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What is the tone of the poem, "A Poison Tree"?

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dannygunderson | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 7, 2008 at 11:52 AM via web

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What is the tone of the poem, "A Poison Tree"?

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 7, 2008 at 10:14 PM (Answer #1)

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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 waterd it in fears,                    5
  Night & 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.                              10
  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;                              15
  My foe outstretchd beneath the tree.

The tone is very matter-of-fact with a hint of satisfaction. The speaker was angry, and he did nothing about it. The anger poisoned the soil of the tree creating poison fruit. He knew the enemy would be tempted by the fruit. He was correct, and revenge was successful.

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