Poem of poison tree by william blake

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In the poem “A Poison Tree” by William Blake, it shows how a person’s anger and hatred for his foe, which eventually causes him to seek revenge, overcame him. This essay will discuss the important ideas and emotions that the poet is trying to convey and how he uses poetic techniques to achieve this.


This poem is about how the poet’s anger did not appease when he kept it to himself � “I told it not, my wrath did grow”. This hatred he has for his foe starts growing as he “watered it in fears; Night and morning with my tears”. The poet uses this as a metaphor with plants as plants also need watering to grow but this is ironically negative in the poet’s case as the “plant” which he is growing is nurtured by insecurity and hurt. He then puts on a false front pretending that everything is okay as he “ sunned it with smiles; And with soft deceitful wiles”. He is slowly plotting his revenge at this point not letting his foe know that his hatred is harbouring and brewing within him as each day passes and this hatred in him finally grew to a level where it “bore an apple bright”. This apple is another metaphor which symbolizes as his trap and as a weapon for his revenge. This apple can also be seen that his patience had run out. He could no longer hold his anger and hatred back anymore that he decided it was time to get back at his foe. He uses this apple as an opportunity for him to get his revenge and used it as a trap and his foe fell for it when his “foe beheld it shine”. It can be seen that the apple was tempting as the poet used the word “shine” and it was irresistible to his foe. This is similar to the time of Adam and Eve as they both too fell for the apple, which the serpent made tempting. And when the poet found his foe “outstretched beneath the tree”, he was “glad” that his revenge was taken.


This poem showed us that it is not good to harbour hatred and anger in us for it will grow, so it is best to talk about it. This poem also showed us how a person when taken over by extreme anger and hatred is unable to think logically that it is wrong to get back at his foe, but instead all he thought of was how to plot his revenge by using “an apple bright” as his trap. It is supposedly a tragic and sad thing when a person dies or something bad befalls upon the person but in the poem, the poet ironically does not feel bad or regretful of what he had done when he found his “foe outstretched beneath the tree”, but instead he felt “glad” and a sense of satisfaction that he had finally got his revenge.


Therefore the important ideas and emotions in the poem are revenge, anger and hatred and the poet uses poetic techniques such as metaphors, connotations and irony to convey his poem to us.


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