A Poison Tree Questions and Answers

A Poison Tree

The theme of William Blake's "The Poison Tree" looks deceptively simple (anger), but it's not. Rather, the theme lies in how suppressing one's anger can actually make it grow more than it was...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2010, 7:01 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The poem uses a metaphor to compare anger to a tree. A figure of speech is the use of language that is not literal. In the case of this poem, the entire poem is figurative. The poem compares a...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2016, 7:22 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

In "The Poison Tree," the apple has multiple meanings, representing "wrath," temptation and deception. The narrator of the poem tells the story of nursing an angry grudge against an enemy who has...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2017, 10:12 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

One difficulty with untangling the "message" of any of Blake's work is that Blake himself had his own, extremely complicated personal religion and most of the elements of his poetry refer to parts...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2017, 7:27 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The extended metaphor is comparing anger to a plant (the poison tree of the title). The process of cultivating one's emotions (as seen in the line " And I watered it in fears") is...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2008, 10:09 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

In "A Poison Tree," this line literally means that the enemy snuck into the speaker's garden. The word "stole," for example, means to sneak or creep into a place. However, there is also a deeper...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2017, 9:38 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The moral lesson is a lesson on the dangers of holding in angry feelings about a person. When the poem begins, the narrator of the poem tells his readers that he was angry with a friend. We do...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2016, 6:47 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

There are several possible interpretations for those last two lines. One possible option is that the speaker's wrath killed the other man. To clarify, as the speaker of the poem kept his wrath...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2009, 12:37 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

Blake's message, in my view, is that revenge is not justified, though he doesn't state this directly, and the poem describes only an isolated case without background or elaboration regarding this...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2020, 4:10 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

In a sense, this is comparing apples with oranges. Blake's "A Poison Tree" is a short lyrical poem, and Romeo and Juliet is a play. One was written in the late eighteenth century and the other over...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2015, 5:26 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

When we talk about the tone of a poem, we are assessing what the writer's attitude seems to be. How does the writer seem to feel about the situation he is describing—is he contemplative, outraged,...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2018, 8:12 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The speaker claims, in the first stanza, that when he refused to discuss his anger with his foe, his "wrath" and anger grew. He then says that he water'd it in fears, Night & morning with...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2019, 2:44 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The speaker in the poem has been nurturing wrath against his enemy. “It” stands for the grudge being fostered behind the façade of his smiling face. The poet employs the literary device of extended...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2016, 6:18 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

In “A Poison Tree,” the speaker is most certainly vengeful – he speaks of nurturing anger, not of expressing it but of letting it fester within him, allowing it to grow by giving to it the elements...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2016, 7:43 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The poem opens by telling how the speaker got angry at his friend. He told his friend about his anger, which got it out of his system. His wrath at his friend ended. However, he does not tell of...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2019, 5:07 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

Both Blake and Coleridge are Romantic poets. There are, however, two strands to Romanticism. In the first, nature and the everyday world of common people are exalted, while emotions are privileged...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2019, 8:26 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

This poem operates at the intersection of ethics and emotion. You can’t discuss the moral lessons of the poem without discussing what emotions are found in it. In the first stanza, the narrator...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2016, 3:01 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

In "A Poison Tree," Blake is comparing his wrath, which means anger, with the nurturing of a tree. This is what we would call an extended metaphor, since he carries it throughout the entire poem....

Latest answer posted October 2, 2015, 2:05 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

Presumably, the wrath of the speaker "did end" because he "told" his friend about his anger (line 2). It is the only thing that differentiates the anger he bore against his friend from the anger...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2019, 8:19 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The speaker dissolves his anger with his friend by speaking about it. But when he has anger for his foe, he does not talk about it and it grows. The idea here is that if one suppresses his anger,...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2015, 4:39 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The lesson we can learn from the outcome of this poem is that it is healthier, if we are angry, to talk to someone about it than to keep our angry feelings buried inside. This lesson is summed up...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2019, 12:38 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

In addition to the above poems mentioned, you might try "Home Burial" by Robert Frost. It, too, deals with a relationship but also deals with the nurturing of resentments, wrongs, etc. In the...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2010, 6:11 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

"A Poison Tree" by William Blake is a wonderfully dark poem about the dangers of holding on to hate and anger. The dark nature of the poem is thrown off in feeling because of the poem's inherit...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2019, 10:07 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The speaker describes how he bottled up his wrath for his foe. Over time, his wrath increased. In the second stanza, he says he watered it "Night & morning with my tears, / And I sunned it with...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2016, 7:35 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The poem's rhyme scheme is A-A-B-B; each of the four quatrains follows this pattern. In the first stanza, lines 1 and 3 have seven syllables each, and lines 2 and 4 have eight syllables each. In...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2019, 11:49 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

