A Poison Tree

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Home > Arts & Humanities > Literature > Poets & Poetry
Poetry analysis: A Poison Tree, by William Blake

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by Raina Lorring

Writing Level StarWriting Level Star

Created on: May 24, 2012 Last Updated: May 27, 2012

William Blake’s “A Poison Tree” makes a powerful statement about how the poet felt conflict should be handled. In his poem, Blake warns about the ill effects of holding malice inside oneself. The poem is a metaphor for what happens when one allows anger to grow within, instead of using the power of communication to resolve conflicts.

“A Poison Tree” is organized into four

quatrains. The rhyme scheme is AABB; meaning that the first two lines of each quatrain rhyme as do the second two lines. This rhyme scheme creates a very simple and easy to follow flow for the poem.

The poem is told from the point of view of an ambiguous narrator. Withholding the identity and all personal details of the speaker, makes readers able to place themselves into the poem.

The first quatrain explains that the narrator at one time became angry with a friend. However, this conflict was resolved because the narrator told the friend and the “wrath did end.” The second half of the quatrain brings up...
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