Posts Tagged ‘William Blake’

This week’s Lens-Artists Challenge might have you seeing double. Although most things aren’t truly symmetrical, many are so close that you can’t tell the difference or you feel that you’re seeing symmetry.

When I think of symmetry, the William Blake poem springs immediately to mind:

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

Fortunately for you, there’s nothing fearful about the symmetry I’m sharing today. The snowy egret in this first shot is almost dancing on the water and with the water’s smooth cooperation, it’s almost perfectly symmetrical.

“Symmetry is what we see at a glance; based on the fact that there is no reason for any difference…”
― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

Here’s another almost symmetrical shot from the Riverwalk in Naperville, Illinois.

Although this photo is less symmetrically perfect than the previous ones, there’s still a pleasing almost-symmetry about it and it feels balanced.


The theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge egnellahC otohP lykeeW eht rof emeht ehT
is “Symmetry.” “.yrtemmyS” si

(Formatting makes all the difference here, so “is” should start your second line or you’ll be completely confused.  Increase or decrease the size of your screen for the full effect.)

The first photo shows one of the enjoyable things you can do with an iPad as a camera. Or it might be a photo of an alien!


This second photo is just about symmetrical and is part of the ceiling of the beautiful building in Philadelphia where I like to meet friends…because there’s a Starbucks there and because I love the architecture.


Finally, there’s my favorite poem that mentions symmetry:

THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)

By William Blake

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

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

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

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

~William Blake

Although from a pet point of view, I’m a horse or dog person, when I go to the zoo, I love to see the cats.  They’re sleek, graceful, and deadly-looking.  The cheetah, which has to be the favorite of a sprinter, usually looks bored with the small amount of space allotted it, often pacing back and forth, while eying visitors with an intense look.  Perhaps dreams of fast food are running through its head.

In common with bears, wild cats elicit comments about how cute and furry they are.  But there’s a reason the word “wild” appears in front of the word “animals” and we do well to remember it.

I have two sets of thoughts about zoos.  I regret that the animals there are caged and not allowed to live in their natural habitat.  I also love the opportunity to see them “in person”, so speak.  Many of them would be dead if in the wild and some species are being hunted almost to extinction outside zoo habitats.  So I enjoy the beauty of the animals as the zoo and am grateful for the opportunity to see them.

I’ve already shared a few posts about our trip to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.  Here’s the first look at the cats we saw there.

He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
Chinese Proverb


It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.
~Henry David Thoreau


God made the cat to give man the pleasure of stroking a tiger.
~John Gardner


The impact of an attacking tiger can be compared to that of a piano falling on you from a second story window. But unlike the piano, the tiger is designed to do this, and the impact is only the beginning.
~John Vaillant, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

Fortunately I chose to walk to have tea with friends this morning or I would have missed some lovely sights.   Glad I took my iPad with me just in case!

Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.
Wendell Berry