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William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

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A Poison Tree


I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
........................
........................
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  • Udiah Witness to YAH (10/8/2011 9:16:00 AM)

    William Blake in this poem conveys how when wronged by a friend, he confronted him and his friend apologized. But when wronged by an enemy, he realized that it had been done out of contempt. So Blake devised an ingenius plan, born both out of fear and revenge. The enemy had probably stolen an idea or worse, one of his literary works. So Blake created another so irresistable his enemy couldn't help but bite. But hidden within was a poisonous fruit, either something Blake knew his enemy was unable to comprehend or wouldn't take the time to research. Either way his trap worked. It led to his enemy's complete destruction. Brilliant! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Ian Fraser (4/24/2011 10:38:00 PM)

    Nearly all of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience are outstanding poems and this remains to this day one of the most outstanding collections in existence. What marks them out most strongly from their predecessors is their personal tone. 'A Poison Tree ' is notable in being one of the first poems to introduce a note of irony into its its writing, 'I was GLAD to see my foe, stretched out beneath that tree'. During his lifetime most of Blake's work remained unappreciated and though today his early work is universally admired, the lack of a critical milieu led his later work to become eccentric. (Report) Reply

  • Ian Fraser (4/24/2011 10:31:00 PM)

    Nearly all of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience are outstanding poems and this remains to this day one of the most outstanding collections in existence. What marks them out most strongly from their predecessors is their personal tone. 'A Poison Tree ' is notable in being one of the first poems to introduce a note of irony into its its writing, 'I was GLAD to see my foe, stretched out beneath that tree'. During his lifetime most of Blake's work remained unappreciated and though today his early work is universally admired, the lack of a critical milieu led his later work to become eccentric. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammad Akmal Nazir (4/24/2011 2:10:00 AM)

    It really touched my heart. Blake was one of the most wise poets of English Literature. He wrote many poems full of wit. Here the poem is extremely rich on moral grounds. Great stuff. (Report) Reply

  • Herman Chiu (4/24/2010 7:35:00 PM)

    Bravo, Mr. Blake - that's another one of my favourites you've written!
    Thank you for your simple reminders, and simple finishing touches that are at the very least, brilliant! (Report) Reply

  • Terence George Craddock (4/24/2010 9:49:00 AM)

    William Blake is one of the greatest intellectual masters of poetry English verse has ever produced. This poem, A Poison Tree, contains a moral lesson and wise teaching in the first stanza, the second and third stanzas build the intrigue with a ripening hate disguised, unleashed in the dark of a hidden revenge and the murderer, finally gloating upon the fruit of his crime in morning gladness. Poisoned apples tempt us still it seems in ever more recent art. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (4/24/2010 6:35:00 AM)

    One imagines the poet awake all night nursing his hatred for his foe and devising all kinds of schemes to destroy him. The poet's hate grows by its being suppressed, till it becomes so obvious that the foe has to do something, and the poet kills him. It is interesting that the poet creates an apple to distance himself from his hate, as though his hate were not part of him. It is also interesting that the foe does not talk to the poet about this problem when it becomes obvious to him, but then perhaps it is too late to talk. An intensely powerful poem of the kind which, to my mind, puts Blake alongside Shakespeare in the pantheon of poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Kainwo Moses (4/24/2010 2:26:00 AM)

    Classical poets write classical poems with classic messages. What can the world do without poets like William Blake? There is a very strong message here: do not stomach or bottle up your feelings of hurt and pain; tell it to those who hurt you. By bottling up your pain, you will be grieving in your heart while those who hurt you live in apparent peace-probably they don't even know they hurt someone some time or many times. The poem is good for morning reflections... (Report) Reply

  • Kainwo Moses (4/24/2010 2:20:00 AM)

    Classical poets write classical poems with classic messages. What can the world do without poets like Blake. There is a very strong message here: don't stomach or bottle up your grudge. You will only be sickened by it. Whenever you feel hurt tell it to the person who hurt you. Keeping it is like committing suicide while the 'foe' flourishes, probably not even aware they caused any one any pain. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (4/24/2010 1:47:00 AM)

    A cunning and clever guy does his job with perfection! Nice poem by William Blake! (Report) Reply

  • Wendelin Weird (4/24/2010 1:03:00 AM)

    One of my all time favorite poems! ! ! :) I love the lesson of how dangerous built up anger can be (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (4/24/2009 12:35:00 PM)

    He was angry with his friend. Man, I don't like what you did! OK, pal, let's kiss and make up.

    He was angry with his sworn enemy. I won't let on how ticked I am with him. Every morning I wake, I'll curse him and his kin. He'll think I'm a friend, a brother!
    But I'll scheme and plot and hide my hate!

    And one bright day, the apple will fall from the tree. Go on, take a bite, sucker!
    He did!

    End of fable! (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (4/24/2009 7:02:00 AM)

    Poem captures well the depths of hate. The time of a trees growth and the years of finally baring fruit. The ending leaves an opening for finding the foe under the tree. Though was it forgiveness or death of the foe, that was the final question. As the Bible teaches, forgiveness is Jesus teaching. (Report) Reply

  • Sarah Moore (3/11/2009 8:19:00 PM)

    i don't think the time it was growing would be painful for the speaker... plotting is half the fun of a satisfying outcome. i love this poem, it's one of my favorites. (Report) Reply

  • Danzen D. (1/7/2009 6:46:00 AM)

    Anger...it truly is a poison tree. It grew and grew and ended up in a murder. A truth among us. But during the time the tree was growing, it must have been a very painful time for the speaker.. (Report) Reply

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