A Poison Tree by William Blake is metaphorically describing the idea of life and the
natural way humans live and choose to experience it. The poem describes the wrath of anger
which can be dispersed by kindness or become a lethal poison if continued to be nurtured within
oneself. The theme of the poem is an appropriate reference to the biblical theme of Adam and
Eve. The opening stanza organizes everything from expressing the anger to the “friend” to the
withholding the anger from the “foe”. Blake uses the simplicity of the poem to surprise his
readers with his metaphors that apply themselves to countless occurrences in life.
Blake uses different types of figurative language, so that he is able to use a simple rhyme
scheme (AABB) in order to keep his readers interested and the poem is consistent. By using
different types of figurative language, it grants him the access to express his thoughts and
feelings more clearly to the reader, so that they have a better comprehension to what he is
expressing. The different types of figurative language found in the poem helps the author to
better express their thoughts and emotions that would usually be difficult to express through
words, if told in person. Blake expresses himself into this poem very well with his different
styles of figurative language and his simplicity.
A Poison Tree is considered a personification, because it occurs as both a means to reveal
the metaphors and a way to support Blake’s illustration of the wrath of anger. The anger that the
speaker speaks of is not necessary a personification as a tree, but as the object thrives with time
and someday produces fruit. In the opening stanza the speaker expresses, “My wrath did grow.”
Also, later in the poem the speaker describes an existing nature of wrath as it which, “grew both
day and night,” and “bore an apple brightly.” The resemblance of personification by anger to a
tree demonstrates the speakers’ interpretation that, like a slowly thriving tree, anger and wrath
increase to become as robust and lethal as a poisoned tree.
The poem is metaphoric, but to really comprehend metaphoric meaning you should ...