Thursday, July 03, 2003

Addenda to Berger's Best Friends: I didn't mention it in my review -- because you can clot a small review with only so many references -- that Berger's novel also reminded me of Blake's "A Poison Tree," a poem that has always much impressed me: it reflects the way resentment or bitterness can eventually assume a shape, a deceptive though no less lethal shape.

A Poison Tree
William Blake

I 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.

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