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Vocabulary in A Poison Tree

Vocabulary Examples in A Poison Tree:

A Poison Tree

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"And into my garden stole..."   (A Poison Tree)

The setting of the garden alludes to the Garden of Eden, further emphasizing the parallel between the story of the poem and the episode of original sin in the book of Genesis. The word “stole” has two registers. Literally, the foe sneaks into the garden while “stole” also connotes an act of theft, which evokes Eve’s theft of the fruit of knowledge. Once again, all responsibility is placed on the foe, even though it is the foe who ultimately dies from the speaker’s wrath.

"And he knew that it was mine,..."   (A Poison Tree)

Blake’s use of the verb “knew” is key. The foe understands the nature of the apple, placing all subsequent responsibility on the foe, rather than the speaker. The foe’s knowledge parallels that of Adam and Eve, who understand their sin before eating the apple in Eden.

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