Guest poem sent in by Vivian Eden
(Poem #1087) A Poison Tree
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 water'd 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 veil'd the pole: In the morning glad I see My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.
from "Songs of Experience" Taking off from the subject of friendship, Blake goes into the nature of enmity. There is no one like Blake for talking about the darker emotions -- anger, hatred, Schadenfreude. The "apple bright" in the garden brings to mind the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; Man is crueller than the God of Genesis and inflicts death rather than banishment from Paradise. Vivian