“the Sick Rose” by William Blake

Topics: Poetry, William Blake, Love Pages: 2 (778 words) Published: March 2, 2012
This poetry analysis of "The Sick Rose" poem by William Blake mainly presents a review of the themes and imagery presented by the poet. A good poetry critique or essay should start with a free and open look at the title to see what clues the poet offers the reader about his message. Clearly,William Blake is going to address themes of perfection and imperfection, life and death or growth and decay in this poem. The language of the poem. Blake has used thirty-four words in 'The Sick Rose'. Twenty-nine of these are single syllables. The effect of this is to make the poem seem very simple which is it has a nursery rhyme quality, almost.

My first impression of the poem was that its very negative and includes elements of destructin revenge and perhaps even murder. I think the poems about two lovers, one of which cheated on their partner and the other wants revenge.

The poem is very contradictory, this is shown in the first line “O Rose, thou art sick”. What is the rose? There are positive words associated with it, 'life' and 'joy'. Roses are symbols of love, of femininity, of beauty, of sexuality. The rose is also 'crimson', a very deep red which could suggest passion, or blood, or sin (as in 'scarlet woman'). It also has a 'bed' which is again, this could have sexual associations, or it could suggest being 'rooted' and passive.

Blake addresses the rose as a person. The effect of apostrophizing the rose is to add impetus and drive to the speaker's tone, creating a mood of alarm from the very beginning. A rose usually symbolises beauty, romance and love, it’s a very feminine image but then it is said to be sick so we instantly sense something is wrong. The rose could be damaged or hurt. I think the rose is playing the part of the woman and the worm is personified as the man. We are in no doubt that something is wrong and that something sad and worrying has happened. Blake could be talking about a real rose here, or using a metaphor for his society, which he...
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