions, he certainly relates the argument through images of fire, through the suggestion that the creator is some kind of satanic figure, a dreadful creator. Every image in the poem is very dramatic and concrete, but it opens itself up to contrary interpretations, depending on your state of mind. Blake carefully controls what we see. We see the heart being twisted and so for the speaker, the creator is evil, sadistic. He is taking the heart, the seat of emotions, and twisting it. So this is going to be for the speaker a monster that gets released. “The Tyger” is the making of a Satanic, dreadful creator. But for Blake, also notice that the emphasis is on strength. Sorry for the long comment :)