Words I carry with me…


I think my favourite poem of all time has to be William Blake’s ‘A Poison Tree’. I still remember reading it for the first time; sat in Ms Darby’s English lesson, next to my dear friend Jenny, finding refuge from real life in dusty words stacked upon the shelf by our desk. I wouldn’t have been able to explain it then, I was too busy telling you how the world should be, but those words spoke to a part of me that I didn’t want to speak to myself and, once I had read them, I simply couldn’t forget them.


Subconsciously, I have tried to forget these words. I rarely read them. I have tried to replace them with oh so many others. But they always seem to seek me out.

I have always been an angry person. At least it think I have; I remember so little of my early childhood. Anyway, I struggle with my anger today. I feel this impossible heat rise up from somewhere in my stomach, maybe my soul, and fill every inch of me with an itch, a desire, a burning desire to speak to scream. The back of my throat contracts and I grit my teeth as I battle to silence myself. The tips of my fingers tingle and my muscles clench. My ears buzz. I feel powerful and weak and out of control. I cannot see reason.

Inevitably, the poison is too much for me. It spills out one way or another. A deafening, crashing wave or a slow, steady drip: is one better than the other? And there I hear Blake’s words; wrath, friend, foe, fears, grow, bright, mine, glad…

I am not proud of my anger. It makes me feel ashamed. I am more ashamed still that I still have an inability to control it. I blame it for the things it makes me say and do and all I have left, my only authentic word, is sorry. Repeated again and again and again…


2 thoughts on “Words I carry with me…

  1. I love this poem and think I will try to use it in my creative writing class this year. My students will be able to relate to this. Poison is a great word to use when describing anger. You did a great job describing exactly how anger makes you feel. I could really imagine it.

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