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Poetry Analysis

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Introduction

My Interpretation of the Poem O Rose, thou art sick. The invisible worm, That flies in the night In the howling storm: Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy: And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy. The sick rose is a very ambiguous poem, open to several interpretations as the images and objects in the poem can have various meanings. I am going to analyse different sections of the poem to then be able to give my overall reading of Blake's poem. A rose, can connote beauty, it can be a symbol love, represent loyalty and passion. Yet rose's have thorns which draw blood, so in that respect the rose could suggest dubiousness, pain and even death. I interweaved these ideas and imagined the rose as a beautiful woman, who is seriously ill or dying. I came to this conclusion as rose is juxtaposed with the word 'sick' which emphasizes the illness and the tragedy of it all, as one so pure is being blackened. ...read more.

Middle

Invisible, I feel also gives a darker side to the poem, it is as if the worm is secretly, slyly contaminating the rose. Invisible thoughts also sprung to mind; perhaps a worm was corrupting a once pure, virginal mind. Blake has deliberately used the 'worm' as worms eat plants so there is immediately a link and a rose being eaten from the inside would still look beautiful which also re-enforces my idea of the disease eating away at someone's insides. 'Has found out thy bed' also links in with this, as it is a confirmation that the cancer has settled inside the woman's body. It has a sinister feel to it, and implies the worm was invading the rose's privacy, as a bed is very personal. Personally I thought that the 'night' symbolized being unprepared. There is certain secrecy and disguise about the night and the darkness that give eeriness to the poem. The reiterates the idea of silence and invisibility; as if the beautiful rose, unprepared and unaware, has been struck by the clandestine worn, about to infest her once clean body. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet, as I had interpreted the worm as a disease infecting the woman, I thought of what 'the bed of crimson joy' could symbolize in that situation. Then I though it could be a metaphor for inside the woman's body, and the disease has 'found its bed' there. 'Bed' suggests comfort and is personal, evoking the disease has invaded the woman's privacy and has settled inside her, so therefore it is foreseeable that the disease, or as I interpreted cancer, is there to stay and it can not be removed. In conclusion, I believe Blake's poem is about a woman who has been stuck a cancerous disease, 'the invisible worm' and fallen sick, 'thou art sick'. I interpreted the rose as a woman as a result of its feminine and beauty connotations and also for the simply reason that Rose is also a very widespread name for a woman. I believe 'the howling storm' is a deteriorating moment in the poem where the woman perhaps takes a turn for the worse and 'bed of crimson joy' re-enforces this suggesting the cancer is firmly settled inside her and there is no way she can escape. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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