William Blake`s dark and twisted poem ” A Poison Tree“ is a startling intellectual exploration of hatred. Blake guides us through the various stages of pathological animosity towards another: first there is anger, which quickly changes into something detrimental and poisonous to the soul, by manifesting itself as inhumanity and physically deadly to the perceived enemy.
He nourishes his hatred and wrath like a fledgling tree newly planted, until a poisonous fruit grows from it`s dark bowers, which he knew would be plucked and consumed by his foe, knowing it was another`s. The opponent dies, but he feels neither remorse or sympathy, but proud and joyful of a wicked deed.
Knowing Blake, there lies within the coils of his poem a biblical meaning: the narrator may symbolically represent God, and the tree represents the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Book of Genesis.
We are given a poetic lesson in the consequences of hatred, with the speaker showing what may seem beautiful and harmless on the outside, in reality, hides it`s venemous viper`s heart on the inside. Too often, we cloak our dislike of people with a mask of smiles and good humour, while secretly nursing an animosity spiritually harmful.