What personal connection can you make to the poem "A Poison Tree" and its subject?

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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 interesting, but too bad for that person who ate the poisoned apple."

The poet means for us to see ourselves in the persona who nurtured his anger at his enemy by watering it with his "tears" and sunning it with his deceitful "smiles." If we stuff down our anger, pretend we're happy, and don't resolve our conflicts, our anger will grow and grow until it becomes like a poisonous plant that will hurt other people. The poet shows us a different and healthier path in the first stanza, where the persona confronts the friend who makes him angry and works out the problem. The poem suggests that we have a choice about how we behave and that resolving our issues with others is far better than letting them fester.