The Morals of the Story in A Poison Tree, a Poem by William Blake

“A Poison Tree” is a poem written by William Blake, and it describes aspects of wrath. The first stanza states that if you keep your wrath a secret, it will deteriorate. The writer explains it in a common scenario, which has probably occurred to most people. In the second stanza, the writer explains how his wrath grows in an extended metaphor, which basically means that he compares wrath to a tree in a series of sentences throughout the poem/stanza.  The writer describes how he planted a trap for his foe (sunned it with smiles and with soft deceitful wiles).

After the tree (wrath) grows, it bears an apple, and the apple is the trap referred to in the previous stanza.

Then the apple lures the writer’s foe. In addition, since the apple was the writer’s, it really attracted his foe’s attention (IE, 1C) Subsequent to the attraction of the foe to the apple (which is poisonous) when night approaches, the foe sneaks secretly into the writer‘s garden, and he steals the apple.

The eating of the apple leads to the death of the foe. The word ‘stole‘ in the fourth stanza can refer to two things, the thievery of the foe, or his secretly sneaking into the garden. “A Poison Tree” might be considered as a reference to the religious story of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”.  Both the poem and the story share the same moralst .

In the poem, the foe is a reference to Adam and Eve.

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(1C) One of the morals you learn from “A Poison Tree” is “never underestimate the power of repression“.  This moral declares that one should not undervalue what repression could cause. Blake demonstrates the underestimation of repression in “A Poison Tree” by informing about how angry the writer was and since the writer didn’t realize the power of repression, he caused the death of his foe. From the foe’s perspective, he didn’t realize how angry the writer was, and he also didn’t apprehend that the writer could be the cause of his death.

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The Morals of the Story in A Poison Tree, a Poem by William Blake. (2023, Jan 07). Retrieved from

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