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William Blake poems Essay

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Tyger by William Blake

About the writer

William Blake was born in London on the 28th of November 1757 and died on the 12th of August 1827. He is a celebrated English poet who belongs to the school of romantic poems. He expressed his ideas and view of romance both in his poems and his paintings. William Blake was a poet, painter and also a successful printmaker.

His works made him to be classified as one of the greatest people who influenced the area of English romanticism. His main outstanding abilities were the gift of being able to express the realities of humanity and empathy through his poems and visionary writings.

Paraphrase of the poem

The first stanza is a question on the immortal hand that could make such a beautiful and fearful figure for the Tyger, the second stanza asks where the Tyger was created and the third is a question on how the creator formed the Tyger; the fourth stanza is asking which tools were used to create the Tyger.

The fifth stanza asks the Tyger, the reaction of his creator and wants to know who exactly is this creature. Finally, the last stanza asks the same question as in the first stanza but this time, it inquires as to how one could dare to create such creature.

Themes

The poem clearly presents the theme of a greater being or the presence of a mystical power that is not cleary understood. Such a power can be interpreted as God; also the poem dwells on the sublime that is the big, scary and mysterious.

This theme is emphasized by the questions that the speaker seeks to find from the Tyger, such as the mortal hand that framed the fearful symmetry; this indicates the presences of a superior being. The use of the phrase “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” seeks to find out if the same person or creator who had made the lamb created the tiger. This shows the mystical nature of the creator in the poem thus promoting an inspirational theme.

The tone of the writer of the poem indicates in which line he was sad or happy or disappointed. The tone of the writer of the poem is curious and furious simultaneously. This is seen when the writer wonders who was the mortal hand that dared to make the fearful symmetry. This shows how curious the writer is and in the last stanza the writer asks “What immortal hand or eye, Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?“.

Also this depicts the writer’s furiosity due to the fact that the creator dared to make the fearful symmetry that might be harmful to others. In addition, the writer is surprised because of not being aware why the creator made such a fearful symmetry. The writer is disappointed when he asks if the same creature that had made the lamb created the tyger. However, the two creatures are so different from each other.

The form of the poem and the figures of speech

The poem is one of William Blake’s mystical and visionary poems. Repetition is provided when the writer uses the word “Tyger” at the beginning of the first and last paragraph. This is used to emphasize the theme of the poem and the curiosity of the writer towards his creature known as “Tyger”. The phrase “When the stars threw down their spears” is used to symbolize shining of the stars. Hence, the writer means that the stars shinned upon theTyger at night.

The poem applies a metaphor in the comparison if the same creature that had made the lamb created the Tyger. The Tyger is used to represent strength that is needed to face challenges of life such as sorrow, while the lamb represents the innocence of life and the beauties.

Word choice

The use of “Tyger” instead of the “tiger” is taken to represent that the animal “Tyger” is foreign and alien to our beautiful world. The use of this word also clearly tells us that the poem is not really about tiger but something more philosophic.

The rhyme and rhythm

The writer uses rhyme and rhythm in the poem to emphasize the aspects of “Tyger” such as in stanza one, line one “Burning bright”.

Alliteration (internal music)

Stanza five line one is “stars …….. Spears”. The writer uses the alliteration so as to create an internal music in the poem. This makes the poem easy to read and eventually to recall. The poet, William Blake, has succeeded in reflecting his ideas in a powerful manner. This is seen by his numerous application of figures of speech, alliteration, rhyme and rhythm and the use of the Tyger as a metaphor and a hidden meaning. The writer also uses questions. This enables the message to be passed across in a powerful form as it portrays the serious nature of the facts that the writer is curious to find out.

London by William Blake

About the Author

William Blake belongs to the school of romantic poems. He expressed his ideas and view of romance both in his poems and his paintings.

Paraphrase the poem

In the first stanza, William Blake writes about his journey through a transitory street. As he walks, he notices how every activity around him is focused on attaining money and luxuries. He also realizes that although money may be a source of happiness, most of the people he meets are full of sorrow, tears and sadness. The second stanza is evidence that people he meets on the street are not happy at all since inside they are filled with fear and it can be concluded that they lose the meaning of life.

In the third stanza, the writer compares a chimney sweeper to a soldier. These are representations of the real issues that are making the people sad. The writer uses the chimney sweeper to represent the church while the soldier represents the monarch. The last stanza, stanza four, focuses on what the writer hears as he walks. He hears the curse of the prostitute, the screams of the new born babies and the marriage hearse.

Themes

Hopelessness

The writer portrays this theme by the use of the manner in which everyone he meets is sad. The people the writer comes across are filled with sorrow; this is seen in stanza three as the writer explains with the words “in every cry of every man” and “in every infant’s cry of fear”.

Corruption in the city

London has become a very corrupted city filled with numerous wrong deeds that are happening in its streets. These are the presence of harlots, who are known to sell their bodies for sex, and the existence of the cry of infants and the loss of meaning of the institution of marriage hence the presence of the marriage hearse.

Tone of the writer

The tone used in the poem is hopeless and sympathetic. The writer sees people that are full of life yet inside they are filled with fears and sorrows. The writer displays a sympathy because these are people who struggle to ensure that they have acquired money and riches yet in the real sense hey forget that money and riches are not a source of joy and happiness.

The writer is disappointed as he laments about the people he meets and their troubles in the stanza one, two and three. He is even more aggravated and thus becomes sad in the last stanza as he listens to the curses of the harlot, the blasts of the infant’s tear and the presence of the marriage hearse.

