(Article/content is below...)

A Poison Tree by William Blake


"A Poison Tree" is a poem written by William Blake. This poem is about how Blake would keep his anger to himself and it would build so much that he soon lashed out on his friend. He says that when he actually let his anger out, it wouldn't grow, but when he kept it to himself, it would grow and grow until it became a "poison tree" and lashed out on his friend.

This poem is written as four stanzas with four lines in each. It is written in the rhyme scheme AABB. The poem is written in iambic-tetrameter and iambic-triameter (sort of). Actually, the odd numbered lines might be considered both iambic and perhaps anapestic. For example, the first line goes da-DUM-da-DUM-DUM-da-DUM. Seven syllables in total.


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 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.

Next: The Chimney Sweeper
Recommended Content
Find out more information about this poem and read others like it.


Literary Movement
Romanticism, 18th Century

Friendship, Anger

Last update: