Poem Analysis - A Poison Tree
Studies in Poetry
Professor: Frank Franks
June 20, 2012
Cross-Cultural Realities at Work
A Poison Tree is a poem by William Blake. I will be analyzing this poem by explaining what it is about and breaking down different attributes such as theme and style. Before I get to all of that I will be placing a copy of the poem below so that you may follow along.
I 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.
And I watered it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And 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.
And into my garden stole,
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see;
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
This is one of a group of 26 poems that William Blake published in 1793. The poems collectively are known as Songs of Experience. Blake said that his poems are about what he calls a state of "innocence," and how it turns in on itself after it has been suppressed and forced to conform to rules, systems, and doctrines, which he calls a state of "experience”. This also comes from the fall of innocence experienced by Adam and Eve when they ate from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. In the first quatrain he is speaking from his own experience, he is angry at his friend. He told his friend that he was angry and this caused the anger to go away. I know that might seem too straight forward, but I am sure that it is just like it says. He ties the first bit together with a nice rhyme in the words "friend" and "end”. In the second verse he says he was angry at his foe and didn’t tell him and then he got more angry. This again I believe is straight forward and what actually happened. I also teaches a lesson; If we keep things bottled up in side it can make them worse...
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