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Tiger Tiger!

February 23, 2007


Tiger Tiger Revisited
Gorden J.L. Ramel

Tiger tiger fading fast
in the shadow we have cast.
What brave law or business deal
Can they future’s safety seal?

What the future, what the hope
that human kind may learn to cope
with life and maintenance of breath
without this need of needless death.

In what sulfurous cauldron groans
the mind that lives to sell your bones;
and in what moral poverty
live those who take thy life from thee?

What the learning, what the thought
values a life like yours at naught,
in what science or machine
can beauty such as yours be seen?

Who did he hate who sowed the seed
of human ignorance and greed;
and can he smile our work to see
as we who killed the Lamb kill thee.

Tiger tiger fading fast
from the present to the past.
How can mere humanity
So quickly still thy majesty?

about this poem

This work is a serious parody of an earlier poem The Tiger written by William Blake (1757-1827).  Blake’s original poem was beautiful in its rhythm and prose, but gave a distorted view of the tiger because it emphasized only this cat’s ferociousness. 

The writer of the present poem, Gordon J.L. Ramel, conveys a more timely message by focusing on the spiritual crisis of the human species that has extirpated the tiger from much of its former range and made it an endangered species.  No matter how ferocious the tiger is, the human species is far more dangerous.

Gordon J.L. Ramel is a well-published poet who also holds a Master’s Degree in the Ecology of Soil Arthropods from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.

To learn more about the tiger’s interactions with other species, read our online review:  Sympatric Tiger and Leopard.

Photograph by Hans Stenström (Sweden).  Ramel’s poem was originally copyrighted by the author using the spelling “Tyger Tyger Revisited.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. junaid shariff permalink
    November 9, 2010 4:59 pm

    I LOVE TIGERS, and the poetry seems to be so wonderful that this no wonder it doesnt show the beauty, pride of the tigers, and their importance…


  1. John de Warenne, 8th Earl Of, Earl of Strathearn Surrey

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