Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

The Sick Rose -- William Blake

(Poem #546) The Sick Rose
 O Rose, thou art sick!
 The invisible worm
 That flies in the night,
 In the howling storm,

 Has found out thy bed
 Of crimson joy,
 And his dark secret love
 Does thy life destroy.
-- William Blake
Martin's commentary yesterday notwithstanding, short poems do not necessarily
have to be either 'self-contained' or 'gemlike' in order to achieve perfection.
Indeed, I find that among my own favourite short poems are several that seem to
expand upon reading, that open themselves up to multiple layers of
interpretation. This is one of them.


[Minstrels Links]

There are, of course, plenty of short poems on the Minstrels site, from
Pound's imagist magic to Basho's haiku. One of my favourites is Peter
Porter's 'Instant Fish', another poem that seems to say much more than just
what the words imply: poem #64

Talking about Peter Porter and haiku, here's one that shouldn't be missed:

        William Blake, William
Blake, William Blake, William Blake,
        say it and feel new!

        -- Peter Porter

from 'Japanese Jokes', poem #198

60 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Hita Adwanikar said...

i am a newcomer to this great site... and i dont know if you
have ever had poems by dorothy parker. i like them for thir
freshness and jauntiness... things we often miss in our daily
thanks for this great site though, to everyone concerned.

Martin DeMello said...

Also sprach Hita Adwanikar...
> hi,
> i am a newcomer to this great site... and i dont know if you
> have ever had poems by dorothy parker. i like them for thir
> freshness and jauntiness... things we often miss in our daily
> toils..

Several :) See [broken link] and
search for Parker - three done and a few in the pipeline (I agree - she's
wonderfully refreshing). If there's any particular favourite you'd like to
see, do send it in - we're always on the lookout for suggestions and guest

> thanks for this great site though, to everyone concerned.

Thank you - it's always nice to be appreciated.


Paulreets said...

This poem, to be fully appreciated must be read aloud. Hearing this lovely
little poem recited by someone like Richard Burton adds suprising demension
and meaning. When you then silently reread it, you will be amazed at its
sad, subtle beauty.

Paul (Of "The Sick Rose")

Bruno Giordani said...


Tanya Hart said...

Hi minstrels

I am in Hong Kong at the moment, as we are going crazy with the mystery
pneumonia virus. Half the people on the streets are wearing surgical masks,
anyone who coughs or sneezes is feared (and the high pollution levels mean
most people have cold symptoms anyway), schools and universities are closed
to students (i'm a teacher so i'm still at work). No one knows really if the
virus is spread by water-droplets or through the air (more scary). A whole
apartment block has been quarantined, 80 people a day getting infected.

I was thinking of this poem (which has stuck in my head since first year
uni, looong ago), because right now, my lungs are a precious vulnerable
rose. It really is frighteningly like this poem. Because the virus incubates
for several days, we walk around wondering if we have invisibly caught it
already and are infecting our friends. We are suspicious of ourselves.

So thank for your site, it was nice to find it so fast. I just typed 'blake'
and the first line into google, and you came up.

Yours, Tan.

Drew Arent said...

To fully comprehend this poem, it's important to have an understanding of the collection it comes from: "Songs of Innocence and Experience," which includes both The Lamb and the Tyger. This is obviously a song of experience--or rather the transition from innocence to experience. There's much to say about this 8 line poem. There are religious, sexual, moral insinuations.
Why is the rose sick? It is far from a physical ailment and more of a moral issue. The speaker, which could be represented by an authoritative figure like Rose's mother, is informing her that she is "mentally ill" because she expressed her "crimson joy." Because Rose allowed the "invisible worm" into her bed (as opposed to a legitimate, 'visible' worm), her life in the eyes of society will forever be destroyed.
Taboos of sex. Taboos of sex. This is what we're talking about. Blake heightens the mundane and ordinary creatures of life to represent extraordinary, abstract ideas of an evolving culture.
So, instantly, we associate the worm with the cause of Rose's sickness. This is what the speaker implies. However, it was not a forced sexual interaction at all. The worm travels through a hail-storm of societal restrictions and a guilty conscience to find her "bed of crimson joy" that already existed before he got there. And it was joyful. Sensual. Therefore, the Rose's sexuality is the root of her sickness and not the worm.
To lose one's innocence improperly, according to the institution of religion then and now is shameful. It's generally harder to sympathize with the rose's situation of forbidden sexual passion nowadays then it was in 1794 when it was written. However, taboos will exist as long as humanity does and we all can relate to Rose on some "invisible" level (she says as her closet bursts open with skeletons).

Online Generic Viagra said...

It,s obvious that you will get on faster at the top than at the bottom because
there are more people at the bottom than at the top so naturally the competition
at the bottom is stiffer.

