Monday, January 3, 2011

My Interpretation on "Poison Tree"

The poem, “Poison Tree” seemed kind of creepy to me especially the last line. The reason for why I think creepy is because the poem is describing a human characteristic that is so common, which is anger. The anger described in this poem is one so strong that the narrator obsesses with the desire for revenge. In the first stanza the narrator talks about how he was angry with his friend but by talking with his friend the anger ended. Then he becomes angry with his enemy, but he doesn’t talk about it so his anger keeps growing. The poem then goes on to describe how his anger grows and how he nurtures it with fear, tears, smiles, and “deceitful wiles” he’s planning his revenge. By now the narrator has become so obsessed with getting his revenge on his enemy that is has completely consumed him. At first, in the fifth and sixth line it’s like he thinks about what happened. Whatever it is that’s angered him makes him sad and fearful. Then in the seventh and eighth line he’s starting to plot revenge. By the third stanza the narrator’s anger is fully grown and it’s represented by an apple tree. Now in the forth stanza the narrator finally gains his revenge. His enemy steals an apple from the poison tree. “In the morning, glad, I see My foe outstretched beneath the tree” so the apple killed the narrators foe. I think maybe the purpose of the poem is to warn people about just how ugly anger can get, and to not allow it to get so far. In the poem I don’t think the foe was the only one that was punished, I think that in a way so was the narrator. The narrator lets his mind become consumed with wanting nothing but to get revenge and nothing else matters. He goes as far as to kill his enemy and he’s happy about it.
I think the message is in the first two lines where it says, “I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end.” So I think the lesson here is that a person should work out their problems and not just let them sit in the back of their mind.    
Read the poem here:           

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