A Poisoned Heart

1027 Words5 Pages
A main movement during the nineteenth century, British Romanticism, stressed the idea that people are still connected to nature. It was a movement that was meant to rebel against the Enlightenment movement because Romanticism valued emotion, passion, and individuality while the Enlightenment valued philosophy and politics. In “A Poison Tree” William Blake demonstrates the romantic idea of using nature to explain the meaning of his poem. “A Poison Tree” tells a story of how bottling one’s anger inside causes that anger to grow and causes great destruction. The poem starts off by saying how the speaker is angry with his friend, and the speaker expresses his feelings towards the friend. Therefore, the anger disappears and shows how goodwill and friendship can help erase any problems. It illustrates that love and friendship overpower anger. But what happens when there is distrust and enmity with a foe? The lack of love and friendship towards a foe will cause the anger to continue to grow and will transform into destruction that can harm others and oneself. This poem is filled with metaphors that demonstrate the importance of communication and expressing one’s feelings. The use of imagery, the switching of the tense, the avoidance of the murder scene, and the symbolism of the apple in “A Poison Tree” all help demonstrate how bottling one’s anger inside can make oneself dangerously bitter and even murderous. Throughout the poem, the speaker refers the wrath as a tangible object, an apple, a direct allusion to the Tree of Knowledge in the Biblical story about Adam and Eve. The speaker says that his wrath was growing, and he does not mean that he is literally growing a tree with an apple. He means that his anger keeps building up day by ... ... middle of paper ... ...o the foe, and he regrets what he has done. He commits the crime out of anger; had he explained his wrath to the foe, like with the friend, then the foe’s life would be saved. Blake experiences something similar to this poem. In a way, this poem is his “confessional utterance” as he tries to express his experiences to other people. Without the simple techniques that Blake uses, "A Poison Tree" will not have as strong of a meaning that it has. The reader will not be able to capture the moral of the poem, and that is the importance of communication and letting go of grudges. The reader may not notice the little things that make up the poem, but it is what helps define the meaning of the poem. William Blake wanted the reader to learn from the mistake that he had made in the past so that others will not follow his footsteps and experience the goodwill of forgiveness.
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