On July 7, after a long trip of sailing out to visit several different friends, a sudden afternoon storm sunk the Ariel ten miles from any land. The bodies of Shelley, Williams and the boat's sailor washed up ten days later and were treated and cremated on the beach because of quarantine laws to protect against the plague. Shelley's ashes were buried in the Protestant cemetery at Rome . His heart was first given to a friend, then to Mary, and eventually buried in Bournemouth. Shelley's final, unfinished poem was, perhaps ironically, titled The Triumph of Life .
"The Tyger" is Blake’s most-read poem, hands down. It is easier to read than a lot of his work, but by no means a walk in the park. Even though the themes and meaning are about as elusive or difficult as you can muster, but not so obscured you don’t understand a thing.
The excitement that Blake inspires in a lot of really smart people, as well as normal people like us, is pretty compelling. He questions everything: religion, politics, poetry itself, history, science, and philosophy. He attacks traditional order, systems of rules and regulations, and people who think they have it all figured out. No one is spared from his critical eye, not angels, gods, God, kings, priests, or even you, the reader.
In any case, Blake is awesome, and "The Tyger" is a great introduction to the rest of his work. His poetry is a bit like Michael Moore meets Emily Dickinson . He’s topical, sometimes very critical, and can be clever. He also has a brilliant poetic mind, and the eye of a visionary who sees the world in ways of which we can only dream. Not to mention, "The Tyger" is short, and doesn’t require knowledge of Blake's personal mythology (ever heard of Urizen, Los, Oothoon, Enitharmon, Thel, or Beula; Orc, Rintrah, Bromian, or Leutha? Don’t worry; neither had anyone else until Blake made them up).