Analysis of William Blake's A Poison Tree Essay

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In “A Poison Tree,” by William Blake is a central metaphor explains a truth of human nature. The opening stanza sets up everything for the entire poem, from the ending of anger with the “friend,” to the continuing anger with the “foe.” Blake startles the reader with the clarity of the poem, and with metaphors that can apply to many instances of life.

Blake also uses several forms of figurative language. He works with a simple AABB rhyme scheme to keep his poem flowing. These ideals allow him to better express himself in terms that a reader can truly understand. These forms of language better help authors to express their feelings and thoughts that would not normally be able to be expressed by words.

The personification in “A Poison
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To understand the metaphorical sense of the poem, one must first examine the title, “A Poison Tree,” which alerts the reader that some type of metaphor will stand to dominate the poem. In the second stanza, Blake employs several metaphors that reflect the growing and nurturing of a tree which compare to the feeding of hate and vanity explored by the speaker. The verses, “And I watered it …with my tears” show how the tears life lead an object of destruction. The speaker goes further to say, “And I sunned it with smiles” describing not only false intentions, but the processing of “sunning”, giving nutrients to a plant so that it may not only grow and live, but flourish. In both of these metaphors, the basic elements for a tree to survive, water and sunlight are shown in human despair and sadness.

Blake's poetry, while easy to understand and simplistic, usually implies a moral motif on an almost basic level. The powerful figurative language in “A Poison Tree” is so apparent that it brings forth an apparent message as well. The poem is not a celebration of wrath, rather it is Blake's cry against it. Through this, Blake warns the reader of the dangers of repression and of rejoicing in the sorrow of our foes.

William Blake
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