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Sick Rose, The Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Blake Type: Poetry Views: 7145

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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.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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| Posted on 2017-07-11 | by a guest

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We mustn\'t forget the notion of author intention fallacy. We can never really know what the author intended so there are no right and wrong answers. Once you as a reader have found your interpretation it belongs to you and may be shared or rejected by others but we are all entitled to love this beautiful peice for what it brings to us individually. Never stop reading poetry

| Posted on 2012-05-20 | by a guest

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i thing thish poems talks about boys and girls.the invisible worms that symbolize to the strong boy and sick rose symbolize a helpless women,and it is tragic love story.

| Posted on 2012-04-03 | by a guest

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The poem describes a brief love-affair with a tragic ending.
The \"rose\" is a beautiful maiden who has recently lost her virginity (hence \"crimson\" joy). The \"sick\"ness which she suffers from is nothing more than \"morning sickness\", the usual side-effect of pregnancy. The \"invisible worm\" is the sperm-like homunculus that was then imagined to swim out of the man\'s testes into the woman\'s womb in the heat of intercourse (\"howling storm\").
We know that it was a clandestine relationship (\"dark secret love\") and that she therefore stands little hope of marrying her lover. And giving birth or even losing virginity out of wedlock would at that time inevitably destroy her prospects in life.

| Posted on 2011-08-29 | by a guest

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This is about syphilis (the invisible worm), a venereal disease often fatal in Blake\'s day. The rose was also a common symbol of female genetalia, the \"bed of crimson joy\" now fallen to the dark secret love that will destroy the woman\'s life.

| Posted on 2011-06-29 | by a guest

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the sick rose is about england and how the plague came to england and ruined it, since william blake wasin that era or time of these invisible deseases shall we say came to our beautiful rose sinc england is represented by a red rose.

| Posted on 2011-05-22 | by a guest

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When I read it I interpreted it as the rose being a woman (since it refers to the invisible worm later as a he). Basically it\'s like when a man, most likely one you hardly really know, sleeps with you. Its a dark secret, because you have guilt or regret realizing that he is not what you expected or thought. Imagine a invisible worm crawling on you, you cant shake off the feeling of being impure and tainted. In this way it destroys the woman.

| Posted on 2011-05-09 | by a guest

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When I first read it, I thought it was about a man who was screwing around and got his woman sick with disease/s; perhaps infected with HIV and eventually she dies.
But seeing all the comments about England etc... I will have to do some further research. It was interesting though, to see so many analysis; how everybody\'s minds work so differently.

| Posted on 2011-04-11 | by a guest

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So, I think that this short poem is talking about a person (being the sick rose) being tempted by the devil, which is the “invisible worm that flies in the night.” Because the devil knows what everyone’s deepest, darkest passions are and he wants to try and tempt you with them so that you will fall away from the Lord and sin. He wants to destroy your life, because God wants you to have a good, long and fruitful life ending with him in Heaven.

| Posted on 2011-03-14 | by a guest

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i think this poem could be compared to the fall of man found in Genesis. The rose symbolizes Eve who is innocent and the worm represents the serpant. The destruction that the worm brings is the fall of man.

| Posted on 2011-01-24 | by a guest

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i\'m sorry, but i believe all of you are wrong. the rose in the poem obviously symbolizes
love. the worm is the consequence of falling for it. at some point in all of our lives, our
hearts are fertile for the seeds of love, but after our first heartbreak, we begin to trust
less and make it harder to let love in. a worm can dry soil and cause it to become less
fertile, which, overall, makes the rose begin to fade. love words the same way, once you
let someone into '\'thy lovely bed'\' which means the deepest part of your trust, it can
wither the heart and tangle the soul.

| Posted on 2010-12-14 | by a guest

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i think its a lovely poem n it ws written wd some ausome imaginations in mind :)

| Posted on 2010-10-26 | by a guest

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I think he's talking about how having lust for someone and not love can be completely destroying. Having just sex with someone is hard because feelings always get involved and it's hard to keep them under control, but if the other person doesn't love you back its obviously going to be heartbreaking. The worm could be a sexual reference or simply implying that it is what is destroying the rose's love. However, has anyone ever looked at it from a non-sexual point of view? for example, the rose could simply be the Tudor Rose and could symbolise England. The worm could suggest corruption and the industrial revolution and what it did to England.

| Posted on 2010-05-27 | by a guest

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SOME say that sickness begins within. I know it resides inside and out.

| Posted on 2010-05-07 | by a guest

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I think that this poem is one of the most to be subjected to complete over analysis. Blake's poems are so beautiful because they are simple and yet so profound, so i think these recent posts seem very unlikely to be what he was really trying to say with this poem. This particular poem is talked about in Educating Rita by Willy Russell and explores similar ideas.

| Posted on 2010-02-14 | by a guest

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Based on the life he lived, I believe that it is about two things LOVE & FREEDOM.
The love would be between two people and the woman became pregnant and because of that he leaves her. She is sick because the baby she now has, and it destroys her life because in the 17 hundreds if you werent married it was frond upon.
Freedom the English church, held their books over the heads of almost everyone and demanded a lot from the people. So the poem is about how the church worked their way up over the people and it destroyed the lives of the lower class but the higher class didnt care.

| Posted on 2010-02-11 | by a guest

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Heres a break down of the poem.
The rose is a beautiful woman
The worm is an ecil man
They fall in love
There love is strong
He wordhips her
She doesn't love him
He goes mad
She dies

| Posted on 2010-02-08 | by a guest

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I think that this is about a person who would have to be sick (crazy) to take in that worm of a man/woman. They are killing each other with their love perhaps?

| Posted on 2010-01-20 | by a guest

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i think it explane about someone love girl and somebody com and take her hover but he cant do anything because he satisfied by his soul in order to make his love happy

| Posted on 2009-12-13 | by a guest

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I think that this poem is about the film titanic!! :)

| Posted on 2009-11-10 | by a guest

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Worm can also mean an insect (hence "that flies in the night") and to Blake may not have had phallic resonance. Most of what is written here is projection - Blake was writing a poem about a rose sickening with green / black fly and like all great poets produced a transcendant work of art in the process which binds itself to our all too human lusts and fears...
Pure genius.

| Posted on 2009-10-27 | by a guest

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this poem is so heart provoking and this is all about beauty and its destruction everything that is beautiful is immortal this is a cycle of life blake is just writing about this cycle...

| Posted on 2009-07-26 | by a guest

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Can't help feeling that one of the themes that runs through this poem is that everything that is beautiful has to undergo change/ageing/dying etc (ie. the rose in its perfection) & is thus ultimately doomed. I think however, it relates particularly to something which is glorious but also forbidden & the secrecy is the weapon of destruction. Such as a sexual obsession or a sexual act that is considered wrong within a culture. I am also wondering (sexual imagery apart) whether that 'invisible worm' might relate to a soul sickness(ie. depression)that takes hold & sometimes having no seeming outward reason becomes a sick secret - the beloved affliction.

| Posted on 2009-06-27 | by a guest

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in fact i do believe that the speaker is addressing his lover by referring to the rose and of course by mentioning the sick which mean simly that he is loosing his lover for so many things.

| Posted on 2009-06-20 | by a guest

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in fact i do believe that the speaker is addressing his lover by referring to the rose and of course by mentioning the sick which mean simly that he is loosing his lover for so many things.

| Posted on 2009-06-20 | by a guest

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The rose does indeed refer to the woman and the "bed of crimson joy" most likely to her genitalia. If the worm is a phallic symbol and we take into account Blake's views on free love (the idea that love between consenting adults should not be controlled by the church) then it seems more than likely that the "dark secret love" refers to the need for the couple to conduct their affair privately to avoid the disapproval of the church.
The secrecy and not the relationship itself if what is destroying the couple and the fact that they are being told by the establishment to ignore their natural urges, making them "sick"

| Posted on 2009-01-18 | by a guest

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This poem is basically about a "rose", representing the female being sick. Due to the corruption of the "invisible worm"'s "dark secret".

| Posted on 2008-10-01 | by a guest

.: o rose thou art sick :.

The poem is centrally sexual, conjuring phallic and yonic images with referenceto words such as the "ROSE", "nigh" "bed". The speaker wonders at the secret destruction of the rose by the invisible worm. Which can be interpreted as a sexually transmitted disease caught from "his dark secret love" namely a prostitute or perhaps a mistress.

| Posted on 2008-05-19 | by a guest

.: The Sick Rose, A critique :.

I feel that the idea of the rose representing England is most definately something your mind first conjures up; however i feel the rest of the poem hardly supports this idea. Perhaps it is "all too convincing" simply becuase many of his other poems took on this theme. I like to think of this poem as a sexual one; the imagery pointed out in previous posts is quite self explanitary. Perhaps we could link this aspect of the poem to London where he talks of the "harlots curse" and "new born infants

| Posted on 2008-01-27 | by a guest

.: The Sick Rose :.

I'm not so sure. I think the rose symbolises love, and a passionate relationship, and the idea of the rose being sick symbolises the love between the couple festering. I don't think it's necessarily a sexual poem (although the 'bed of crimson joy' obviously points to this aspect of a relationship), but in my opinion, it is showing what damage jealousy can do, the feeling being represented as a worm - burrowing, deep rooted and silently powerful.

| Posted on 2007-10-16 | by a guest

.: The Sick Rose :.

The above analysis is not entirely correct. This poem expresses Blake's contempt for 19th century society, the sick rose is a symbol of England's corruption. He views society as being infected, it is controling and rufuses to grant its people the imaginative freedom that Blake deems to be the most important virtue of human nature. It is hard to ignore the sexual imagry in this poem; the worm being a phallic symbol, the Rose a woman's vagina. However the main them hidden under the surface is Blake's scorn of English society at the time and its oppressive nature.

| Posted on 2007-06-03 | by a guest

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This is one of the fine piece of William Blake, so short but had so much power. My seventh grade teacher introduced me to his writtings, and since then I have been seduced by poetry. If I'd have half the talent of these extreamly gifted writters...I'd die happy. I think this poem obviously is about love, perhaps a a man or a woman that is so wrong for the other, keeps returning to their bed for nights filled with passion, although they know things will never work out. This poem grabbed me the first time I read it.

| Posted on 2004-12-13 | by theDevilsPocket

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