Blake’s ‘Tyger’ and Prof. Miner’s Bumble-Bee by Maqbool Aziz

Maqbool Aziz

Blake’s ‘Tyger’ and Prof. Miner’s Bumble-Bee

 

The ‘Tyger’ of my title cannot be unfamiliar to the readers of the Literary Review. Prof. Miner, however, needs a brief introduction. He is Professor Paul Miner, a literary scholar, who is reported to have ‘studied at the Universities of California, Kansas and Wichita . . . and published a number of articles on.Blake in such journals as the Bulletin of the New York Public Library, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, and Criticism. I have before me one of his articles in Criticism; it is called ‘“The Tyger”: Genesis and Evolution in the Poetry of William Blake’. The learned journal in question is a quarterly ‘for literature and the arts’ published by Wayne State University Press. The issue carrying Prof. Miner’s essay has the editorial and advisory blessings of some very distinguished names in English studies: Professors Northrope Frye, Henry Nash Smith, Robert F. Gleckner, William K. Wimsatt, etc. In short, the academic credentials are impeccable.

Prof. Miner launches his ‘study’ of the poem with a bang:

One of the great poetic structures of the eighteenth century is William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’, a profound experiment in form and idea. The sibilants and occlusive consonants which permeate the poem and the consistent repetition of

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