One lesson of "A Poison Tree" is that if you hold onto your anger and nourish it, it will grow and hurt someone--in the case of this poem, it hurts an enemy, but in other cases, it can hurt the...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2016, 6:17 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

Diction is the choice of words being used by an author. Obviously any writer is putting words on the page, but that doesn't make it good diction. Good diction takes into account whether or not the...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2018, 8:56 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

Based on the poem, it would appear that what the speaker values the most is getting his own way. He can do that with his friend by frankly confessing his anger whenever he gets upset with him. But...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2021, 11:05 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

In "A Poison Tree," the speaker grows a tree based on negative emotions that he keeps to himself instead of expressing those feelings to his foe. He notices that when he is angry with his friend...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2019, 1:41 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The speaker of the poem is likely angry with two different people. One is a friend. The other is a foe. No additional information is given about these two people. I was angry with my friend:I...

Latest answer posted July 4, 2016, 2:09 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

On one hand, a reader could legitimately say that the poem's speaker doesn't actually feed his wrath. He waters it with tears and suns it with false smiles and "deceitful wiles." The speaker's...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2019, 3:38 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The theme of "A Poison Tree" examines the detrimental effects of harboring anger. In this poem, the speaker is angry twice: once at a friend and once at a foe. When he's angry with his friend, they...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2019, 3:00 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The speaker's wrath hardly affects his friend because he "told [his] wrath," and so "[his] wrath did end." Evidently, he talked to his friend about his anger, and, as a result, his anger subsided....

Latest answer posted January 20, 2019, 11:00 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

“A Poison Tree,” written by William Blake, was published in the Song of Experience in 1794. The first person narration describes two different situations concerning extreme anger. Blake expresses...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2012, 11:31 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

This is a good question because Blake wrote this poem as a cautionary moral tale and meant for the reader to apply it to his or her own life. He didn't write it for people to say, "oh, that's...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2016, 10:21 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The speaker nurtures his anger against his enemy by not telling him (the enemy) about it. He buries it deep inside himself. Because he doesn't address the issue, it sticks with him: he remains...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2019, 1:49 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

As the speaker explains in the first two lines of the poem: I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end. In other words, the speaker told his friend that he was angry. Having...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2019, 6:07 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

William Blake’s poem “A Poison Tree” offers an important lesson about anger. This contemplation on the nature of rage provides two ways of handling it. The Poison Tree" consists of four sets of...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2012, 12:59 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

"A Poison Tree" is already figurative; I assume you mean to ask how its figurative language might reasonably be interpreted. I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2016, 5:10 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

In William Blake's "A Poison Tree," published in 1794 in his Songs of Experience, the persona compares his anger, or "wrath," to a tree, and compares himself to a sort of gardener (2). In the first...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2016, 12:20 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

William Blake's "The Poison Tree" is meant to teach us a lesson: when we are unhappy with someone, friend or foe, we should tell that person how we feel. If we nurse our anger inside, it will grow...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2018, 3:01 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

In addition, apples automatically make you think of that famous biblical apple from the story of Eden. Reading the poem, and finding out that wrath was transformed into an apple, we think right...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2016, 10:40 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

“A Poison Tree” by William Blake is a poem of vengeance, anger, and murder. The poem provides two ways to handle anger: for a friend and a foe. However, the true subject of the poem is not the...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2012, 8:15 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

Blake's poem, "A Poison Tree," published in 1794, comes from his Songs of Experience. This poem is an extended metaphor; that is, the entire poem compares the speaker's anger and wrath to a tree...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2019, 2:31 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

Wiles can be defined as devious, cunning stratagems employed in manipulating or persuading someone to do what you want them to do. In "A Poison Tree" by William Blake, it's the speaker of the poem...

Latest answer posted December 5, 2019, 6:15 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The repetition featured in Blake's poem relates to the process of repressing and holding in anger, as opposed to "coming clean" with one feels. There are two parts to it: When Blake speaks of...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2009, 8:37 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

The poem "A Poison Tree" can be read as a comment on forbearance. More specifically, this is a poem about the relative value of forbearance versus the expression/exorcising of negative emotions. To...

Latest answer posted August 30, 2015, 3:45 pm (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

William Blake's poem "A Poison Tree" is a figurative expression of the relation of the spiritual world with the natural world. When the speaker of this poem becomes angry with his friend, he...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2016, 9:16 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

A figure of speech is any use of language that goes beyond the literal to create an effect. It can include repetition, alliteration, word reversals, or any device that adds to the basic factual...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2018, 3:14 am (UTC)

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A Poison Tree

Poison Tree tells the tale of one man and two different courses of action which he takes regarding his negative feelings. In the first scenario, the man is upset at a friend. However, as he...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2013, 6:55 pm (UTC)

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