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.
A Poison Tree is a small poem written by William Blake in 1974, it talks about repressing anger and the consequences of doing so.
The poem begins with an affirmative note that when the speaker speaks to his friend about their conflict and anger, the issue is overcome and the wrath comes to an end. But when the speaker has the same feelings for an enemy, he did not express it, so he did not overcome his anger. As a consequence, the speaker’s anger grew.
William Blake uses an extended metaphor of a tree growing in the garden demonstrating how the anger is growing as he is watering it with his fears to confront his enemy. The tree receives its nourishment through the deceitful smile of the speaker who hides his fears behind a happy face.
Eventually the anger blossoms and bears a poisoned fruit. Metamorphically, the enemy steals the apple (anger) from the speaker’s garden on one dark night. Next morning the speaker is glad to see his enemy lying lifeless on the ground.
This poem deals with a darker side of a human who is happy with the destruction of others. It leaves the readers speechless by the end of the poem, making them realize that confronting our anger to others is the best way to deal.
The society of 1974 acknowledged people who hid their anger by being polite, undisturbed and unruffled. Blake portrayed the self-destruction caused by suppressing anger.
Message from the author:
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