Aug 5, 2012

An appreciation of William Blake’s “A Poison Tree”

        The four elements of poem in William Blake’s A Poison Tree seem to be metaphorical despite the fact that the poem is written simply. We can say that the speaker is the poet himself, because the nature of the poem is narrative; the poet tries to tell a story through stanza by stanza of the development of events in the poem. So we can deal with the poet as a narrator as far as he starts his first stanza by using “I” and continues to use it alongside developing the events. As far as the addressee is concerned, it could be the reader, 

because as we said the poem is a kind of narrative one and the poet tries to tell the reader something. Or if we look at the poem deeply, we will see that the poet is metaphorically addressing his conscious by describing it as “wrath”. The setting could be the garden as the place of developing and concluding the story, and the time also could be “day and night” as mentioned in the poem.  The tone of the poem is “glad” as we can see in one of the last stanzas in which the poet mentioned “in the morning glad I see”, which means he is glad to see that his enemy (desire) died beneath the tree of his (anger). The tone of the poem could be (gladness), because the concluding stanza the poet is concluding by “In the morning glad I see”. So he is glad to see that his foe died beneath the tree of his anger.
       The poet has used several poetic devices. In the opening stanza, the friend and the foe may represent the metaphorical meaning of (conscious and desire), because the desire is like anger, if you keep it in yourself, it’ll grow bigger and bigger. In the second stanza, there are also metaphorical descriptions of watering his (wrath) in fears and with tears like watering a tree so as to make it grow.   And he suns it with smiles just like sunlight which makes a plant to grow. In the third stanza, the “Apple” which is bright and attractive, is the symbol of sin. And he metaphorically describes the growing of the tree, which means growing of Mans’ desire, and the desire bears sin.  In the last stanza, the garden represents (The Garden of Eden), and the poet wants to give us an image of the Fall of Adam and Eve from Heaven, form eating the apple in his garden by his foe.
            In the opening stanza, the poet makes a comparison between his feeling towards his friend and his enemy which represent his (conscious and desire). He says that he was angry with his friend, and he told it to his friend, and he was able to get over his anger, and then the anger ended. But oppositely; when he was angry with his enemy, and he did not tell him about that, that’s why the anger grew bigger and bigger. In the second stanza he begin to make his anger grow towards his enemy and the same time pretending to be friendly to him so as to bring him closer by giving him false smile and deceived persuasion. He is comparing his anger with his enemy like a tree or a plant which he makes them grow as a tree or a plant grows. In the third stanza, his allusion with his enemy grows until it becomes an attractive and bright thing which can deceive him to make his enemy feel that his feeling towards him is true. He says his anger grows and bears and a bright apple, and as his enemy looks at it shining, he doesn’t know that the apple is a poison.  In the last stanza, the poet concludes that his enemy finally falls to his tempting illusion, and eats form the poison tree of his anger and dies.
       Despite the fact that the poem has written in a simple way, but the meaning is very deep. The poet describes The Biblical story of Adam and Eve and the Fall in an extended metaphor. 

Prepared By Shvan Goran 

As an assignment of Poetry class on 24/11/2011

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