Poets Online Archive
When I was looking in my Norton Anthology for another poem, I came across William Blake's poem "The Tyger." Almost everyone who has sat through a few years of English literature classes in high school or college has come across this poem.
When I reread it, I also remembered what I had liked about the poem when I first read it. It was filled with questions and, more importantly, the poet didn't seem to be able to answer them any more than I could answer them.
You could write a poem that asked questions but didn't come up with the answers? This was something new to me.
Some teacher must have taken me through the poem and discussed how the questions are in themselves a kind of answer to the main question of "What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry."
For our September writing prompt at Poets Online, we asked that our readers try a poem that is almost all questions, but in the asking presents a kind of answer.
As always, there's more information about this prompt and others on the Poets Online Blog.
William Blake (November 28, 1757 – August 12, 1827) was an English poet, visionary, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake's work is today considered seminal and significant in the history of both poetry and the visual arts.
While his visual art and written poetry are usually considered separately, Blake often employed them in concert to create a product that at once defied and superseded convention. Though he believed himself able to converse aloud with Old Testament prophets, and despite his work in illustrating the Book of Job, Blake's affection for the Bible was accompanied by hostility for the established Church, his beliefs modified by a fascination with Mysticism and the unfolding of the Romantic Movement around him. excerpted from the Wikipedia entry on Blake
If you're interested in more about Blake's poems or artwork, try the Blake Archive.
Fired with tales of the westward
Are all those birds and flowers, rivers, tributaries waiting to be named?
real estate – can we bend it to Man’s hand?
zoned, then built and overbuilt – what’s left, I ask you? Can survey pins prove a claim on the spirit of the land?
BEFORE YOU GO
Do you want your casket
QUESTIONS PUT TO A DOG
What are we going to do this afternoon?
Does anyone know
Does an earthworm know
Does a do-it-yourself self martyrdom kit make the second coming inevitable.
Does the gun know bullets kill.
A man stretches his small speckled hands in an expansive gesture.
EVERYTHING YOU ARE QUESTIONING ABOUT YOURSELF
Might be answered by paraidolia.
it's when we hear that Paul is dead in a record played backwards
we are pattern seekers
we seek closure
We live in a world where things cannot be created or destroyed-
Watching over you,
and I imagine you will listen.
I can feel your heart beat
Do you feel my love?
YOU DIDN'T ASK ME
But I'll tell you anyway, for free.
That misspelling the genetic code
Jeanne D' Arc started hearing voices
When Buckminster Fuller was asked
That the ringing in your ear
I know you were also thinking of asking
Before you drop that glass you're holding,
In her eighties, she donned
She walks slowly,
starts twirling it -like a baton
She broke her femur last
Isn't she just the picture of joy?
Margaret A. Dukes