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yume1600x1200

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The pic is from here

Its meaning is “dream”.

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Dream of Ink Brush Calligraphy

In prayer:
quiet opening,
my artery is a thin
shadow on paper—
margin of long grass,
ruderal hair, sister to this
not yet part of our bodies
your lyric corpus of seed
in rough drafts of pine ash,
chaogao or grass calligraphy
in rough drafts of pine ash—
your lyric corpus of seed
not yet part of our bodies:
ruderal hair, sister to this
margin of long grass,
shadow on paper,
my artery is a thin
quiet opening
in prayer.

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The poem was written by Karen An-Hwei Lee:

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karen-an-hwei-lee-448

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The poem can be found here, where you can listen to it.

Karen’s website is here.

 

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598407-M

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This chiasmus comes from here.

Dylan Thomas’ poem “Author’s Prologue” was written as a chiasmus.  Every line of the poem is involved.  The key is the last word in each line.  The match is produced by rhyme.  I’ve sporadically numbered the lines so the matches can be easier seen.

Wikipedia’s entry on Dylan Thomas can be found here.

Youtube has an audio of Dylan Thomas reading ‘Author’s Prologue’ here.

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Author’s Prologue

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1    This day winding down now
 At God speeded summer’s end
  In the torrent salmon sun,
   In my seashaken house
    On a breakneck of rocks
     6    Tangled with chirrup and fruit,
      Froth, flute, fin, and quill
       At a wood’s dancing hoof,
        By scummed, starfish sands
         With their fishwife cross
          11    Gulls, pipers, cockles, and snails,
           Out there, crow black, men
            Tackled with clouds, who kneel
             To the sunset nets,
              Geese nearly in heaven, boys
               16      Stabbing, and herons, and shells
                That speak seven seas,
                 Eternal waters away
                  From the cities of nine
                   Days’ night whose towers will catch
                    21      In the religious wind
                     Like stalks of tall, dry straw,
                      At poor peace I sing
                       To you strangers (though song
                        Is a burning and crested act,
                         26    The fire of birds in
                          The world’s turning wood,
                           For my swan, splay sounds),
                            Out of these seathumbed leaves     
                             That will fly and fall
                              31    Like leaves of trees and as soon
                               Crumble and undie
                                Into the dogdayed night.
                                 Seaward the salmon, sucked sun slips,
                                  And the dumb swans drub blue
                                   36    My dabbed bay’s dusk, as I hack
                                    This rumpus of shapes
                                     For you to know
                                      How I, a spining man,
                                       Glory also this star, bird
                                        41    Roared, sea born, man torn, blood blest.
                                         Hark: I trumpet the place,
                                          From fish to jumping hill! Look:
                                           I build my bellowing ark
                                            To the best of my love
                                             46    As the flood begins,
                                              Out of the fountainhead
                                               Of fear, rage read, manalive,
                                                Molten and mountainous to stream
                                                 Over the wound asleep
                                                  51    Sheep white hollow farms
                                                  51′   To Wales in my arms.
                                                 Hoo, there, in castle keep,
                                                You king singsong owls, who moonbeam
                                               The flickering runs and dive
                                              The dingle furred deer dead!
                                             46′    Huloo, on plumbed bryns,
                                            O my ruffled ring dove
                                           in the hooting, nearly dark
                                          With Welsh and reverent rook,
                                         Coo rooning the woods’ praise,
                                        41′    who moons her blue notes from her nest
                                       Down to the curlew herd!
                                      Ho, hullaballoing clan
                                     Agape, with woe
                                    In your beaks, on the gabbing capes!
                                   36′     Heigh, on horseback hill, jack
                                  Whisking hare! who
                                 Hears, there, this fox light, my flood ship’s
                                Clangour as I hew and smite
                               (A clash of anvils for my
                              31′    Hubbub and fiddle, this tune
                             On atounged puffball)
                            But animals thick as theives
                           On God’s rough tumbling grounds
                          (Hail to His beasthood!).
                         26′    Beasts who sleep good and thin,
                        Hist, in hogback woods! The haystacked
                       Hollow farms ina throng
                      Of waters cluck and cling,
                     And barnroofs cockcrow war!
                    21′    O kingdom of neighbors finned
                   Felled and quilled, flash to my patch
                  Work ark and the moonshine
                 Drinking Noah of the bay,
                With pelt, and scale, and fleece:
               16′    Only the drowned deep bells
              Of sheep and churches noise
             Poor peace as the sun sets
            And dark shoals every holy field.
           We will ride out alone then,
          11′    Under the stars of Wales,
         Cry, Multiudes of arks! Across
        The water lidded lands,
       Manned with their loves they’ll move
      Like wooden islands, hill to hill.
     6′    Huloo, my prowed dove with a flute!
    Ahoy, old, sea-legged fox,
   Tom tit and Dai mouse!
  My ark sings in the sun
 At God speeded summer’s end
1′    And the flood flowers now.

