A Poison Tree Analysis

Brynn Martinson

A Poison 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 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 veild the pole;

In the morning glad I see;

My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Poetic Devices

Repetition: 1st stanza- "I was angry, I told, I was angry, I told it not." This shows when the speaker told people about his anger it went away but when he didn't it grew.

Alliteration: "Sunned it with smiles" This emphasizes how the speaker's anger was growing

Rhyme: The first 2 lines of each stanza rhyme and the last 2 lines of each stanza rhyme. Each stanza has a different sound at the end of the word that rhymes. This creates a rhythm.

Rhythm: This rhythm is created by the rhyming and creates a dreary and sad mood.

Metaphor: "And it grew both day and night.

Till it bore an apple bright." This is comparing the speaker's anger to an apple and shows how much the speaker's anger has grown. The title is an extended metaphor because the speaker's anger is overall being compared to a tree growing more and more.

Idiom: The second stanza is an idiom. It is an idiom because rhe speaker is not literally watering it anger with fears or sunning it with smiles, what the poem is actually saying is that the speaker's anger is growing.


The theme of this poem is do not hold your anger in. The author showed that when the speaker told people about his anger it went away, but when the speaker kept his anger in him it grew more and more.

Mood and color explanation

I thought the colors blue and red went with the dreary and sad mood. This poem is about someone who hold in there anger which is sad and the blue represents the sadness and the the red represents anger.
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Tone/ Speakers attitude

I think the speaker's attitude is mournful because he's speaks with his anger still in him, sadly, wishing he had just let his anger go.