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The Sick Rose

The Sick Rose

by William Blake

The Sick Rose Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

"The Sick Rose" uses a strange meter called anapestic dimeter, meaning that, theoretically, each line should have two ("di") anapests. An anapest is a three syllable foot that has two unstressed sy...

Speaker

"The Sick Rose" is a very weird poem, which makes us think that the speaker is a little weird too. There are lots of ways you could picture the speaker, but here's our take: he's kind of like a biz...

Setting

Imagine you're working on your hands and knees in your garden one day. You've already tidied up your vegetable patch and you've just moved on to the flower bed when you notice that one of your rose...

Sound Check

You know how sometimes in cartoons a little devil and a little angel will appear on a character's shoulder and give him contrary opinions about what to do? Well, if William Blake were trying to wri...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of the poem refers to the sick rose in the poem that falls victim to the worm's "dark secret love" (7). The poem is called "The Sick Rose," but we don't learn a whole lot about the rose's...

Calling Card

Let's face it, when you first read "The Sick Rose," your immediate reaction was probably something like, "this poem is really simple: it's about a rose that gets sick and a weird worm." There's not...

Tough-O-Meter

"The Sick Rose" is a relatively simple poem; it contains only a couple of sentences, and there aren't any strange words that need glossing. Sure the content is a little strange, but it's not diffic...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

The only reason this poem isn't rated R is that the sex in it isn't explicit; sure it's suggested pretty clearly, but one could make the case that "dark secret love" doesn't have anything to do wit...

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