William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

A Poison Tree


I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Submitted: Wednesday, May 09, 2001
Edited: Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Topic of this poem: tree

# 23 poem on top 500 Poems


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Comments about this poem (A Poison Tree by William Blake )

  • Rookie - 979 Points Godfrey Morris (2/21/2015 7:05:00 AM)

    Awesome piece of poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie shouq albelouki (1/25/2015 4:13:00 AM)

    amazing (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points MAHIMA JAIN (1/22/2015 2:41:00 PM)

    Just if i had read it before (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,379 Points L. E. O. Gibraltar (1/20/2015 3:44:00 AM)

    Amazing! ! ! One the greatest poems of all time with profound wisdom of forgiveness and the result of not showing it. For we shall love and forgive not only our friends, but our foes as Christ commands. It is the way of true love. Thanks (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,379 Points L. E. O. Gibraltar (1/20/2015 3:42:00 AM)

    Amazing! ! ! One the greatest poems of all time with profound wisdom of forgiveness and the result of not showing it. For we shall love and forgive not only our friends, but our foes as Christ commands. It is the way of true love. Thanks (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 7,568 Points Ronjoy Brahma (1/14/2015 11:07:00 AM)

    Great poem, i like it (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Raphael Reichert (11/16/2014 10:42:00 PM)

    Great poem, but the recorded reading put the M's in monotonous and monochromatic. Kindly have a poet or actor do such recordings, i.e., inject some soul. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 2,503 Points Elizabeth Padillo Olesen (11/10/2014 6:12:00 AM)

    Very simple poem bearing universal truth, how human anger and hate can be nurtured day and night and how it grows to be a poisoned tree. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 4,816 Points Savita Tyagi (10/14/2014 8:04:00 PM)

    The poet is lucky that his wreath didn't destroy him, instead killed only his foe! Enjoyed the poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 158 Points Kevin Nash (10/14/2014 11:56:00 AM)

    lovely work man, inspiring poetic minds... So much could be learnd with this kind of writing! (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,403 Points Kay Staley (10/14/2014 9:47:00 AM)

    Very simple and kinda like a nursery rhyme with more meaning. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 354 Points Gexg Lalnuna (10/14/2014 8:01:00 AM)

    Such a beautiful poem (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 2,812 Points Patricia Grantham (10/14/2014 6:50:00 AM)

    A great metaphor in the friend that he thought
    he had. In the end his wishes came true was
    the friend he once knew. Compelling. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 17,104 Points Valsa George (10/14/2014 6:42:00 AM)

    This is one of the most beautiful and meaningful poems, I have read! Simple in form, but so profound in content! If anger is watered and nurtured, it will shoot into a poison tree bearing lethal fruits! Who all eat them meet with their doom! Anger destroys both the owner and the reciever! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 21,206 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (10/14/2014 4:24:00 AM)

    A great poem from the great poetic mind. The first para tells us the fact while he was wrath with the friend and when it is discussed it ended there. when such a wrath to the foe not ended and until his friend's death. A great image about the wrath and vengeance here poet describes and in fact the world is seeing those things and we experiences in real life. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 37,362 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (10/14/2014 3:44:00 AM)

    Communication with smile fill the gap..if silently bears the things...it is wastage...decay of energy..washing with tears the holiness within nice (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 348 Points Chris Howie (10/14/2014 2:53:00 AM)

    This is a fantastic poem! While it has a rather simple rhyme scheme, it is effective in delivering its message. It's short but sweet, let's say. And it is worthy of multiple interpretations. While I'm inclined to think it's a symbolic apple, and perhaps even a symbolic tree, it's certainly fair to think it's all literal. Really, it is just an impressive poem on that nature of anger and holding a grudge, and it is personified beautifully in this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,281 Points Sagnik Chakraborty (10/7/2014 5:56:00 AM)

    Like most of Blake's works, this short poem is multi-layered and is open to several interpretations. With a friend you can speak out your anger and sort out the issue. With someone you don't like, it isn't that easy. You might well nurture the feeling of vengeance in your heart, of which the 'poison tree' is a metaphor out here. The enemy would be deceived by your 'smiles' and 'deceitful wiles', believing you to still to be innocuous and gullible. Therefore, if and when he tries to take advantage of you once again, he would find that your long-held grudge has kept you prepared and he would be defeated at his own game this time.

    This defeat of your enemy is symbolized through his 'death', and it is caused by your long-held grudge, i.e. the 'poison tree' that kept you wary of him. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Sara Khan (9/3/2014 5:24:00 AM)

    amazing poem! ! great description and sense of imagery, it's also a very true poem wow didn't realize how much i liked this poem. Blakes definitely on my fav poet list! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Sara Khan (9/3/2014 5:21:00 AM)

    Awesome poem! ! one of my favorites, got great description and wonderful rhymehe's definatly on one of my fa poet list actually my first (Report) Reply

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