Study Guide

The Tyger Awe and Amazement

By William Blake

Awe and Amazement

What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry (lines 23-24)

The power that the poet gives to the Tyger in this excerpt is clear from the use of "dare." If you question who "dares" do something, that something must be worthy of respect at least, and perhaps even scary. "Who dares to talk back to the teacher?" would be one example. Thus, the poet has a certain amount of awe and amazement for both the Tyger and the person who dares frame the Tyger's fearful symmetry.

What the anvil? What dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp! (lines 16-17)

This is probably the crescendo of the poem. The phrases become shorter, more repetitious, and the only exclamation point appears. Yet, in poetry, a single piece of punctuation matters. So, the "dare" reappears, and so does another reference to the Tyger’s power: "deadly terrors clasp" (to be clear, the Tyger is the one with the "deadly terrors," while the creator, here compared to a blacksmith, is the one "clasp"-ing them with his "dread grasp"). These two lines can be read as "OMG you’re scary and powerful!" – a statement full of awe and amazement.