Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

TIGER, tiger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand and 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 water’d heaven with their tears,

Did He smile His work to see?

Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

The Tiger, by William Blake. 1757–1827

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim

    Tiger, Tiger, beat to hell

    Swollen bumps and torn lapel,

    What teutonic Nordegren

    Has the strength of many men?

    Prone aside yon Escalade

    Knocked out cold by wife betrayed

    Neighbour dialing 9-1-1

    Tiger's nightmare has begun

    And what vacant toothy smile

    Betrays a heart so rich with guile?

    And when thy wife began to beat,

    What savaged limbs O' famous cheat?

    What the reason? what the frick?

    Wast thou thinking with thy prick?

    What the nine-iron in wife's grip

    Interrupts thine ego-trip?

    When the FOX and CNN

    Bore the tale to thy chagrin

    Didst I chuckle deep below?

    Yea I did, and ever so

    Tiger, Tiger beat to hell

    To the game ye bid farewell

    What teutonic Nordegren

    Has your focus once again?

    Tiger, by Tim Arnold. 1954—

    Apologies to William Blake

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty (Michael)

    You know that else burns?

    Chalmydia.

    So I've heard, anyway.

    Not sure if that's exactly how Tiger was burning but it seems probable.

  • Greta Sheppard

    Oh ye poets, wist thee not,

    that those who judge, poking fun a lot,

    will soon be found in that same spot.

    The tables will turn and you will be the one they laugh at gleefuly.

    Words , like chickens, come home to roost . . .

    so stay your tongue…give yourself a boost.

    greta sheppard/2009 /12/12/

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Whoa, Tim. That was pretty fully awesome. NICE.

    Red: FUNNY!

    Greta: But surely you liked Tim's poem a LITTLE? Quite extremely well done, didn't you think?

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim

    @Greta—

    If the tables turn on me

    I'll surely laugh and slap my knee

    For just shy of two years ago

    My wife left me for worker "co"

    So try to understand my poke

    I think unfaithfulness no joke

    So if my judgment seem to drastic

    You're probably right, I am bombastic

    Have a blest week.

  • texastee

    When the Tiger mess first hit the fan, those were the first words that came to mind, and I've never been much of William Blake fan. I was one of those English majors that just endured the romantics and moved on.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I LOVE (most of the work of) the Romantic-era poets. But for the life of me, I can't understand why William Blake is famous. To my mind, he's about as good a poet as he is painter.

  • Greta Sheppard

    John and Tim, it's the whole idea of having 'fun at someone else's expence'.

    My nature instead would be to encourage the man as he attempts to fix what he has broken…

    My prayer for Tiger and his wife is for trust to be reborn…that good people will come around the family…that he gets appropriate help for his 'addiction'.

    Bless you both, John and Tim!

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim

    @Greta

    Thanks. You are right, sister. Maybe some day the good shepherd will finally lead me to that point in my path where my responses will be less my own, and more His. I am a work in progress. As for "good people" coming around the Woods family, Luke 18:19 would instead have me praying that Christ alone would be their rock and fortress. The very people we might be tempted to label "good" simply by virtue of their status in Jesus, could end up being no more helpful than myself. : )

  • Elizabeth Fullerton

    John,
    Really love your work so far, but you're wrong about Blake. Saw his paintings shown in Oxford and at the Met in NYC. Maybe not "polished", but transcendent. You might want to give them another chance.
    FYI: I like his poetry, too, but I would't defend it as "all that."

  • Elizabeth Fullerton

    John,
    Really love your work so far, but you're wrong about Blake. Saw his paintings shown in Oxford and at the Met in NYC. Maybe not "polished", but transcendent. And meaty. And daring. You might want to give them another chance.
    FYI: I like his poetry, too, but I would't defend it as "all that." My tastes run more to the moderns or, oddly, the Victorians.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      I'm wrong about the fact that I don't like Blake's painting? Oh. How weird. I thought I felt that way.

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