The 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 watered it in fears, Night and morning with my tears; And I sunnèd 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 veiled the pole: In the morning glad I see

My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Literally, Blake was engry with a friend but it went away.  He was angry with a foe and it did not go away.  Instead, it grew as he watered it and sunned it.  It grew until it “bore an apple,” or reached its climax, at which point his foe saw the hatred.  His foe tried to sneak into the his garden, and in the morning was outstretched beneath a tree.

Now.  Here’s what I think it means.  Blake’s mad at this dude.  Dude’s cool with him, so the anger goes away.  Blake’s mad at this other dude.  Dude isn’t cool, so the anger festers.  Blake harvests this anger, but fronts so that his foe, dude who isn’t cool, thinks that the two are in fact cool.  “Sunned it with smiles and with soft deceitful wiles” means that he pretends to be cool with this guy so this guy thinks they’re friends.

This next part gets a littl fuzzy.  Alright, Blake’s got this apple and the dude sees it.  The apple seems to refer to his hatred in the poem, but in my interpretation it works more as the trust the foe has built up for Blake.  So dude see’s this trust and he’s like, “Word, I’ll just go chill in his garden,” in the sense that he now trusts Blake enough to enter his personal territory, like go to dinner with him or crash at his house after a party or something.

BAM!  Poor dude shouldn’t have trusted Blake.  Blake kills him.  Outstretched beneath a tree?  He’s not reclining, he’s hung and gravity is pulling his body down.

Pretty angry, Blake.  Maybe you should get that looked at.

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