William Blake (1757-1827) was a poet, printer, artist, and free spirit. He started out as an engraver and artist, then became a printer and poet. Blake challenged the traditional views of religion, morality and was considered idiosyncratic and mad by most of the artistic establishment in England.Blake often used visual artistry and poetry in tandem to convey his artistic vision. Blake's painting at left is from The Song of Los, one of Blake's "illuminated books".
The Poison Tree
William BlakeI was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree