Saturday, September 09, 2006

Civilised Tigers

A person who wanted to put on airs might say that this disturbing poem is an amalgam of ideas which can be found in three of Blake's poems: The Tygre, The Divine Image and A Divine Image. I wouldn't do any thing like that, of course. If you want to know the truth (and how many people these days really want to know the truth?) it probably is a repeat of the same idea as was expressed in "Second Time Around"

If tigers were as civilised as you or I
-- what would they be like?

Would they grow garden flowers for
the sake of their sight and smell?
Would they fly tiny kites in the sky
just to see them fly?
Would they philosophise about
sin and heaven and hell?
Would they do the sentimental things
rhymed on Christmas cards?

Would they gently lay the new-born babe
to nuzzle against the mother's breast
then smash its head against the wall!
Would they kill and maim and crucify
for no reason at all
except some thrill of blood!

If tigers were as civilised as you and I
-- what would they do?

No comments: