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In the first stanza, the speaker makes a contrast between two occasions when he got...
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High School Teacher
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.
"Wrath" means anger. In the first stanza, the speaker is angry with a friend, but "told his wrath," i.e. explained to his friend that he was angry. When the speaker did this, his anger ceased, most likely because he and his friend had a conversation and settled their differences.
In the third and fourth lines, however, the speaker is angry with a "foe," or enemy. He does not share his feelings with the person, and therefore, his anger increases until it bears a metaphorical fruit--an apple--which the foe then bites, and dies from the poison. A poem such as this is too short to be allegorical, but this is clearly an allusion to the Tree of Knowledge (of good and evil).
Posted by jblederman on June 1, 2010 at 8:12 PM (Answer #1)
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