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The Tyger

The Tyger

by William Blake

Stanza II Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 5-6

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.

Lines 7-8

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.

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