Blake’s ‘A Poison Tree’: “I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow.”

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

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole,
When the night had veild the pole;
In the morning glad I see,
My foe outstretchd beneath the tree.

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Blake’s poems about trees, flowers and lilies: allegories about love, jealousy, & sexual hypocrisy

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My Pretty Rose Tree

A flower was offer’d to me:
Such a flower as May never bore.
But I said I’ve a Pretty Rose-tree,
And I passed the sweet flower o’er.

Then I went to my Pretty Rose-tree:
To tend her by day and by night.
But my Rose turnd away with jealousy:
And her thorns were my only delight.

Ah! Sun-flower

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime,
Where the travellers journey is done.

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves and aspire
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.

The Lilly

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn:
The humble Sheep, a threatning horn:
While the Lilly white, shall in Love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

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Questions to answer on the poems

What effects are created when the poems are read aloud or sung?

What interests you most about the poems? Why?

What questions might you ask about the poem?

What are the poems about?

What effects does the language create?

What is the effect of the poems’ structure and form?

What are the similarities and differences between other texts?

How do other people interpret these poems? Find sources/links…

What might make a good creative response to the poems?

How might you teach this poem?