Study Guide

A Poison Tree Tough-o-Meter

By William Blake

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(1) Sea Level

From a technical standpoint, "A Poison Tree" is not a very difficult poem. Blake doesn't use any strange or obsolete words, and his sentences are short and memorable. Indeed, at times it seems that the poem is meant for children. This, however, only enhances its effectiveness in conveying an important truth. While a reader may be humming along to the poem's ear-friendly rhythms, sounds, and rhymes, the words themselves carry a powerfully sobering reflection. Like Mary Poppins, Blake provides a spoonful of sugar to help his medicine go down.

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