My favourite poems, part 3

[Series note (which I should probably have said in the previous post): I am in no way looking at these poems through a critical lens or even with much background knowledge about some of them. This is purely a look at why I like them and not any kind of real analysis.]

This one is about A Poison Tree by William Blake (1757-1827). I could probably write this whole series about Blake; he’s one of my favourite poets. But I’m restricting myself to one poem per poet, at least for the moment.

I definitely came across Blake as a teenager – the first of his poems I read was most likely The Tyger, and that encouraged me to read more of his work. But A Poison Tree is probably my favourite.

I like the repeating structure of the first verse:

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 the imagery of the second:

And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

I like the way it moves from abstract to concrete, the way it seems like a metaphorical tree in the first couple of verses, and then becomes a clearly real entity in the next two.

I just like Blake in general, and this poem in particular.

© bardofupton 2018

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