Tuesday, September 26, 2006

T.S. Eliot's "Christ the Tiger"

T.S Eliot, moderist, works very directly and admiringly with Blake's The Tyger in his 1920 poem Gerontion ("old one"?) Click the title of this post for an online version. "In the juvescence of the year / Came Christ the tiger .... / Tenants of the house, / Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season."

More to come on Blake's engraving of the tiger in the illustarted poem ....
Update: Dr. Harris mentioned during his slide-show of Blake's illustrations the non-ferocity of the tiger illustrating The Tyger from Songs of Experience. Now, there is something about the specific expression on the tiger's face that still eludes me. However, I believe that the general conception of the tiger in Blake's vision is as a children's illustration. This interpretation harmonises the poem directly with The Lamb from Songs of Innocence -- which is quite clearly child's verse, and has been universally presented as such within the Anglosphere print culture -- as part of a design for a child audience. Such as design has an impeccable literary pedigree -- Dickens & Tolstoi for two -- but is, shall we say, not currently favoured by academics.

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