William Blake

and the Poison Tree

William Blake's Life Hood

-William Blake was born in 1757 London, England to a highly religious family.

-The teachings of the bible highly influenced Blake's life

-At ten he claimed to have his first vision of a group of angels in a tree.

-William claimed to have seen the prophet Ezekiel.

-Visions highly influenced poetry.

-was not very popular until later in his life and after his death on August 12th 1827.

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A Poision Tree

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 waterd 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 veild the pole;

In the morning glad I see;

My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

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Explanation of A Poison Tree

Stanza 1:

In the first stanza Blake writes about how when you tell someone why your angry and come to an agreement, the feud is over. However if you keep the anger inside, it only grows. In this stanza Blake uses parallelism between friend and foe.

Stanza 2:

Blake writes about how the seed of anger will grow due to fearing the foe, tears caused by the foe, and tricks played on the foe. In this Stanza, Blake uses Figurative language when he refers to his anger as a plant. He also uses symbolism to refer the tree as a part of his life.

Stanza 3:

In this stanza, Blake writes how hatred will lead to an action. How thoughts become action and these actions will be used on the foe. In this Stanza, Blake uses a reference to night to day as a means of showing the passage of time.

Stanza 4:

In the final Stanza, Blake states how his foe lays outstretched beneath the tree. This is because Blake's enemy is dead, killed by the apple given off by the tree. This apple killed Blake's foe, for it has been poison with hatred and anger, the dark emotions expressed by humans to other humans. William Blake uses personification when he states that the night was able to cover up the action when it happened.


A Poison Tree by William Blake (animation: Maya.T.)

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Editors, The. "A Poison Tree." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175222>.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "A Poison Tree Summary." Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.

T, Maya, Toby Kebbell, and Luke Howard. "A Poison Tree by William Blake (animation: Maya.T.)." YouTube. YouTube, 26 June 2013. Web. 14 Feb. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu4QW3gWrUM>

"William Blake Biography." Bio.com. Ed. Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016. <http://www.biography.com/people/william-blake-9214491>.