Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
- These lines ask where the Tyger was created, and also add to the growing image the reader has of the Tyger.
- The use of "distant deeps or skies" seems to refer to an otherworldly ("distant") place, perhaps a kind of Hell ("deeps") or Heaven ("skies").
- The metaphor of "burning" from line 1 returns with the burning "fire" of the Tyger’s eyes, adding to the power and fearfulness of the image.
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
- These lines are where a lot of people just totally get knocked off the tracks.
- Who the heck is "he"? It may be God, it may be the poet, it may be the artist, it’s unclear – what "he" is for sure, is the creator of this Tyger. The Tyger – that we know is a big, powerful, mysterious thing – must have a pretty big, powerful, mysterious creator.
- The "hand" returns from line 3 as well as "fire," and the image of flying on wings is added, alluding to supernatural power, but not necessarily a divine one.
- Also, the notion of daring is introduced, which will be echoed in the last stanza.