Tuesday, 31 May 2011

William Blake

          Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright 
             Image of William Blake from www litkicks.com

William Blake was labeled a lunatic in his lifetime....but he is now considered to be a genius. How time can change people's consideration of an artist's work! Has there ever been a man who combined creative poetry to match his imaginative art? And even today, his poem on the Tiger is the most thrilling poem on the most truly beautiful animal on the planet.
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Even today, the words resonate.. what eyes indeed could frame their symmetry?.

If the tiger was a destination, it would be labeled a wonder of the world. Has anyone ever seen these majestic beasts in the wild? Not many, but listen to those who have, because this is one of the real and rare adventures left on the planet. I heard some really distressing news recently. They say that the numbers of the tiger are down to only 3,200 from an estimated 4,000 some years back.

But now you can see these majestic beasts in the wild, and in real style. You can take  an unforgettable trip to India to the Tigers' home. 

William Blake’s tiger is the most beautiful picture he never painted. He didn't need to... he painted the tiger in words, a most remarkable feat.
There are now two fantastic lodges in tiger country. The first is Bag Van safari lodge, close to Kanha National Park. The lodge comprises 12 sumptuous cottages surrounding a central bungalow housing the central sitting area. Food is served in style in the lodge, and most is sourced locally.

The lodge is just minutes away from the park, and that most enigmatic of beasts, the tiger. The guides will bring the jungle to life for you, until you lay your eyes on the most beautiful, the most splendid, the most elusive, and the most majestic of all the beasts of the jungle....the tiger.

The second lodge to visit the tigers is the Mahua Kothi, and it takes you into the largely untouched Bandhavgarh National Park. Mahua Kothi has 12 unique suites, offering unparalleled levels of comfort. All your needs are catered for in this truly unique destination. This lodge offers the highest standards of safari with the best naturalists.

You might have seen a tiger in the zoo, but this is different. This is the tiger's home, and only the privileged few ever get invited in.This is a moment you will not forget. Take it all in. Take in the colours, the stripes, the music, the grace. It is the joining of art and ballet, art and photography, art and thought; it is the masterpiece only you saw.....

If you have been to some of the great art galleries of the world; the Louvre or the National Gallery  you might have had a Eureka moment-that moment when you came face to face with a work of art which stunned you with its beauty. It was a very individual moment-only you felt it. Only you saw it. Only you were moved by it. It was a unique moment. It might have been a Van Gogh, a Picasso, a Turner, a Rembrandt.  Infact, it could only be a work of art from a master.

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

This is the moment you meet the tiger. This is an emotional moment. You will be stunned. It is a moment of awe and shock. It is the moment you will never forget. It is the work of a master. It is the moment you will treasure all your life-the moment you came face to face with a tiger. It is the moment you thank the heavens that you have eyes, that they filled with such colour and symmetry to form the masterpiece.

There is something divine about this most majestic beast.

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

No great artist that I know of ever tried to paint the tiger. But, on the other hand, no great master likes to be caught short...to be tainted by failure..to fall short of perfection. And so no tiger was ever painted. They left it to William Blake who only attempted the feat in words, because, despite being a genius, he knew his limitations....

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

                               Image of tiger from www.dailymail.co.uk

And so it is left to you to paint the tiger. To do it, you will have to see him first, and so I urge you to set off on this wild and wondrous adventure. The jungles of India await you.

If you ever live to be a hundred, then one day, you might sit in your chair and reflect on the most unique moments of your life. And though your memory may be a little rusty, a little slow, a little confused even, your brain will put together the colours, the images, the view you had when you saw the tiger. The masterpiece will come to life in your mind's eye! And now you know why Blake and most of the major artists of the world never attempted to paint the tiger. They left it to the imagination....tyger, tyger, burning bright....

And then you can lean back and reflect that life was kind and fair and beautiful, and you too threw down your spears, and fulfilled one dream at least.....to see the masterpiece which is the tiger.

                                  Image of tiger from http://www.animalwallpaper.org

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