The Poison Tree Poem Solutions Summary Meanings Class 7 English

‘The Poison Tree’ is written by William Blake. are given answers to the textbook exercise questions. Summary and meanings are also given to help the students understand the poem well.


William Blake’s “The Poison Tree” is a powerful commentary on how to manage anger towards both friends and enemies, offering a clear lesson on conflict resolution. The poem warns against the destructive consequences of holding onto malice and hatred. Through a metaphorical narrative, the speaker in the first quatrain describes a conflict with a friend that is resolved through open communication. However, when the speaker encounters an individual they dislike, they hold onto their anger, allowing it to fester and grow like a poisonous tree. The extended metaphor reveals how fear and malice can cause a person to act out of character and lose their emotional balance.

Despite the growing fury within the speaker, the enemy remains unaware. The speaker nurtures their anger with tears and deceitful smiles, and the tree of wrath bears fruit in the form of an apple reminiscent of the forbidden fruit from the biblical story of Adam and Eve. The enemy desires the apple, unaware that it belongs to the speaker. The speaker lures the enemy into their garden, where they eat the apple and perish. The final lines suggest that the narrator finds comfort in the outcome, emphasizing the importance of communication to avoid the fruit of the poison tree.

Textbook Exercise Solutions


Answers: A

  1. a. Night and morning the speaker harboured anger against his foe.
    b. The tears were shed because the speaker was angry with his foe and watered it in fears. He did not tell or discuss it with his foe.
    c. ‘It’ refers to anger against the speaker’s foe.
    d. He pretended that all was well between him and his foe. ‘Sunned it with smiles’ means he pretended and did not disclose his true feeling.
  2. a. The wrath pf the speaker grew ‘day and night.’
    b. The speaker’s ‘wiles’ are referred here.
    c. He uses wiles because he had not spoken about his wrath with his foe.
    d. ‘It’ grew as the speaker watered it in fears, night and morning with tears and sunned it with smiles and soft deceitful wiles.
  3. a. The foe saw the fruit of the speaker’s wrath i.e. an apple.
    b. ‘It shine’ because the fruit grew both day and night.
    c. ‘Mine’ stands here for the fruit i.e. the apple (wrath and malice) of the speaker.
    d. The foe stole it and was consumed by it.

B. Answer these questions.

  1. Which phrase in stanza 1 has the same meaning as ‘kept his anger to himself’?
  2. What did the narrator do when he was angry with his friend?
  3. What did the speaker do when he was angry with his enemy?
  4. Why did the speaker’s anger grow?
  5. What does the speaker compare his anger with in the poem?
  6. How did the speaker feed the tree?
  7. What happened to the speaker’s enemy in the morning?
  8. What do you think is the poet suggesting in this poem?
  9. What did the speaker do to ensure that the tree grew healthily?
  10. How does the speaker feel that morning? What does this tell us about him?

Answers: C

  1. ‘I told it not’ means that he kept his anger to himself.
  2. The speaker talked about his anger to his friend.
  3. When the speaker was angry with his enemy, he never talked about it.
  4. The speaker’s anger grew as he kept his anger to himself, he did not share it with his enemy. He result was that the wrath grew as big as a tree.
  5. The speaker compares his anger with a tree.
  6. He fed the tree with his fears, tears and sunned it with smiles and deceitful wiles.
  7. The speaker’s enemy was finished in the morning.
  8. Answers may vary. Accept all appropriate answers. Encourage learners to come up with their own answers.
  9. He took care of it. He watered it day and night with tears and sunned it with smiles and soft
    deceitful wiles.
  10. The final lines suggest that the narrator experiences solace as he witnesses his foe being consumed by the fruit, underscoring the significance of communication in preventing the poison tree’s fruit. Anger and prolonged hostility resulted in a deadly outcome that could have been prevented by a rational and considerate approach to forgiveness through communication. The speaker must express their sentiments toward their adversary to alleviate any misinterpretations or to relieve any pent-up rage.

Poetry Appreciation


A. Metaphor: The poison tree represents the grudge of the speaker against his enemies. As his hatred grew, so did the tree.
B. Lines where personification is used: Waters the wrath with fear I told my wrath, my wrath did end
C. The poet has emphasized ‘I was angry’ twice to emphasise emotion to contrast with the two different ways the speaker deals with this emotion.

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