Classic and Contemporary Poems—Tigers

1961. Treasury of the world's most beloved poems. New York: Avenel Books.

Prelutsky, Jack. 1983. Zoo doings. New York: Scholastic. ISBN: 0-590-05391-4.


These are two poems about tigers. The first one, the "classic," is by William Blake. The second poem is by Jack Prelutsky.

The Tyger

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

In the forest 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 seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread gasp

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 make the Lamb make thee?

The Bengal Tiger

The Bengal tiger likes to eat

enormous quantities of meat.

Now people have been heard to say

that tigers hypnotize their prey.

So please do not take foolish chances;

avoid the Bengal tiger's glances.


Have students write their own animal poems.

Module Six Poem Selections:

Module One: The Poetry Environment Module Two: Major Poets
Module Three: Poetry Performance Module Four: Poetry Across The Curriculum
Module Five: Multicultural Poetry Module Six: Responding To Poetry
Author Study: Janet Wong

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