The Sick Rose, The little boy and the Poison Tree by William Blake Reading Responses.
The Sick Rose is an ancient poem by William Blake. It is a relatively short poem with simple language. My interpretation is that the poem talks about love and death. Roses are significantly used to portray love, but in the poem the Rose is being destroyed by the worm in the night. Blake is talking about the spread of a bad thing, a worm that destroys a good thing. The worm is also said to spread only at night. The night here is a symbol of a secret. It could a symbol of infidelity that destroys a relationship. The poem is metaphorical beginning with its title, ‘the sick rose’. The Rose here is a metaphor for love, love that is ill or sick. The term worm as used in the poem makes reference to a disease called infidelity that unknowingly transmitted in the night. The lines have found out thy bed, of crimson joy, and his dark secret love is referring to a married man fornicating with a prostitute and then going back to his wife. ‘And his dark secret love that thy life destroy,’ means that because syphilis is spreading to the child, it is the child’s life that is lost.
The Sick Rose adopts the ABCB rhyme scheme; in the first stanza the rhyming lines illustrate the intention of the worm, which is to destroy the rose. The first line of the poem, ‘O Rose, thou art sick’ informs the reader that the Rose is sick and cannot be treated. A look at the third line in the very same first stanza, the worm is said to work in darkness. As mentioned earlier darkness is symbolic of secrets. The worm is deceitful and goes behind the rose’s back to destroy it. The second Stanza illustrates the ABCB rhyme scheme. The stanza shows that that worm finally destroyed the rose. Using the bed illustrates a sexualized atmosphere where the worm found the rose’s bed and destroyed its life because the Rose is very sick.
My interpretation of the poem is a relationship that is destroyed by acts of infidelity. A worm is a symbol of infidelity that is transmitted by an infidelity partner. The infidelity partner commits his or her acts in secrecy and eventually destroys the whole relationship and the happiness of the other partner in the relationship. The innocent partner is sick and joy because of the worm (infidelity partner). The darkness is a representation of a relationship on the rocks. The faithful partner cannot therefore see what the worm is doing.
The Sick Rose shows that love is beautiful and can be destroyed by the smallest mistake. Destroying of love always happens to hurt the other person; the rose is being destroyed in this case by the worm. The sick Rose is drawn for the collection of poems known as the Songs of Experiences this is evidenced from the reality it portrays. Relationships are not easy and most of the time never meets the expectations. The poem is not imaginative in any way; it is a realistic account of love.
From the religious point of view, I thought the worm is the poem is symbolic for a snake, the sin that eats away the rose or the good in people. The worm is the devil that is cunning and lies to Eve in the Garden of Eden. The worm corrupts the rose and ruins its life for good. The rose is cast away because of sin.
Little Boy Lost is another poem by William Blake. The poem does not give any information about its background setting; it, however, creates a mist of suspense. The poem is about a boy who gets lost in the woods on the thinking that he is following his father. A small boy follows a will-o-the-wisp mistaking it for his father. He found himself alone and frightened in a deep mire of confusion. In the first stanza, the boy pleads with the Father asking him to speak to him and to walk slowly or else he will be loose his way. The boy gets lost in the second stanza; he finds himself alone and cold. He cries, but his father was nowhere to help him.
The poem describes the world experiences and cruelty children are born. Parents are supposed to offer guidance to their children so that they don’t get lost. In the poem, however, the father is all quiet when the boy asks him to speak to him. The father is ignorant and arrogant and turns his back upon the boy and walks too fast for the boy to keep up with the pace. The father is not sympathetic. It is expected that a father is a guardian angel to the child and walk side by side with the child until he can walk alone. In the poem, the father does the exact opposite.
The line in the poem ‘The night was dark, no father was there’, is symbolic. The night is always dark; therefore this line is not making reference to the night, but the world. Father in the poem is an illusion for guidance, the child in the poem is wished for guidance, or otherwise he will be lost. The boy is calling for the guide so that he can choose the right path. The child, however, realizes in the second stanza that there is no father, and he becomes wet with dew. The word dew is a symbolism for materialist pleasure. The last sentence ‘And away the vapor disappears’. Vapor is also symbolic. The child is lost since there is no father to guide him; he gets lost materialistic pleasure and darkness. The vapor is the little righteousness that the child had, at the end of it all the vapor dies away. The poem’s message towards the end when the child is aware of the predicament that he is but has no father to help him, he is but left the wilderness of the world to figure himself out.
The Poison Tree is a poem of an explanation of the nature of human beings by William Blake. Poison tree is a metaphor that is eye-catching to the reader. Reading through the poem the reader one can understand that anger can be displayed as goodwill or nurtured to destroy. The poem begins with alluding that the speaker is angry with a friend, he, however, speaks to the friend and the matter is resolved and, therefore, the anger is resolved. The speaker is also angry with the enemy, this time however he does not speak to the enemy and in return the anger grows. The anger towards the enemy is watered though the speaker acknowledges the fear he had within himself as he watered the anger. The poem poison tree adopts the use of several metaphors. These metaphors explain how anger is nurtured such as from the line ‘watered….’. The metaphors are used to compare the growth of anger to the feeding nature of a tree. Blake applies multiple metaphors that show a reflection of the growing and maintaining of a tree which is comparable to the feeding of vanity and hate explored by the speaker. He is forced to wear a plastic smile whenever he meets the foe as he quietly plots revenge. In the final stanza, the anger is full blown and bears fruits that are the death of his foe.
The speaker is represented by the tree, and its growth is personified by the anger that grows within him. The tree grows and bears fruits, this is to mean the anger in the speaker as grown and bears fruit by him killing the enemy. At the beginning of the poem, the speaker agrees to the fact that the anger within him is him is growing. He goes further to describe how te anger within him is growing and says that it grows both in the day and night and later bears a fruit. Using this figurative language illustrates the speaker’s recognition of the anger within him as a deadly poisonous tree.
I can connect to the poem on the personal level, most of the times when angry, I don’t usually speak about it. On most occasions, I don’t usually have any idea how to handle my anger, so I choose to keep it to myself. I have, however, learned, to let go instead of bottling it in because of the after consequences. The first and second lines in stanza one have both taught me one thing, that when I am angry, I should express my feelings to help let go.
This poem applies to all human beings, especially those struggling with anger management. They have two choices to make to express their anger by talking about it or choose to bottle it up and eventually hurt another person. Blake has employed the use of imagery, figurative language and metaphors to express his opinion. The poem is simple with very deep meaning attached to our human nature and events of life. The poison tree presents both a positive and negative tone through the description of anger.