What is the effect of rhyme, rhythm, and metaphor in "A Poison Tree"?

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A Poison Tree” by William Blake appears in Blake’s collection The Songs of Innocence and Experience, in the collection's latter half (the “experience” poems). Throughout the collection, Blake writes a number of poems on shared topics that explore the nature of the world through innocent/naive and experienced/cynical eyes.


An audible pattern in verse established by the intervals between stressed syllables.

In this poem, the rhythm is largely trochaic. A trochee is a pattern of a stressed or long syllable followed by an unstressed or short syllable. A trochaic pattern can be observed in the pronunciation of the word “Monday.” With a few exceptions, trochees are the dominant pattern throughout the rhythm of the poem. Notably, each line ends with a single stressed syllable, omitting the expected following unstressed syllable. This creates a jarring pause at the end of every line. Trochees also begin almost every line, and this pattern of starting and ending with a stressed...

(The entire section contains 520 words.)

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