‘The Tyger’ is a unique poem by William Blake. It is a matchless, dignified and popular poem in the annals of English poetry. It has been extracted from ' The Songs of Experience '. Mysticism is its hallmark. Here the poet has attained sublimity.
‘The Tyger’ reveals the poet's preoccupation with evil. He is of the view that the sins of man will be punished by his own creation. Here we get an inkling of the cosmic forces that have created this world. Through questions the poet conveys his wonder at the creation of the tiger.
The opening of the poem is fantastic. Here the poet addresses the tiger. A dream image emerges:
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In this opening stanza we get a terrifying picture of the tiger who lives in forest. His eyes shine in the darkness of the night. He has been fashioned by an unknown spirit. The tiger is a symbol for the fierce in the soul. The forests signify the doubts and difficulties of life. The night is symbolic of the soul that encounters temptations of the world.
The next three stanzas are devoted to present the terrifying picture of the tiger. Each the organ of the tiger is a marvel of creation. The poet talks about tiger's eyes, shoulder, heart, hand, feet and brain. To make all these organs hammer, chain, furnace and anvil were used by an unknown supernatural power.
In the fifth stanza the poet questions with wonder, 'Did he who made the Lamb make thee?' Here the lamb provides a contrast to the tiger. Both are symbols for two different states of human soul. The lamb is the symbol of goodness whereas the tiger is the symbol of evil. It is a matter of surprise for the poet.
Thus it is a very beautiful poem which is full of mystery. It is remarkable for its artistry. The use of alliteration is praiseworthy. It makes the poem musical and effective.