William Blake analyzes two conflicting forces, revealing the underlying frailties of humanity and the consequences of these defects. In “A Poison Tree”, Blake represents this inherent weakness by symbolism, allegory and Imagery. The poem’s core topic is wrath and rage, which dominate the author’s thoughts. Blake demonstrates this by using an astute parallel: the handling of rage by a friend and an adversary. This is illustrated by lines such as “I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe” (Blake 1-3). Through this, Blake underlines the nature of rage: while expressing and releasing rage eliminates it, repressing it only serves to sustain it. Blake astonishes the reader with the lucidity of his poetry and with analogies that may be applied to a variety of situations in life. The novel A Poison Tree is an allegory. The tree symbolizes repressed rage, the river represents fear, and the apple represents the deception that emerges from suppression. This dishonesty impels the speaker to set a deathtrap for his opponent. The poem’s underlying message is that repressed violent emotions harm personal relationships. He seems to give the suppression of rage and hate a name by comparing it to “a poison tree.” The personification in “A Poison Tree” serves both to expose and strengthen the metaphors in the poem, as well as to foreshadow the more significant representation of anger by Blake. The speaker’s rage is not explicitly represented as a tree but rather as something that develops slowly and produces fruit.

A Poison Tree" is a poem written by William Blake, published in 1794 as part of his Songs of Experience collection.

I told it not, my wrath did grow. And I waterd it in fears,. Night & morning with my tears:.

Imagery is used to stimulate the five senses of the reader. William Blake employs visual imagery throughout the poem to evoke mental images, such as “And it grew both day and night.” “Until it bore a brilliant apple,” “My opponent laid out under the tree” (Blake 17). Blake used imagery to describe the process of plant growth, such as when he “watered it in dread, night and morning with [his] tears” and “sunned it with smiles, and with gentle deceptive wiles” (Blake 6-8). This paints a picture in the reader’s mind and demonstrates how Blake’s anger continually weighs him down. He is so preoccupied with his fury that he regularly weeps over it day and night. Eventually, after careful nurturing, his tree produces an apple, representing his resentment against his adversary. Blake’s adversary dies after devouring the apple, signifying how, after finally letting go of his wrath, he kills his adversary. This makes the poem more potent since Blake can express his views via images, which would otherwise be difficult. In addition, this technique makes killing his enemy more acceptable in a narrative since it is never explicitly mentioned but inferred.

Works Cited

Blake, William. A poison tree. Prometheus Press, 1983.

Learning Goal: I’m working on a english writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.


As you read the works for this week, try to identify symbols that work together to convey the themes. Do you recognize any patterns of symbols or metaphors? Could these stories be allegories? What insights about life do they illustrate?


How does the author use language to create imagery? Can you identify any specific examples of figurative language? Does the author use sensory details? Where? How do these details influence our interpretation? As always, be sure to read the chapter in the textbook, which elaborates on these ideas.

Requirements: 420 words

You should be good, the assignment is on “A Poison Tree” written by William Blake. Get 24/7 Homework help from professional tutors!