The poem “A Poison Tree” talks about the two ways to deal with anger. The first two lines deal with how we should deal with it but the rest of it talks about the wrath that the speaker has. The main theme of this poem is not anger but how anger can be cultivated. It shows how not bringing your anger up to the surface and dealing with it directly with the person you are angry with, this anger can be germinated into something poisonous and destructive.
This poem is appropriate for Songs of Experience rather than for Songs of innocence because if it would be a song of innocence the human mind and soul would want to let the anger out in order to keep their soul clean of any bad thoughts. Innocence is a state of genuine love and naive trust towards all humankind, accompanied by unquestioned belief in Christian Doctrine. Songs of Experience deals with the loss of innocence after exposure to the material world and all of its mortal sin during adult life.
This poem shows how the speaker is cultivating his anger and is seeking to destroy his “foe”. At the end of the poem we see how the hatred got the best of him. The anger grew into this poisonous fruit that when his enemy ate it he faced death. Nowhere in this poem it shows that his “foe” had any anger thoughts towards the speaker yet he was so blind by the anger that he probably didn’t even realize it since he was too busy feeding his anger.
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Also this is a Songs of Experience because at the beginning of the poem we see the wisdom that it has when it tells us "I was angry with my friend; / I told my wrath, my wrath did end. " It’s giving us a wise advice for our lives showing that the speaker posses wisdom not “innocence”—stupidity. The poison tree that this poem talks about can be a symbol to the tree of forbidden knowledge from the bible. The speaker has this poisonous fruit that it’s there to tempt his foe to eat it to be destroyed.
The foe sneaks into the garden and steals the fruit not being able to see that the tree is poisonous leading to his death. Just like in the bible God told Adam and Eve that if they were to eat from that tree they would face death the speaker’s foe faced the same fate. He was tempted and he had fallen. At this the speaker was satisfied and with the death of his foe his anger died. Mercy, pity, peace, and love cannot be connected to anger since these have no relations with anger. If not able to deal with anger a person doesn’t have mercy towards the person that they are angry at.
They are not in peace with themselves they are always thinking of a way to get back at them and definitely have no love towards them. This poem is not a Songs of Innocence since anger at the point to want to hurt the other person is malicious and it comes with negative thoughts gained from experience not naive thoughts from those like children. Anger needs to be handled in the best manner possible and not let it germinate into something poisonous and destructive because at the end it harms both one that’s angry and the person you’re angry at
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