Anonymous said...

hi i was wondering what the meaning behind this poem was for a school project ,i just couldn't interpret it myself any comments thanks :)

Firestone Coupons said...

graet posting guys :)

Midas Coupons said...

This poetry , to be fully appreciated must be read aloud. thanks for sharing :)

Midas Coupons said...

hi i was wondering what the meaning behind this poem was for a school project, thanks for sharing :)

wen hair care review said...

I like Basho's haiku the most, Thanks for sharing.

3d ultrasounds said...

The blog is absolutely fantastic. Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need. Thanks.

doctor reviews by patients said...

These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post.

Ideas de negocios said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, but I am firmly convinced of this and love to learn more about the subject. If possible, acquire knowledge, would you update your blog with more information? It is very helpful to me

abanicos promocionales said...

It’s good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanks now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

find doctor list said...

I have never seen this type of post by now. This is the first tine and that’s why i am commenting.

Tubal Reversals said...

Nice site! I enjoy a couple of from the articles which have been written, and particularly the comments posted! I will definitely be visiting again!

LLoyd said...

****** here's the secret to get a girls number just click the link bellow *****
how to get a girls number

****** looking for wifi ipod? just click the link bellow ******
ipad wifi

Buy Azelex Online said...

This was a really fantastic post that I really do appreciate. This is something that is really amazing and interesting to me to say the least.

Joped said...

O wow really very awesome! I think this is one of the best sites out there. It has so much information. I certainly love this website, keep on it. Have a good day!

Käsitöö said...

I'm really impressed with the content you provided. It's really helpful for me and I'm sure for others as well. Keep it up.

Jasa Seo said...

Tiket Pesawat Murah | Sari Jahe | Promo | Info Promo Diskon Hari Ini | Diskon | Promo Diskon | Harga Tiket Pesawat | Temulawak | Photo Prewedding | UPVC WINDOW | Kamera CCTV | Jual CCTV | Pasang CCTV | Minuman Suplemen | Tiket Pesawat Murah | Harga Tiket Pesawat | Tiket Pesawat Online

Kim Kardashian Bugil | wallpaper lucu | Ultrabook Notebook Tipis Harga Murah Terbaik | Info Terkini | Harga Notebook | Jasa Seo | Jasa Seo | apa seo
I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. Shorebase Services It help me very much to solve some problems. OSK Nusadana Asset Management
Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. jasa seo I think it may be help all of you. Gejala Hepatitis Thanks.

Buy Latisse said...

I am really grateful to you for this post..I like it very much..

buy lomotil online said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and like to learn extra on this topic. If attainable, as you achieve experience, would you thoughts updating your blog with additional data? It is extremely informative to me.

buy propecia said...

Very nice and want know more about this article ..I really enjoyed reading it..plz keep updating..

Buy Levothyroxine said...

Great post! keep posting.

Seminariruumid said...

this has worked great but is there anyway to get it to write the
values on a new line each time rather than in a long line??

Company Kit Hong Kong said...

Your idea really captivates me, I seldom find thoughtful blog post like yours.

lowongan kerja said...

I get a lot of referrals from this site.
I also wrote in a blog: lowongan kerja 2013, lowongan kerja terbaru and info lowongan kerja.

Space Matters Real Estates said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. Plots for sale in Hyderabad
Plots for sale in Banjara Hills
Plots for sale in Jubilee Hills
Plots for sale in Manikonda
Plots for sale in Madhapur
Plots for sale in kondapur
Plots for sale in Gachibowli
Plots for sale in Kukatpally

paket wisata bromo said...

Its not my first time to visit this website, i
am browsing this website dailly and get nice information from here daily.

My blog :: Wisata Bromo | Wisata bromo | travel bromo

polo outlet said...

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable | | | | | | | | | |

m88 said...

2 - Goal 113 minutes in the final M88 by Mario Goetze scored for Germany not only helps teams "tank" headed to victory over Argentina, but also brought the World Cup this year razed record 171 goals most m88
at a World Cup award was established in France in 1998. This is also the first year the World Cup expanded to 32 teams participating in the finals M88. Before the World Cup in South Africa only 145 goals.

Daniel Clark said...

Really nice Service and best article in this blog. WOODEN AND METAL GATES FOR HOME | Home Metal Gates |

zarena cantik said...

perfect perfect fried rice, good post for the beginners as well..Super Prema, loved the presentation very much
Selaput Dara Buatan
Vimax asli Canada
Obat Perangsang
viagra usa
Bio Slim Herbal
Boneka Full Body
vimax canada

nhgh said...

Nice info,,terrimaksih banyak telah minimalist kitchen design berbagi infonya..sukses honda sonic 150R 2016 selalu untuk info and websitenya latest minimalist house design be the best and do the best to the next information.. latest yamaha price

Obat Herbal said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Post a Comment