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tyger_tyger_burning_bright_by_snowsowhite-d3eu71h

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I love this poem! 

‘The Tyger’ was written by William Blake in 1794.  Personally, I think he wrote it symmetrically – as a chiasmus.  If so, then his use of the word “symmetry” at the end of A and A’, referring to the symmetry of the tyger, carries additional and special meaning:  it may also refer to the structure of his poem. 

I might as well say it now.  In addition to the symmetry of the tyger and the symmetry of the poem, there is also a “fearful symmetry” between the ‘deadliness’ of the tyger and ‘beauty’ (“burning bright”,”symmetry”) of the tyger.  The two concepts are in stark contrast.  Opposed yet fused, conceptually battling.  Ultimately, this opposition raises a question for us regarding God:  “What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?” and, “Did he smile his work to see?  Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”  …  Ultimately the poem is raising the question of God, and Good and Evil – at least on the level of the animal kingdom … (e.g., Tennyson’s “… Nature, red in tooth and claw” ).

Here’s how I think Blake’s symmetrical poem works:

A and A’ are identical.  A perfect match.  A and A’ form ‘inclusions’, or book-ends, for the poem. 

B and B’ refer to a) skies, stars, and heavens, b) distant deeps, watered, and tears, and c) eyes and tears.  The poem begins ‘far away’, perhaps alluding to the mysterious dwelling place of God, or God’s mind, the tyger’s creator.  It also alludes to the problem of Good and Evil (“dare he aspire”, “dare seize the fire”, “spears”, and “tears”). In addition, B1 begins a metaphor of God as ‘blacksmith’, about to pound out his creation (“what the hand dare seize the fire”).  The fire being necessary to bend the blacksmith’s steel.

C1a and C’1a deepen the imagery of the blacksmith.  You can easily picture the “shoulder” in C1a at work with the “hammer” and “chain” in C’1a.  It’s the blacksmith’s own body that “art”(fully) creates the work.  The shoulder swings, the hammer strikes, the shape takes form. 

C1b and C’1b again continue the imagery of the blacksmith with “twist” – as might be done with hot steel – and “furnace”. 

C1b ends by referring to the formation of the tyger’s “heart”, while C’1b refers to the tyger’s “brain”, the driving forces within the tyger, giving it life and direction, mind and soul .  The ‘metal’ becomes animate.  …  Alive!

Finally, in C2 and C’2 we arrive at the the terror of the tyger, the tyger in motion – it’s “dreaded grasp”, it’s “hand”, it’s “feet”, it’s “grasp”, it’s “clasp”.  “Dread” is used in both sections; “deadly” is used in C2 and its rhyming with “dread” plays in the reader’s mind as happy remorse – the beauty of rhyme embracing the tyger’s killing instincts – echoeing again the dilemma of both good and evil in creation.

And so then, there it is.  We have arrived at the end of a chiastic center of Blake’s “Tyger”.  From distant God to destroying Tyger.  Traversing both art and fear, creation and destruction. Life and death.

And questions of  Good and Evil.     :

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

A beautiful poem.

I suppose one other point.  Some think that the Lamb in this poem might refer to Jesus (the “Lamb of God”).  Hmmm.  If so, I can’t help thinking, who then the tyger? 

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A

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

B

1

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
2

On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

C

1

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

2

And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

C

1

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
2

What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

B’

1

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
2

Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

A’

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

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http://www.morethancake.org/2008/06/chiastic-structures-in-the-scripture.html

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 http://www.cameronmoll.com/archives/000148.html

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