Monday, March 22, 2010

Enchanting Old Books, Poems, and Notes Written in Pencil.

One of the books I've been using for school this year is a very old 'Complete Course in Freshman English.' I'm not sure if it's meant for highschool or college, but I've been reading through it, and since the beginning of the year, I've started picking and choosing what to read in the last section of the book, which has essays, short stories, poetry, and plays, among other things.

Today I read Tiger, Tiger by William Blake - a poem I just like, even though it's a bit dark. I just like Tigers, so the poem has always appealed to me.

All through the book, I find various notes or little sentences underlined in pencil. I love old books like that. But today, I really realized the value of the book for the first time - it's an old thing, coming apart, with all of these great penciled notes that I generally can't read very well! How cool is that? I always assumed that it was my brothers' book, but I'm not sure now - I found some dates scribbled in the contents that make me think that it was used long before their time. They were all born in the seventies and eighties; the book has some dates from the sixties written about titles. Here's the poem and the notes I found today:

[illegible word - it looks like amystic, but that doesn't seem to be a word. :/ ]

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame they fearful symmetry? ['symmetry was underlined, with a note saying: 2 identical sides]

[illegible word - evil. just going about its business. all a part of creation.]

[In God's sight, the Tiger is not evil.]

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 they heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was they brain?
What the anvil? what dread gasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did He smile his work to see?
Did He who made the Lamb make thee?

[beautifully designed as the Lamb, stars and heaven.]

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame they fearful symmetry?

The notes were even better than the poem. I'm not sure who wrote them. Can't tell if the handwriting belongs to any of my brothers or not- and I can't tell if it belongs to either of my parents, but it doesn't look like it! Too neat to be Dad's. It could be Mom's. No one's name is written on it, either. :/

Well, whoever wrote them - I'm glad they did. They made the poem a great experience to read.

I'm a bit obsessed with anything tiger-related right now because I had an idea for a story involving them the other day....

So. You romantics out there, I hope this post was fun to read. ;)
Anna

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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don't give up and keep penning considering the fact that it just that is worth to follow it,
impatient to see much more of your well written articles, regards :)