A Poison Tree By William Blake Analysis Essay

Analysis of William Blake's A Poison Tree Essay

530 Words3 Pages

In “A Poison Tree,” by William Blake is a central metaphor explains a truth of human nature. The opening stanza sets up everything for the entire poem, from the ending of anger with the “friend,” to the continuing anger with the “foe.” Blake startles the reader with the clarity of the poem, and with metaphors that can apply to many instances of life.

Blake also uses several forms of figurative language. He works with a simple AABB rhyme scheme to keep his poem flowing. These ideals allow him to better express himself in terms that a reader can truly understand. These forms of language better help authors to express their feelings and thoughts that would not normally be able to be expressed by words.

The personification in “A Poison…show more content…

To understand the metaphorical sense of the poem, one must first examine the title, “A Poison Tree,” which alerts the reader that some type of metaphor will stand to dominate the poem. In the second stanza, Blake employs several metaphors that reflect the growing and nurturing of a tree which compare to the feeding of hate and vanity explored by the speaker. The verses, “And I watered it …with my tears” show how the tears life lead an object of destruction. The speaker goes further to say, “And I sunned it with smiles” describing not only false intentions, but the processing of “sunning”, giving nutrients to a plant so that it may not only grow and live, but flourish. In both of these metaphors, the basic elements for a tree to survive, water and sunlight are shown in human despair and sadness.

Blake's poetry, while easy to understand and simplistic, usually implies a moral motif on an almost basic level. The powerful figurative language in “A Poison Tree” is so apparent that it brings forth an apparent message as well. The poem is not a celebration of wrath, rather it is Blake's cry against it. Through this, Blake warns the reader of the dangers of repression and of rejoicing in the sorrow of our foes.

William Blake

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Essay on The Message Behind "A Poison Tree"

1077 Words5 Pages

William Blake was a first generation Romantic poet. He lived a long life in which he wrote a copious amount of poetry (Eaves). Blake was also a painter. This aided Blake’s advancing symbolism; he could paint a lovely picture with his words (Eaves). The poem that I have analyzed is A Poison Tree. Blake strategically placed imagery and personification to hide his underlying truth; do not store up anger because horrible situations will arise. At first glance the poem seems hate filled and that he just wrote it out of revenge or angst, but in reality he is teaching a moral lesson that should be taken very seriously. Blake’s structure in the poem is interesting in its symbolism. He wrote A Poison Tree in four stanzas. Upon first glance it…show more content…

In this stanza the speaker has emotionally nourished his wrath (Eden). There is a contrast in imagery, a cold, lonely, melancholy feeling comes about when the speaker says the lines “And I watered it in fears night and morning with my tears.” The tears could be from the speaker’s fear of his wrath which is plausible or they could come from the pure wrath that he feels towards his foe. The speaker is so overcome by emotion that he can’t hold it any longer. The other image is that of warmth but tainted by hate when the speaker says “And I sunned it with smiles, and with soft deceitful wiles.” Sunned brings about images of yellow and warmth but the smiles and deceitful wiles bring up images of trickery. The speaker is trying to fool the foe into believing he likes him by acting nice (the smiles) yet he is all the while tricking him with lies (deceitful wiles). Autumn is a time for harvest, to pluck the sweet apple from the tree. The obvious imagery and personification in this stanza is when the speaker is talking about his foe “till it [the tree] bore an apple bright.” Most shiny or attractive objects grab on to our attention; the apple here being a symbol for his “sugar coated” anger. This brings to mind the old thought of keeping your enemies close. The apple is a physical manifestation of the narrator’s anger and hate. This next line draws the reader in just as it draws in the foe; “and my foe beheld it shine.” I analyzed this line to mean that his hate or wrath is

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