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Featured Poem: A Poison Tree by William Blake

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 26th May 2014

In our latest Communications Team Meeting, we chose to read this poem by William Blake, and we thought we'd share it here as this week's Featured Poem. Also a favourite within our shared reading groups, it raised some interesting discussion, particularly on the point of how we deal with our emotions. Does it matter if we keep things bottled up, or can some unresolved tension be a good thing - acting to spurr us on? Is it right that - as Blake suggests - we're more likely to tell our friends and those close to us when we're angry with them than our 'foes' (and indeed, are foes are common thing to have nowadays?)?

Tons to talk about in just four stanzas - why not let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or reaching us on Twitter?

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


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