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Childhood Nostalgia Within Poetry

Thursday Verseday with Arlinda 

Creation, in all forms, is a unique phenomenon that can seldom be explained. One day something does not exist, and the next day it does. An artist is a creator that brings their ideas to life every time they work on their art. William Blake, a poet during the Romantic Era in England, created a new way to depict his poems to the world. Using the invention of illuminated printing, William Blake transformed his poetry into an art that could be seen, as well as, perceived through his words. He transformed his poetry into a pictorial art form, which contributed greatly to the experience of reading his poems.

William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” from his collection Songs of Experience, expresses the questions that surround creation; where did we come from, and what inspired our existence? In the poem, the speaker ponders the existence of the tiger by stating, “And what shoulder, & what art/ Could twist the sinews of thy heart? / And when thy heart began to beat/ What dread hand? & what dread feet?” The tiger is fierce and feared, strong and swift. How can a creature with such a terrifying potential exist to roam the earth? The speaker of the poem continues to wonder about the creator of the tiger when expressing, “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?” It is in these lines that I remember to appreciate the contraries within the world.

The world is filled with contraries, and it is within those contrasts that we learn to appreciate the beauty and symmetry of creation. The good balances the bad just as the fierce and feared tiger provides an offset to the harmless lamb. William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” inspires the feeling of curiosity and amazement towards the differences visible in all creatures. William Blake’s poetry leaves readers with an experience equivalent to the wonder we once felt as children trying to make sense of the world in which we live, at least it does for me; but don’t just take my word for it, the next time you’re feeling nostalgic, read a poem by William Blake and see for yourself.

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj

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