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A Poison Tree

February 6, 2016

"A Poison Tree"
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 water'd 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 veil'd the pole: 

In the morning glad I see 

My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.

 

William Blake's poem takes on an alchemist process of the soul when one holds wrath within. Here, poetic portrayed and metaphorically communicating it as "A Poison Tree."

 

 

One may find an inner peace in oneself that is blissful, everlasting, true and pure. To center oneself; to know oneself and always come back to one's spiritual center is a meditative practice that keeps ourselves connected to the ground and to the heavens; this makes us stronger, confident and true to ourselves.

 

However, that does not mean that whenever one encounters another soul, that peace will keep on shinning brightly without any change. One can choose to open up and interact with another; thus, this is where the mutual exchange of energies begin. Our electromagnetic energy can be perfectly balanced with ourselves, yet that may change when we encounter another person with another energy; as these two persons communicate and connect, the spiritual experience of our beings interact with each other in many levels, with or without our conscious mind. 

At this mutual interraction of energies, one may spark the other deeper notions about oneself, in reflection, in communication, in experimentation, etc. At this interraction, some "negative" aspects can submerge as well, in this case: anger or wrath.

If these two persons are considered friends, then the one with the wrath may express their emotions as the other would understand. Simple solution presented in the first line of the poem. 

 

In the second line, Blake says "I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow." Here, Blake presents the seed of the Poison Tree, which is, specifically, the notion of one person to consider or label the other as a "Foe." 

Why would you consider the other person as a "foe"? Perhaps because something about that person, or related to that person, which is threatening, challenging or endangering you, or something related to you. If this is the case, it is important for the person to understand why he/she considers the other as a foe, and the best solution may be to see the situation at a higher perspective.

When one person is angry at his friend, and he/she expresses it, the conflict between them (which is where the anger originated from) is placed on the table; upon dialogue and communication, the conflict is revolved and the wrath is purified, transformed and resolved. Now, there would not be any difference if the same happened between a person and the other whom is considered a "foe." The same procedure will take place, and hopefully, upon resolution, the label of 'foe' would disappear, or, ideally, better yet, transformed to a friend.

The poem continues as if one person does not resolve the conflict nor changes his label of the other person as a 'foe.' Hence, that negative energy that person holds inside is what waters to grow the poison tree. Here, in the poem, the growth of this poison tree is expressed poetically in a way that portrays feelings of suffering for containing this position.

 

And I water'd it in fears, 

Night & morning with my tears; 

And I sunned it with smiles, 

And with soft deceitful wiles. 

 

Blake mentions how the original idea of considering the other person as a "foe" starts growing with fears, sadness, fake pretentious attitudes and tricks to 'defeat' the enemy.

 

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, 

 

 Eventually, it becomes something poisonous that "kills" the foe, causing a tragic ending.

And into my garden stole 
When the night had veil'd the pole: 
In the morning glad I see 
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.

Give yourself a favor and try your best to not identify the other as a foe, there may be things we fear, things that feel challenging, or even energies that makes us feel inferior or superior, but those are keys that are just reflecting us what we have to work with ourselves, with each other; together.

 

Sometimes there is a third factor which is the reason of conflict between the two persons; for example, both want the same thing. Competition can be very usual reason to consider the other a foe. Sometimes even society can place us in a role where we consider the other as a "foe," but that is not a justified excused to do so. 

 

We live in a changing society nowadays, with this advanced technology we feel we are connected with each other, yet, maybe not as communicative as we should. Misunderstandings are very common to spark up negative emotions with each other. However, I don't think there is a justifiable cause to label the other as a 'foe,' when at the very core of who we are, we are all the same. 

 

Love & Peace.

 

 

 

 

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