national poetry month, day 29.

I’ve often seen the first stanza of this poem quoted as a sort of life lesson about honesty and confronting your feelings. The full poem, however, is a lot more shivery and complicated than that. From Songs of Innocence and Of Experience. (This one’s in Experience. Plainly.)

A Poison Tree
by William Blake

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 waterd it in fears,
Night & 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 veild the pole;
In the morning glad I see,
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

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