Illya Kaminsky performs "The Tyger" by William Blake

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In this installment, Illya Kaminsky performs “The Tyger” by William Blake. Kaminsky was born in Odessa, formerly of the Soviet Union, in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) which won the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, and the 2005 Poetry Book of the Year from ForeWord Magazine. Ilya has served as a Writer In Residence at Phillips Exeter Academy and worked as a Law Clerk at Bay Area Legal Aid, and National Immigration Law Center. He lives in Berkeley, California. For more information, please visit his website at:

William Blake, "The Tyger"

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, 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 grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd 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?

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Poets on Poets