A POISON TREE
1I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
2And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
3And it grew both day and night.
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine.
4And into my garden stole,
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see;
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
Questions and Answers:
1. What approach did the narrator use when handling the conflict with his friend? What was the result?
The narrator used different approaches in handling the conflict with his friend and his foe. With his friend, he directly expressed his wrath towards him, and eventually, his anger went away. The situation showed that if we let the Good prevail over Evil, good things will happen.
2. What approach did the narrator use to handle a conflict with his enemy? What was the result?
Instead of expressing his [narrator] wrath to his foe like what he did to his friend, he kept it to himself and slowly this wrath grew like a tree which at the end bore a fruit (apple). In the second quatrain, the narrator entertained his enmity towards his foe and nourished it. There are implied messages that he lured and tricked his foe to steal the apple from the garden and as a result, his foe met his demise (“My foe outstretched beneath the tree”). This scenario only shows the result of Evil if we let it conquer us.
3. What is the overall message of the poem?
In the opening lines, the poem narrates to us how the narrator’s wrath for his friend and his foe differed and how he handled the conflicts. For me, the simple message of the poem is do good, avoid Evil. On a more critical note, the symbolisms used by the author reflect to our religion and the image of the...
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