Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Poetry Break: "Tiger"

Coffee break's over. Get back to work!

Today, we are explicating the poem "Tiger," and when I say we, I mean you, not me. I wrote it. I already know what it means. You figure it out.

Now, don't give me any of that poststructernist Barthean crap about the death of the author -- I'm still here! And given the paucity of readers' comments, I'd say that most of you readers aren't here! So, maybe we should be talking about the death of the reader, eh?

As for those of you who did make it to class, I'm watching you, always watching . . .

Tiger

Ember, ember, glowing tinder
—tiger's burning
eyes of ember.

Biting, fighting, burning tiger
—crazy blazing
flaming pyre!

Brighter, brighter, burning tiger
—burning flaming
flames rise higher!

Burning, churning, charnel turning
—flaming tiger,
ashes burning.

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2 Comments:

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Charles said...

"I wrote it. I already know what it means."

Sorry, but I happen to agree with Barthes. You may think you know what it means, but perhaps there is some nook of your subconscious that you have not yet explored that gives another aspect of meaning to the work.

And if there is only one right answer (your interpretation), then this is less an exercise in criticism and more a test to see if we can guess what you were thinking. I reject this notion and proclaim that all interpretations are valid!

So, for example, it would be just as valid for me to say that I think the poem is an environmentalist denunciation of imposing human values on nature as it would be for me to say that it shows the dual constructive/destructive nature of rage.

(And I do read, even if I don't usually post...)

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Charles wrote:

"it would be just as valid for me to say that I think the poem is an environmentalist denunciation of imposing human values on nature as it would be for me to say that it shows the dual constructive/destructive nature of rage."

Gasp . . . you got the meanings! How did you know precisely what I meant?

Damn, I'll have to be trickier next time.

 

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