Tyger, Tyger: the Art + Poetry of William Blake. {awesome video finds}

Via Waylon Lewis
on Mar 1, 2010
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william blakewilliam blake

He who binds himself to a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sunrise. ~ William Blake (one of Allen Ginsberg’s and my mom’s) favorite quotes )

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. ~ William Blake


When I was in college, William Blake was probably one of my favorite artist poets, ever. Looked to by the Beat Generation as one of their forebears, his poem Tyger, Tyger has inspired me since I was a wee lad. Now all growns up, I haven’t clued into him for the better part of a decade. The below videos did the trick for me—reminded me of his unique and visionary voice and eye. May they be of some similar service to those of you who appreciate Blake, but haven’t thought about him for awhile. ~ ed.

Commissioned by the Tate Gallery for their 1977 Blake Exhibition.Set to Carmina Burrana it follows “The Poets” journey from Heaven to Hell and back..showing that “Energy is Eternal delight and whether we create of destroy-it’s the same energy.”

a virtual movie of the great William Blake reading his much loved poem “The Tiger”

“The Tyger” is a famous poem by the English poet William Blake. The poem was published as part of his collection Songs of Experience in 1794. It is one of Blake’s best known and most analyzed poems.

William Blake (November 28, 1757 — August 12, 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake’s work is now considered seminal in the history of both poetry and the visual arts.

The poem is read superbly by Marius Goring……..

Kind Regards

Jim Clark
All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2009

The Tiger……..

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?

William Blake was a poet, illustrator, engraver, draughtsman, writer and painter whose efforts, due to their idiosyncratic and unorthodox nature, were largely unappreciated in his own lifetime. The knowledge Blake gained from working as an engraver enabled him to produce his own work in which he surrounded one of his poems with his own hand-coloured illustration. A powerful imagination is evident in every aspect of Blake’s work. Among his most important works are the Illustrations of the Book of Job (1825), and the hundred or so watercolours to Dante’s Divine Comedy…A deeply mystical man, Blake claimed he had visionary experiences that prompted him to invent his own belief system in which the creator of the universe, whom he renamed Urizen, wrought vengeance on mankind through Jesus, renamed Orc. His social and political conscience railed against the prevailing academic painting of the eighteenth century. He saw it as representing all that he came to despise about the rational, materialistic age in which he found himself.

Allen Ginsberg sings his own melody for William Blake’s “The Nurse’s Song,” from Blake’s “Songs of Experience.”

When the voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.
“Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away,
Till the morning appears in the skies.”

“No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all covered with sheep.”
“Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.”
The little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed,
And all the hills echoed.

More info on Allen Ginsberg: http://www.allenginsberg.org
More info on William Blake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_…


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


4 Responses to “Tyger, Tyger: the Art + Poetry of William Blake. {awesome video finds}”

  1. Thanks for the education.

  2. And perfect for the Year of The Tiger!!!

  3. Thanks for the video finds. Though not a video, you might be interested in a podcast I did on a couple of musical versions of The Tyger at http://zoamorphosis.com/2010/02/zoapod-2-tavener-