Saturday, October 18, 2014

WILLIAM BLAKE: TIGER TYGER BURNING BRIGHT...!

Two poems by William Blake , the British poet (1757-1827) have been quoted by us on earlier occasion. The third, Tyger...is a testimony to the stunning  God-Nature-Man triangle that subsisted in Blake's mind. It's the coping stone of deewan-e-Blake,, and the primeval song of Creation.  The feeling and the words coalesce to form the Power Theme:

Tyger Tyger 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?
                                                                   Tyger Tyger burning bright, 
                                                                        In the forests of the night: 
                                                                        What immortal hand or eye,
                                                                   Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
                                                                 
Blake manuscript: The creation of the Tiger has been described in the poem crisply, but the process of fashioning the poem itself is quite untidy as one can expect. This is again not the final draft, because the poet oscillated between 'Dare' and 'Could' in opening and closing para, settling for Dare, but finally the poem came out with the bland Could in opening para and the rhetorical Dare at the end. 'Horrid ribs' and 'sanguine woe' stand jettisoned. Note that there are no punctuation marks in the draft. Finally, the hand-or-eye: symmetry rhyme is visual and not aural.

The Tiger has received some bad publicity of late after the Delhi Zoo incident, but people conversant with the feline  mind convince us that Vijay picked up our friend by the scruff of his neck in the manner a tiger is wont to rescue its kids...Quite conceivable-the message lies in the method, not the media he, he, he...

The Hindi film-music world has definitely   taken cognizance of this extraordinary poem, substituting 'Power' with 'Love': just check Hasrat Jaipuri's moving lyrics in Teesri Qasam

duniya banane wale kya tere man me samayi
kahe ko duniya banai tune kahe ko duniya banai

kahe banaye tune mati ke putle
dharti ye pyari pyari mukhde ye ujale
kahe banaya tune duniya ka khela
kahe banaya tune duniya ka khela
jisme lagaya jawani ka mela

gupchup tamasha dekhe wah re teri khudayi kahe ko duniya banai tune kahe ko duniya banai duniya banane wale kya tere man me samayi kahe ko duniya banai tune kahe ko duniya banai tu bhi to tadpa hoga man ko bana kar tufa ye pyar ka man me chhupa kar koi chhavi to hogi ankho me teri koi chhavi to hogi ankho me teri ansu bhi chhalke honge palko se teri 
bol kya sujhi tujhko kahe ko prit jagayi kahe ko duniya banai tune kahe ko duniya banai duniya banane wale kya tere man me samayi kahe ko duniya banai tune kahe ko duniya banai prit bana ke tune jina sikhaya hasna sikhaya rona sikhaya jivan ke path par meet milayi jivan ke path par meet milayi meet mila ke tune sapne jagaye 
sapne dikha ke tune kahe ko de di judayi kahe ko duniya banai tune kahe ko duniya banai duniya banane wale kya tere man me samayi kahe ko duniya banai tune kahe ko duniya banai

The correspondence can be noticed in the blued sections:

Ameen!

2 comments:

Steven Pinto said...

Well written sir. was not aware visual symmetry was a thing in poetry before this.

Steven Pinto said...

Well written sir. was not aware visual symmetry was a thing in poetry before this.