A Poison Tree Poem by William Blake
Honors English IV December 11, 2009 The theme of “A Poison Tree” by William Blake is about wrath and anger. If one were angry with a friend, that wrath would eventually subside; if one were angry with a foe, however, and if left unchecked or left to simmer that anger would not subside and would grow. His poem offers insight into what anger does if one “watered it in fears, / Night and morning with [their] tears; / and sunned it with smiles, / and with soft deceitful wiles” (547 l. -10 Wood). The poem is appropriate for Songs of Experience and not Songs of Innocence because it portrays something that children do not do: seethe with anger for a long period of time. Children forgive and forget easily, adults do not. Adults tend to hold grudges and seethe with anger until something interrupts it or changes it, but children have simpler minds and thus simpler aspects of anger that may not last a long time.
The themes and images of “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” by William Wordsworth classifies him as a typical Romantic poet of his time. Wordsworth shows only the beauty of London and uses simple language to get his point across. The major theme of the poem is nature, and he only shows the beauty of the landscape, not the destitution and filth that truly was London during the Industrial Revolution.
Wordsworth transfigures the truth with his imagination, saying that everything was “all bright and glittering in the smokeless air” (560 l. 8 Wood) when really the city was ridden with pollution and smog. Wordsworth also shows and absolute sense of awe for the beauty of what he is seeing, and turns away everything that is “ugly” about it. Wordsworth sees only the beauty of looking from a bridge in the morning and turns away all the bad things related to the people of the area, a characteristic of a Romantic.