Heart Disease Essay, Research Paper
William Blake s poem, The Poison Tree , states the basis of morality in its simplest form. Blake takes one of the toughest emotions there is to deal with anger, and blends it with the convicting power of Christianity. The proof lies in the first stanza, 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. In the Bible, God tells his people let not the sun go down upon your wrath (Ephesians 4:26). The speaker of the poem avoids doing what he knows is right; instead, he makes his own path, which leads to evil. William Blake s use of words, along with the rhyme scheme and symbolism portray the true nature of man.
Blake immediately displays the basis of the poem in the title: A Poison Tree. In Matthew 7, God speaks of his children bearing fruit. He says, wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7:20). Man is the tree, and his actions are his fruits . The speaker instantiously does two things wrong within the first stanza: he harbors his anger, which in turn, plants the seed for a corrupt tree.
The simple rhyme scheme cushions in the growing of the tree. Friend/end implies that the good spirit of the speaker has diminished, while foe/grow foreshadows what is about to come. The speaker has abandoned his walk with God in exchange for worldly fulfillment.
The anger takes root in the second stanza. First, the fears and tears water the seed morning and night. Then, his deceitful smiles provide the sunlight. The rhyme scheme, again, pounds the emotions into the reader s mind: fears/tears, smiles/wiles. It is clever how Blake continues to label his anger it throughout the poem. It gives the reader the leeway to picture the anger as an actual image, the young tree.
The maturing tree grows rapidly in the following stanza, day and night . The anger is consuming the speaker until he finally concocts a plan, which bores the first fruit. Blake chooses an apple, a fleshly fruit, to portray the speaker s feelings at this time. A bright apple to be exact. Why bright? Has the speaker had an epiphany? Has he come to terms with his morality and figured out a way to appease his rage? Evidently so, because his opponent can behold its shine, and know that it is the speaker s.
At this point in the poem, the speaker has had some type of mishap with a foe, has fearfully cried over it, and has now figured out a way to get back at it (or him). In the concluding stanza, the speaker s wrath blooms into full view. The foe has is killed, though the way is not clear. He is glad to see the opponent s body outstretched beneath the tree. The tree of wrath has finally put forth the evil fruit which the Bible promised it would. In Matthew 7:17, the Bible says, Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. The speaker forsakes the divine, and his true fruits are exposed. The fruits of the tree are deceit, and the true nature of the tree is revealed by the fury that carries out the horrific act. Guilt has no place in the heart of this man. He can easily see the tree which sprouted from one bad thought.
Why does Blake use the symbol of a tree to convey his message? Because God uses trees in various parables. All trees appear to be beautiful on the outside, but on the inside they contain insects, rodents, and debris. The tree serves as a perfect replica of the human soul. It goes through numerous emotions (fears, tears, smiles, etc.), just as the tree matures in various stages.