The Saturday Night Special: “A Short Analysis of William Blake’s ‘The Tyger'” from Interesting Literature

Instead of a short horror story for tonight’s Saturday Night Special, I am keeping with my new plan to expand from horror into the greater world of literature.   Ergo, tonight’s article is an analysis by the folks over at Interesting Literature of one of the iconic poems of English Literature, William Blake’s “The Tyger”.   In terms of the emotions this short poem conjures, it is really not all that far removed from the realms of terror and horror.  It has powerful imagery and perhaps an even more powerful underlying message (subject to interpretation of course).  I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.

—Phil Slattery

 

 

A critical reading of an iconic poem ‘The Tyger’ is arguably the most famous poem written by William Blake (1757-1827); it’s difficult to say which is more well-known, ‘The Tyger’ or the poem commonly known as ‘Jerusalem’. The poem’s opening line, ‘Tyger Tyger, burning bright’ is among the most famous opening lines in English poetry […]

via A Short Analysis of William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ — Interesting Literature

The Saturday Night Special: “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe (1850)

Edgar Allan Poe, circa 1849

Edgar Allan Poe, circa 1849

I.

         Hear the sledges with the bells--
             Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
       How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
           In the icy air of night!
       While the stars that oversprinkle
       All the heavens, seem to twinkle
           With a crystalline delight;
         Keeping time, time, time,
         In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
    From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
               Bells, bells, bells--
  From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

II.

         Hear the mellow wedding bells
             Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
       Through the balmy air of night
       How they ring out their delight!
           From the molten-golden notes,
               And all in tune,
           What a liquid ditty floats
    To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
               On the moon!
         Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
               How it swells!
               How it dwells
           On the Future! how it tells
           Of the rapture that impels
         To the swinging and the ringing
           Of the bells, bells, bells,
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
               Bells, bells, bells--
  To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

III.

         Hear the loud alarum bells--
                  Brazen bells!
What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
       In the startled ear of night
       How they scream out their affright!
         Too much horrified to speak,
         They can only shriek, shriek,
                  Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
            Leaping higher, higher, higher,
            With a desperate desire,
         And a resolute endeavor
         Now--now to sit or never,
       By the side of the pale-faced moon.
            Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
            What a tale their terror tells
                  Of Despair!
       How they clang, and clash, and roar!
       What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
       Yet the ear, it fully knows,
            By the twanging,
            And the clanging,
         How the danger ebbs and flows ;
       Yet, the ear distinctly tells,
         In the jangling,
         And the wrangling,
       How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells--
             Of the bells--
     Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
         Bells, bells, bells--
  In the clamour and the clangour of the bells!

IV.

          Hear the tolling of the bells--
               Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
       In the silence of the night,
       How we shiver with affright
  At the melancholy meaning of their tone!
         For every sound that floats
         From the rust within their throats
              Is a groan.
         And the people--ah, the people--
         They that dwell up in the steeple,
              All alone,
         And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
            In that muffled monotone,
         Feel a glory in so rolling
            On the human heart a stone--
       They are neither man nor woman--
       They are neither brute nor human--
              They are Ghouls:--
         And their king it is who tolls ;
         And he rolls, rolls, rolls, rolls,
              Rolls
            A pæan from the bells!
         And his merry bosom swells
            With the pæan of the bells!
         And he dances, and he yells ;
       Keeping time, time, time,
       In a sort of Runic rhyme,
            To the pæan of the bells--
               Of the bells :
       Keeping time, time, time,
       In a sort of Runic rhyme,
            To the throbbing of the bells--
            Of the bells, bells, bells--
            To the sobbing of the bells ;
       Keeping time, time, time,
            As he knells, knells, knells,
       In a happy Runic rhyme,
            To the rolling of the bells--
         Of the bells, bells, bells--
            To the tolling of the bells,
      Of the bells, bells, bells, bells--
               Bells, bells, bells--
  To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

Phil Slattery’s #Books are Free on #FictionFriday

As a promotional campaign, my e-books available on Kindle will be free on Fiction Friday.  On some days only one will be available, but on most two will be.   Here are the works and the dates as they stand as of March 13, 2017.  I will endeavor to keep this campaign rolling on past May 19 as far as possible.

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The Scent and Other Stories: The Dark Side of Love — March 17, April 7, April 28, May 5, and May 19.  In this collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas.  Available at https://www.amazon.com/Scent-Other-Stories-Dark-Side-ebook/dp/B01N7AA1E4.

A Tale of Hell and Other Works: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned — March 24, March 31, April 14, May 12, and May 19.

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In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, Phil Slattery offers a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future.  Available at https://www.amazon.com/Tale-Hell-Other-Works-Horror-ebook/dp/B01N1K0CHV.

Click: A Police Thriller of Murder and Conspiracy on a Small Texas Island — March 17, March 24, March 31, April 21, and May 12.  Frank Martinez, a policeman with the Corpus Christi Police Department, has unintentionally shot and killed an unarmed man when called to intercede in a domestic violence case. To recover from the guilt while the incident is under investigation by the CCPD, Frank’s fiancée arranges for him to stay on a secluded island owned by her father’s former law partner. While dozing one night on a lounge

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chair in the yard, he awakes to find two hitmen slipping onto the island and breaking into the cabin. Are they after him? Are they

after the cabin’s owner? Most importantly, how is he going to reach his pistol in his luggage in the bedroom?
Reader Charles Stacey gave “Click” five stars and commented: “Author has a wonderful ability to develop the characters using few words. Great foreshadowing to build suspense. And then a really outstanding twist at the end that left me smiling.”  Available at https://www.amazon.com/Click-police-thriller-murder-conspiracy-ebook/dp/B01N0F6Q2X.

 

 

 

Review of “The Hobbsburg Horror”

Veteran author Thomas S. Flowers terrifies readers in his new short story anthology, The Hobbsburg Horror. The delicate narrative is beautifully enhanced by Flowers’ writing style. The perfect metaphors are used at the perfect moments, not only to invoke terror, but to also allow the reader to live and breathe Flowers’ prose. One can only […]

via Thomas S. Flowers ‘The Hobbsburg Horror: Short Screams’ Review — Horror Novel Reviews

A Taste of “Abomination” by Jane Dougherty

The photo is for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto Thursday Photo Prompt. It’s cheeky, I know, but it made me think of a scene from the beginning of Abomination, a not very pleasant scene, my contribution this week. Tully groped about in the darkness until he found Carla’s hand. He had no idea if he had stopped […]

via #writephoto: Abomination — Jane Dougherty Writes