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Hatred Poisons Soul - William Blake's a Poison Tree

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Essay title: Hatred Poisons Soul - William Blake's a Poison Tree

Hatred Poisons Soul

In William Blake’s, “A Poison Tree” a central metaphor of truth in human nature is

expressed. It is a poem which teaches how anger can grow when nurtured with hate and become

a deadly poison. The poem uses biblical points to reinforce this point along with clarity and

understandable metaphors. The opening stanza sets up the entire poem, from the

ending of anger with the “friend,” to the continuing anger with the “foe.”

As the poem's metaphors are revealed and supported, Blake is able to establish the wrath.

The wrath the speaker feels is not directly personified as a tree, but as something that grows as a

tree. Meaning slow growth, it begins small and slowly grows in time to bear fruit. In the opening

stanza the speaker states, “My wrath did grow.” (line 4). The speaker later describes the wrath as

one which “grew both day and night,” (line 9) and, “bore an apple bright.” (line 10). This

comparison of a wrath to a tree demonstrates the speaker's idea that, just like a tree is slow and

steady to grow, anger when not handled properly is also slow and steady to grow into what will

be a wrath. Once becoming a wrath it is as dangerous as eating the fruit of a poisonous tree or

eating the seed of hate as in Adam and Eve eating the apple.

To further demonstrate how Blake’s poem is about the growth of hatred and its destruction

to self refer to the second stanza in which Blake uses several metaphors that reflect the growing

and nurturing of a tree. The verses, “And I watered it in fears, night and morning with my tears”

(line 5,6) show how the tears metaphorically

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