Saturday, October 30, 2010

Classic Poetry (A Poison Tree - William Blake)

Since its Halloween and we have already shared a Poe poem we will rely on William Blake to share his dark side.

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 watered it in fears,
Night and 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 veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

~ William Blake

(William Blake 28 Nov 1757 - 12 August 1827)

Do you like this poem?  What does it make you think about?  Please share any thoughts you have concerning this selection in the comments section below.  We look forward to you sharing your thoughts with us.

Poets United posts a classic poem once weekly. We want to do this to introduce classic poets and their poems to our members. It is also a way to display different styles, genres and approaches to poetry. Our intent is to further expand the world of poetry while educating ourselves.

If you have a classic poem or set of prose you are fond of please let us know by emailing it to us at

Currently we are limited to poems that were published prior to 1923 due to copyright concerns.  If you do want to recommend or suggest a poem published after 1923 please assist us in pursuing the copyright rules or allowances of the poem.  The poems published here are done so strictly for educational purposes.  For further information on copyright rules please read the Poets United Copyright Statement.


  1. As always your selections are top drawer. This is another perennial favourite of mine. I never tire of Blake's understated genius.

  2. Like Kerry, I have always liked this poem! It is nice to be able to revisit it here!

  3. He sounds like Michael Corleone: Keep your friends close but your enemies closer. A disturbing poem.


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