A Poison Tree Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share A Poison Tree Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by William Blake. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of Television, Hearts And Hands and The Old Man at the Bridge so, you can check these posts as well.

A Poison Tree Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Wrath – anger
  • Deceitful – cunning
  • Foe – enemy
  • Veiled – covered
  • Wiles – tricks
  • Glad – joy

Question 1: In stanza 1, the speaker makes a contrast between two occasions when he got angry with someone. What is the contrast?

Answer: The speaker brings out the contrast between getting angry with a friend and being angry with an enemy. When angry with his friend, he tells his friend about it and the anger ends there. But when angry with his enemy, he does not tell him about it, and therefore, it grows.

Question 2: Read and answer the questions:
I was angry with my friend
I told my wrath ‘my wrath did end.

(a) Who does ‘I’ refer to?

Answer: ‘I’ refers to the poet William Blake.

(b) How did the anger of the poet come to an end?

Answer: The poet expressed his anger to his friend and it came to an end.

(c) Write a synonym for ‘wrath’.

Answer: Anger

Question 3: What words in stanza 2 show that the speaker is now talking of his anger as if it were a seed or a small plant? What served as water for the plant? What served as sunlight?

Answer: The words ‘watered’ and ‘sunned’ indicate that the speaker treats the anger like a seed. His tears were the water and his false smiles and deceitful wiles served as sunlight.

Question 4: In the story of Adam and Eve, there is a tree whose fruit is not to be eaten. Adam and Eve, however, do eat the fruit, disobeying God, and are banished from the Garden of Eden for doing so. Does anything in this poem remind you of that story? If so, what is the similarity between the two?

Answer: In the poem, the poison tree bears an apple that is stolen by the enemy. The enemy dies eating the apple. In the Christian myth, Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit and they lose their innocence and are banned forever from the Garden of Eden. So in both cases, we see poison fruit from a poison tree—and both are a result of human weakness.

A Poison Tree Questions & Answers

Question 5: Read and answer the questions:
And I watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears;

(a) What does ‘it’ refer to?

Answer: ‘It’ refers to poet’s anger with his foe.

(b) How is ‘it’ watered?

Answer: ‘It’ is watered with tears.

Question 6: The plant grew both from the speaker’s inner feelings and from his outward behaviour. What caused the inner feelings and the outward behaviour?

Answer: The plant grew because of the bitterness and fear inside, and the falsehood and deceit in the speaker’s outward behaviour.

Question 7: Can we guess what attitude the speaker’s enemy had? Did he want it simply because it was attractive? How did he try to get hold of it? What attitude does this show?

Answer: When the speaker’s enemy saw the apple, he wanted it for himself even though he knew it was not his. He crept into the speaker’s garden, displaying his greed and deceitful behaviour. It shows that he had a greedy and selfish nature.

Question 8: Did the speaker’s own attitude change when he saw his enemy dead? How does he describe his feelings at that moment? Can we say that even the death of his enemy did not end the anger and hatred?

Answer: The speaker felt glad to see his enemy dead. He still hated him after he was dead. This shows that the anger and hatred did not end with his enemy’s death.

A Poison Tree Questions & Answers

Question 9: Read and answer the questions:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree

(a) How did the poet feel in the morning?

Answer: The poet felt very happy in the morning.

(b) Who is ‘foe’ referred to here?

Answer: ‘Foe’ here referred to poet’s enemy.

(c) Why was the ‘foe’ found lying outstretched beneath the tree?

Answer: The foe ate the apple of the poison tree stealthily during the night and so he was found lying outstretched beneath the tree.

Question 10: Can we say this poem is a parable? If so, what truth, wisdom or moral does it show?

Answer: This poem reads like a parable; it tells us that hatred and anger are destructive and do no good to anyone.

Question 11: Good poetry often creates a clear picture with just a few words. ‘Watered it in fears’ and ‘sunned it with smiles’ are two examples of this in the poem. Point out two others.

Answer: “Till it bore an apple bright;” “When the night had veiled the pole:”

Question 12: Read and answer the questions:
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright

(a) Who does ‘it’ refer to?

Answer: ‘It’ refers to the suppressed anger of the poet.

(b) What does ‘apple’ signify?

Answer: The apple signifies the suppressed anger of the poet. It alludes to the bright apple fruit of the forbidden tree which was given to Adam by Eve.

(c) What grew both day and night?

Answer: The poet’s anger grew day and night.

So, these were A Poison Tree Questions & Answers.

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