A Poison Tree by William Blake

A Poison Tree - A Poem by William Blake

A Poison Tree is a poem by William Blake published in Songs of Experience in 1794. It is a story of a narrator whose repressed anger leads him to murder. Read this poem and you'll see why it's an important poem. It's an excellent example of William Blake's unique style and imagery. It's a great piece for students of poetry, especially if you enjoy dark, atmospheric literature.

Trochaic Tetrameter

The poem "A Poison Tree" is written in trochaic tetrameter, a meter that alternates between stressed and unstressed syllables. Most lines are seven syllables long, but the last two lines are written in regular iambic tetrameter, which has no dropped syllables. The poem begins with a stressed syllable followed by four unstressed syllables. The first and last lines are written in trochaic tetrameter, while the third and fourth lines are in standard iambic tetrameter, which is a regular four-line stanza.

Blake's Allegory of the Fall from Eden

Blake's poem is an allegory of the story of the fall from Eden. It's an allusion to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the "fall" of Adam and Eve. Blake reinterprets the story of the Garden of Eden as a corrupted imagination, and the tree in the poem symbolizes that. It also calls attention to how the fall from Eden impacts human behavior.

Iambic Pentameter

A Poison Tree is written in iambic pentameter, a form that consists of four lines of seven syllables. The poem is divided into four stanzas, with each stanza consisting of two couplets. Each couplet ends with a similar final stress and single syllable. Poet William Blake uses the tetrameter form to convey the poem's rhyming scheme.

Trocheic Meter

The poet is familiar with the iambic meter, but he is not necessarily a poet. He often wrote in prose, which is also written in the same style. The poem is also often written in quatrains, which contain four lines. This meter style is called trochaic, and is the opposite of iambic pentameter. In the poem, a trochee is the first stressed syllable, followed by an unstressed one. Trochees are used throughout the poem, but in this particular poem, the second line ends with a tetrameter.

Iambic Foot

The first line of Blake's poem "A Poison Tree" contains iambic tetrameter, a metrical form in which words are arranged in alternating sequences of stressed and unstressed beats. The iambic foot is the most common type of meter in English poetry and appears in most lines, though it can be found in shorter and longer lines as well.

The poem is divided into four stanzas of four lines, each containing two couplets. The couplets all end with a masculine rhyme - a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. The poem was originally called "Christian Forbearance" but later changed to "A Poison Tree".

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