A Poison Tree

A Poison Tree – Analysis

‘A Poison Tree’ is a poem written by William Blake. The poem contains four stanzas each including one quatrain and various stylistic devices. He works with a simple rhyme scheme   (A,A,B,B) that keeps the poem flowing. This poem deals with the concepts anger, hatred and revenge.
In the first quatrain William compares how he deals with his feelings of anger towards his friends versus his foe. When he expressed his wrath to his companion, his anger and ‘poison tree’ withered away easily due to the fact that he was able convey his feelings openly. However, when he buried his wrath away from his enemy, it grew and enlarged maliciously. In this quatrain he used one stylistic device, which is rhyme. As for the second quatrain, he describes how his anger is mounting by comparing it to a small poisonous plant that is budding and growing very rapidly. This is what happens when feelings are not expressed.   The plant is watered with “fears” and “tears” and is nourished with “fake smiles” and “deceitful wiles”. This stanza includes a few stylistic devices some of them are rhymes and metaphors. An example of a metaphor is, ‘And I water’d it with fears’. Just like a plant is watered to grow, his wrath is watered with tears and fears.
The tale continues in quatrain number three, where the poet’s anger increases to the extent that the poisonous tree produces bright and shiny apples. This is similar to the story of The Garden of Eden. The fruit seemed tempting to eat at first; however, Eve got punished for eating it. Likewise, the speaker seems gracious towards his opponent, when actually he has been hiding evil intentions all along. With regards to the last quatrain, the author begins to speed up the climax when the foe trespassed into the speaker’s garden, in other words his trap, and was tempted by the apple’s shiny appearance. When the poet says, “My foe outstretched beneath the tree” he either means that the foe has consumed the poison while...