Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Sick Rose by William Blake

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.

This writer is using an analogy of a rose representing a woman or a girl. The girl is sick with an invisible worm, it flies in the night- this most directly means she got sick during the night probably becuase of a man or of an affair she had. The "howling storm" and the man with "his dark secret love" are lines in the poem that most directly relate. The woman is swept off her feet by a howling storm a man of crimson joy and from this small affiar she had her life was destroyed. It is most commonly thought that this woman got an STD from this affair or a sickness from the man she slept with, but it can also mean that she is sick from the giult that she commited. The guilt of having an affair or helping this "storm" of a man cheat can cause this rose to be sick or this woman to be guilty.
The structure of this poem helps it flow and makes it easier to understand. It consists of two stanzas both four lines each. the second and the fourth line in the poem rhyme. From this small amount of words and easy structure it adds to the luminosity of the poem. This poem is about a woman swept off her feet in the middle of the night struck by love and mystery- which ultimately leads to her destruction.


  1. All interesting ideas. It has a lot of symbolism packed into very few words.

  2. No no, this is about how love and sexuality should not be repressed, lest it become an infection of guilt and shame, leading to death (perhaps only of one's spirit).