A Poison Tree is a four-stanza poem with the following rhyme scheme: aabb. Each quatrain is made up of sets of rhyming couplets with complete rhyme. The final line of each stanza ends with a synonym for "death."
Poison trees were popular in Europe and America as an illustration of the danger of speech. A poet would write a satirical poem about some topic, put it in the form of a letter, and send it to the recipient. If the recipient read the poem out loud, they were liable to kill themselves. This warning not only applied to politicians but also to priests, judges, and other people who had power over others' lives.
They are also used as memorials to those who died from suicide. Suicide was once a crime, but now most countries protect people from harming themselves by removing all legal barriers to self-harm or suicide.
In England, Australia, and North America, poison trees are found mainly in churchyards. Because churches took the responsibility of burying their parishioners, they wanted to make sure that nobody killed themselves before their time. If someone did commit suicide, then a poison tree would grow in their yard as a reminder of the tragedy that had happened there.
The metre (meter in the United States) is mostly trochaic trimeter, which means that each line has three feet with the beat of DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum DAdum.
The poem was first published in 1668 under the title "The British Museum: Or, A Catalogue of Valuable Books from the Library of George Bishop of Winchester". It was written by Thomas Randolph.
Randolph was an English poet and politician who served as Secretary to King Charles II and then as Clerk of the House of Commons. He is best known today for writing the poem that bears his name.
In addition to being Secretary to the king, Randolph was also involved in politics. He supported the Royalist cause during the English Civil War and was imprisoned twice for his activities. After the death of Charles II, he went into exile in France where he remained until his return to England after the end of the war. During his time in France, he met many famous people such as Louis XIV and Voltaire and it was there that he wrote most of his poems.
One of his more well-known poems is "The Poisonous Tree", which comes at the end of Chapter 3 of John Donne's Devotions upon Emergent Occasions.
One lesson of "A Poison Tree" is that if you hold onto your anger and fuel it, it will grow and damage someone—in this poem, it hurts an adversary, but it can also hurt the one who is furious. The poem is a long metaphor in which rage is compared to a tree. The last line reads: "Anger's like fire; if not controlled, it can do great harm."
Here's what happens when you let your anger burn: Your body produces chemicals called "stress hormones" which cause your heart to beat faster, your muscles to tense up, and your brain to release more of the neurotransmitters that help control emotions.
These chemicals can stay in your body for hours, days, or even longer if you don't deal with them properly. Studies show that people who are constantly angry have higher levels of stress hormones than those who aren't as angry sometimes. That's why letting your anger out can be so harmful; it can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
Of all the lessons the poison tree teaches, this is by far the most important one. If you hold on to your anger, it will only cause you pain later on. It's best to let go of your feelings quickly because once they're out, they can never be put back inside.
This doesn't mean that you should act rashly from moment to moment.