William Blake, historically known to for his enlightening enriching poems, A Poison Tree is one that transcends beyond all his work. In this essay I will interpret William Blakes intentions on composing A Poison Tree and in my own words gauge what his thoughts and feelings were in writing it.
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. In this first portion of the poem I notice that there are two different scenarios taking place. Figuratively, the author is laying out the foundation of his poem with two different instances, his foe and his friend. In my opinion, I see the author explaining that out of the two individuals the friend would be forgiven for what he or she had done and his wrath would be ended. In that sentence the author informs the reader of a common human fact, that if you have a friend then there is no need to relish over it, rather move on. The foe, on the other hand, will not be so lucky. The author explains when he was angry he told his anger not, which resulted in it to be feed negativity. In that make up of the first paragraph, the authors anger and wrath are the key characters of his poem.
And I watered it in fears; Night and morning with my tears. And I sunned it with smiles; And with soft deceitful wiles. In these lines, Blake tells how tended to and nurtured his anger, how he made it grow. Although, he is examining a process, he isnt suggesting a moral. He is showing the pleasure hes taking in his own slyness. He also speaks using metaphor. Metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea. When he speaks of his wrath, he speaks of it as if it were a house plant, and not what it is, an emotion. Another metaphor, I sunned it with smiles; And with soft deceitful wiles. Wiles are stratagems or tricks intended to deceive or ensnare. Blake is setting up a trap for his foe, daring him to want something that looks inviting but is not. Being friendly to his foe fuels the fire therefore strengthening his wrath. The fake laughter and smiles he lays upon his foe act as sunshine on the plant of his wrath.
And it grew both day and night; Till it bore and apple bright. And my foe beheld it shine; And he knew it was mine. In the third quatrain, the writer is showing us how his fury has grown big and apple bright. He used the metaphor apple bright to suggest the color of anger or wrath, red. When his foe finally realizes that all that has happened were only acts of trickery, all he could do was look in awe. He now knows that all the anger and tension was towards him.
And into my garden stole; When the night had veiled the pole. In the morning glad I see; My foe outstretched beneath the tree. Here, the scene of death treachery occurs in the writers garden. The garden, which is viewed as a place of peace and tranquility, has become the stage of a sinful act. Basically, he waits in the garden until his foe arrives, and kills him. The next morning, he was glad to see that, what he thought was a dream, his foe was dead. Killed by his hands, in the garden, beneath the tree. The poison tree.