Form of the poem

It is fair to conclude that this is a visionary poem. This can be explained with the fact that William Blake wrote the poem during the period when the industrial revolution had not started yet but the writer foresaw the effect of industrialization.

The figures of speech (simile, metaphor, metonymy)

The phrase “Runs in blood down the Palace walls” is a simile that is used to represent the level of oppression and manipulation the people face at the hand of the monarchy and yet their complaints and fears cannot be addressed. This is shown by the reference to blood as a consequence in case one complains.

The soldier is used to symbolize a monarchy because the exact situation took place in London during this time. The use of the chimney sweeper is a metaphor to symbolize the church because those days the church was the only entity synonymous with chimney.

The choice of words

The words chosen in the poem are a good collection since most of them have a rhyming tune at their end. This makes the poem easy to understand and memorize. This helps the writer achieve his goal of passing message.

The rhyme and rhythm

The writer employs the use of rhyme and rhythm a lot. This is seen from the frequency, in which the writer repeats the words “every cry” in the poem. They are used to bring a flow in the poem and this provides a musical environment. These words also are used to ensure that the frequency of the action “cry” is correctly emphasized though the entire poem.

Alliteration (internalmusic)

Internal music is applied in the poem especially in the second line of the first stanza, for example, “Near where the charter’d Thames does flow”. Here the music is used to emphasize how the money is acquired and exchanged. The music is between “Thames” and “does”.

This is also applied in the second line of the second stanza – “In every Infants cry of fear”. The alliteration is seen between the words “every” and “cry” thus their use is an emphasis on the frequency the infants cry.

The writer has succeeded in expressing his views clearly through the use of the various themes and styles in the poem. Hence, the reader is left to comprehend the poem for its deeper meaning in a powerful yet thrilling way.

Break, Break, Break by Alfred Tennyson

About the writer

Alfred Lord Tennyson was born on the 6th of August 1809 and died on the 6th of October in 1892. He is one of the most popular poets of the Great Britain during the rule of Queen Victoria. He was excellent at writing short poems and that is the category where the poem Break, Break, Break falls. His school of poetry was mostly classical. He is famous since most of the words in his poems end up becoming common English word with common and popular use.

Paraphrase of the poem

The writer is in search of an ocean and thus in the poem he wishes he could express his sorrows. He is sad inside since he has sight of the child to the fisherman who is out with the sister. He is also able to hear the song of a sailor but this is not enough to make him jovial. All this achieves the opposite results; that is to remind him of the still voice inside, which represemnts a dead friend that can no longer talk. Despite all the memories, the ocean waves keep blowing and time tickles yet he is unable to go back in time when the friend was alive.

Themes

Death

This theme is portrayed through the internal thoughts of the speaker in the poem. The speaker complains that he could “touch” the hand of his friend that vanished. He also silently wishes he could still be able to hear his friend’s voice. “The voice that is still”, hence he wishes time could rewind so that he could be with his friend once again.

Sadness

The speaker is sad throughout the poem. This is portrayed by the inability of the speaker to enjoy his nice scenery of the ocean and the songs of the sailor. Thus instead of being a source of joy to the speaker, these sceneries just serve to remind him of the friend.

Time

The title of the poem itself Break, Break, Break refers to the extend to which the grief of the speaker is consistent and the manner in which time fades slowly but steady. That is the reason the speaker complains as to the fact that time progresses yet there is no significant change and his inability to reverse time, “But the tender grace of a day that is dead, Will never come back to me.”

The tone of the writer

The tone that the author uses is somber through the poem as the writer laments on how he cannot be able to touch or hear the voice of his long departed friend. Thus, even if he tries hard to be happy, he still cannot enjoy the beautiful sceneries of the ocean or even the songs of the sailor as they remind him of his friend.

The writer is sad. This is seen in the line three of the third and fourth stanza – “But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand, and the sound of a voice that is still!“. The writer wishes he could just touch the hand of the dead friend or hear the voice but that is not possible.

The form of the poem

The poem is a classic one and it talks about life in general and its irony. This is seen when the writer is out in the ocean, he is sad and can not enjoy life yet the fisherman’s kids and his sister are having fun and so does the singing sailor.

The figures of speech (simile,metaphor,metonymy)

The sea is used as a metaphor to symbolize that no matter what the situations happen in our lives, time will always tickle. This is seen by the fact that although the speaker sees time as stagnant, the sea waves continue to break. The “vanish’d hand” in the poem is used by the speaker to tell us that the friend is dead and thus even if the speaker tries, he will not be able to touch him.

The choice of words

The writer chooses short words that have near similar pronunciations thus creating a rather musical flow in the poem.

The rhyme and rhythm

The writer uses rhyme and rhythm to attain musical element in the poem. This is represented by the use of words such as bay, play, hill, still. The writer also uses repletion to attain rhythm, especially of the word “O” and “well”.

Alliteration (internalmusic)

Internal music is achieved in the poem by the writer on numerous occasions. For example, it can be seen in the line three of the stanza one where the writer uses the words “would “and “could” and in the last stanza where the use of “come” and “me” can be found. These words are used to crreate emphasis and rhythm. The poem has succeeded in the reflection of his ideas. This can be prooved with the presence of the numerous styles and imagery.

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IvyPanda. (2018, December 15). William Blake poems. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/william-blake-poems/

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"William Blake poems." IvyPanda, 15 Dec. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/william-blake-poems/.

1. IvyPanda. "William Blake poems." December 15, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/william-blake-poems/.


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IvyPanda. "William Blake poems." December 15, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/william-blake-poems/.

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IvyPanda. 2018. "William Blake poems." December 15, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/william-blake-poems/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'William Blake poems'. 15 December.

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