A Poision Tree - William Blake
by Avielle Krug
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 and 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.
The poem describes a person who becomes angry with his friend. Instead of releasing this anger, he bottles it up and lets the hatred fester.
As the days go by, the fears and anger increases and becomes more violent.
Eventually, an apple grows from the powerful hatred.
One night, the friend (now foe) sneaks into the garden and eats the apple. In the morning, the speaker finds his freind dead under the tree.
The poem is a narrative poem, telling a story from the speaker's perspective. The poem centers around powerful emotions of hatred, discust, and revenge. The speaker is clearly telling a personal story, and speaks to the audience without guilt. Blake could have been inspired by emotions he had experienced. The overall tone is innocent and eerie. There is never a sense of regret. This can be seen when Blake writes, "In the morning glad I see..." (line 15) in reference to finding his foe dead. Also, the tone is creepy in that the hatred and anger becomes very intesne, while still sounding innocent.
The whole poem is split into four quatrains. Each quatrain has two couplets. This creates a satisfying and easy to read poem. Blake likely chose to write this way because the words flow smoothly from one verse to the next. Every line has punctuation, and every quatrain ends with an end-stopped line. The poem is narrative, so the story progresses as poem goes on. All sentences are simple and easy to understand.