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

# 24 poem on top 500 Poems


Do you like this poem?
892 person liked.
749 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: tree, friend, night, smile, water, fear

Read this poem in other languages

What do you think this poem is about?

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

  • Rookie - 0 Points Crystal Pierce (3/24/2015 8:37:00 PM)

    This poem is sensational. The poet William Blake put his envy into words and expressed his feelings for his foe and friend. Great poem by a great poet! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 62 Points Holly Gustafson (3/21/2015 6:33:00 PM)

    This poem is so, so good. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,489 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

  • Gold Star - 8,038 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

  • Bronze Star - 2,647 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

  • Gold Star - 5,396 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

  • Veteran Poet - 1,409 Points Kay Staley (10/14/2014 9:47:00 AM)

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

  • Rookie - 365 Points Gexg Lalnuna (10/14/2014 8:01:00 AM)

    Such a beautiful poem (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,321 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 - 18,935 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 - 24,387 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 - 39,733 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

  • Veteran Poet - 1,365 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

Read all 104 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. I Slept Like A Baby Last Night, JAMES T. ADAIR
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  8. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]