Rhyme, Scheme and Meaning in A Poison Tree

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Rhyme, Scheme and Meaning in A Poison Tree

In many cases, poems are very abrupt and awkward sounding when read or spoken aloud. A simple solution to end a poem’s awkwardness is a rhyme scheme. Many poems don’t rhyme for reasons of subject matter but to make the poem more interesting and easier to read the poet uses rhyming words. In many cases, poets use end rhyme, which is using words that rhyme in the end of the phrase or sentence of each sentence. “A Poison Tree” by William Blake is a great example of end rhyme used in poetry.

When one looks at the title, “ A Poison Tree” one can assume the poem is going to be about some sort of fauna. When the reader goes on to read the poem in its entirety, one sees “ A Poison Tree” is simply a symbolic title. The poem begins with someone telling of his wrath for a friend. He had once told a friend why he was mad at or angry with him. When he spoke to the friend, the irritation went away. In another instance, he was also angry with his enemy. He had never told his enemy basically that he held him with the title of “enemy” and his angst or hate for him grew. The poem takes on an “AA, BB” end rhyme scheme in that a sentence (in a group of two) will rhyme with the next.

The poet continues the poem exclaiming what he had to deal with while trying to hide his hate for his enemy. He had basically tried to hide his hate or anger for his enemy out of fear. “And I sunned it with smiles, and with soft deceitful wiles” is a phrase in the poem that shows that the person speaking in the poem also tried to hide his hate for his foe. The sentences in the poem continue to rhyme one after another in groups of two.

The third part in the poem exclaims what happened to the hate and anger he tried to hide while hiding it from his foe. His hate “grew both day and night” which can basically sum up that what the speaker really has is angst towards his enemy. Finally his angst grew so much that it could not be hidden anymore and his enemy found out about his “secret”.

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