“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright/ In the forest of the night..” Explain

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

This forms the concluding stanza of William Blake’s poem The Tyger. It is actually a repetition of the opening stanza. Blake’s child wonders here at the creation of the tiger, a fierce and violent creature, and its mysterious and mighty Creator.

The child speaks of the tiger that causes wonder and terror to him. He goes on to describe how dreadful it looks with its eyes that are sparkling powerfully. The child knows that the tiger lives in the dark, dense forest and imagines quite naturally how its brightly burning look pierces through the deep darkness of the forest. The child also wonders at the physical strength and the penetrative vision of the Creator of that ferocious animal, that had a stout and dreadful structure. In the child’s simple belief, the Creator must be possessed of the immense power of hands and vision to make such a balanced, majestic, and awful creature.

This is a simple song of childhood but bears a deeper note underneath its plain surface. Blake’s mystical symbolism is perceived in the expression ‘the forest of the night, that stands for the gloom of evils and wrongs. This requires some dreadful strength to tear it. This repetition of the stanza acts as a refrain to give the poem a song-like quality.

Also read; Summary and Critical analysis of The Clod and the Pebble by William Blake

Also read; Summary and analysis of A dream by William Blake