From Fearful Symmetry, by the English modernist poet, Basil Bunting. Blake’s Tyger has fallen on hard times (“What immortal hand or eye / Dare frame thy fearful symmetry.”)
Muzzle and jowl and beastly brow,
bilious glaring eyes, tufted ears,
recidivous criminality in the slouch,
—This is not the latest absconding bankrupt
but a ‘beautiful’ tiger imported at great expense from
7 photographers, 4 black-and-white artists and an R.A.
are taking his profitable likeness;
28 reporters and an essayist
are writing him up.
Sundry ladies think he is a darling
especially at mealtimes, observing
that a firm near the docks advertises replicas
fullgrown on approval for easy cash payments.
♂Felis Tigris (Straits Settlements) (Bobo) takes exercise
up and down his cage before feeding
in a stench of excrements of great cats
indifferent to beauty or brutality.
He is said to have eaten several persons
but of course you can never be quite sure of these things.